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Should I breastfeed if my diet’s lacking?
Q: I’m 28 weeks pregnant. My three other kids were bottle-fed and I want to breastfeed this one. The problem is, I don’t eat very well. I don’t take my vitamins because they make me sick. I have even tried chewable children’s vitamins, but I can’t take them. If I breastfeed, I worry that the baby won’t get enough of what he needs for his brain.
A: We make a big deal out of vitamin use during and after pregnancy. In reality, they’re a poor substitute for a well-balanced diet. As you have admitted, you don’t eat that well. Fortunately, your body makes allowances for your eating habits and stores essential nutrients like a miser. That benefits the baby, as does the increased level of immunity that comes from breast milk.

That’s why I would recommend nursing. Talk to your pediatrician about supplementing him with vitamins, and try to eat healthier. Include cereal fortified with vitamins in your diet – Total, for example.

Remember, prehistoric women didn’t have formula or vitamins. And yet, their children did fine. Your child will, too.