As a nursing mother, I am slightly offended when a doctor recommends that I give my baby a multivitamin. It’s like I’m being told, your milk’s not good enough.
Most of us, especially more natural-minded mothers, likely have adequate nutrition in our breast milk. But for some mothers, there is a grain of truth to the recommendation.
I recently learned that I have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Due to an underlying medical condition, I do not absorb this vitamin well. My baby appears healthy, but if I have a deficiency, there is certainly not enough Vitamin B12 getting into the breast milk. So, I agree that in my case, vitamin drops are appropriate.
But for most mothers, if anyone should be getting vitamins, it’s Mom. Baby’s good, because the mother’s body will feed the baby first, to the point of pulling calcium out of bones. My dentist says this had nothing to do with my dental problems, but I never had a cavity until I was 25 years old, after my first child was born. I’ve heard from midwives since that this was not coincidence.
I would rather get my nutrition, for me and baby, out of food. I always felt that this more natural way was more effective, too. And I still believe the majority of health-conscious mothers are able to adequately feed themselves and their breastfeeding babies without the need for a multivitamin, for either Mom or baby. Although there is nothing wrong with taking a vitamin, if you choose to.
I don’t think it’s appropriate for doctors to routinely suggest a mother give her baby vitamin drops, especially if the baby is gaining well, happy, not anemic, and generally healthy. But, as in my case, there certainly are times when extra nutrition, above and beyond the diet or the breast milk, is needed.