Can I Take Emergen C While Nursing (Explained)

When we take supplements, we do so intending to boost our immune system to fight against any impending illnesses that may occur due to an infection we may have contracted at one point of the day or the other.

What if we discover that these supplements instead of boosting our immune system can cause harm to not just our systems but that of our newborns?

This can be the case of some nursing mothers if care is not taken, which brings us to the question of Can I take Emergen C while nursing my baby? Read on to find out.

What is in Emergen-C?

Emergen C is a blend of different vitamins made into powder or tablets which can be dropped in a cup of water to dissolve for consumption.

It contains high quantities of vitamin C and other vitamins like zinc and vitamin B which are immune boosters to help combat any effects of viral or bacterial infection you may have contacted at some point in time.

In simple terms, it is a supplement that contains more vitamin C and other vitamins like B, zinc, other electrolytes like sodium and calcium, plant-based vitamins amongst others that can be taken as immune boosters.

What makes emergen C different from other supplements is its uniquely high vitamin C content which can be equated to a bag of oranges.

Some of the company’s products come with a note to indicate that it contains as much as 1000mg of vitamin C per serving and is highly potent and easily absorbable into your bloodstream.

It can be taken in times of a weak immune system but controlled amounts since vitamin C is known to cause some negative effects when consumed in excess.

Can I Take Emergen C While Nursing?

Yes, as a nursing mother, you can take Emergen C while nursing but you must take it in controlled amounts as prescribed by your doctor.

While it contains a high quantity of vitamin C, it is safe for a breastfeeding mother to consume.

Certain over-the-counter medications are not encouraged during breastfeeding, before you decide on what supplement to include in your diet, first check with your doctor to confirm that it will not pose any harm to your little one whose survival depends on you.

Do Emergen-C And Vitamin C Increase Milk Production?

The answer is yes, Emergen-C and Vitamin C can boost your milk production! High consumption of up to 1,000 mg or more of Vitamin C per day can cause an increase in your milk production.

However, this does not negatively affect your baby and should not be a reason to stop breastfeeding your little one.

Some supplements that contain high amounts of vitamin C can also lead to digestion issues and overproduction of breast milk amongst others, if you must take them, make sure to get a prescription and follow it accordingly.

When you begin noticing an increase in your milk supply, ensure that you’re emptying your breast milk often by nursing your baby.

Babies need those antioxidant properties as much as you to be able to fight off any infection or bacteria.

If you are worried about an overproduction or an infection, make sure you are hand expressing your breast to relieve any discomfort you may be experiencing.

During this period of overproduction of milk, try not to pump in addition to nursing as that can stimulate more breast milk, unless you are bottle-feeding your baby.

Although the side effects of taking much vitamin C are increased production of milk, diarrhea, kidney stones, and digestion issues, taking Emergen-C while nursing is not harmful so far as it is within the limits of dosage.

If you’re already battling with the overproduction of breast milk, regular intake of vitamin C is not advisable.

Read: How To Dry Up Breast Milk Naturally

Ingredients contained in Emergen C

It is good to know the contents of the supplements you’re consuming to get familiar with what you’re introducing into your system.

And as earlier noted, Emergen C is a mixture of a lot of vitamin C together with other vitamins and minerals which is made into powder or tablets.

So for every single tablet of Emergen C taken, here is a list of what it is made of

  • Vitamin
  • Vitamin B6 and B12
  • Zinc
  • Quercetin
  • Alpha Lipoic Acids (ALA)

How Safe Are The Individual Ingredients Found in Emergen C For Nursing Mothers?

As mentioned, Emergen C is a mixture of a lot of vitamin C together with other vitamins and minerals which is made into powder or tablets. But how safe are these individual ingredients for a nursing mother?

1. Vitamin C

Health professionals recommend that nursing moms take 120 mg of this every day.

However, in most cases, you can consume up to 1,000mg to boost milk production without worrying about health issues.

Additionally, some medical experts may recommend up to 2000mg if you are having issues with nourishments, which is also ok in such situations.

Keep in mind that consuming vitamin C in larger doses can harm your health, such as it can result in kidney stones, hence, it is advised you stay within the recommended dosage.

2. Vitamin Bs

Most Emergen C supplements always contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B9. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a great addition for nursing moms with a limited diet. It helps the body consume carbohydrates for energy use.

Lack of Vitamin B1 in the body could lead to tiredness, muscles weakness, and lack of appetite.

While there has not been enough research done on the effects of a high dosage of vitamin B1 from Emergen-C, consuming it in a larger dose could lead to excess thiamine in your breast milk.

Vitamin B2 also known as riboflavin helps the body with cellular respiration, which is a process by which food combines with oxygen.

When there is an insufficient level of these vitamins in the body it could lead to a deficiency in other nutrients since its job is to process them.

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B2 is 1.6 mg daily, with an allowance of 50 mg per serving. High consumption of this vitamin could result in side effects like yellow-orange urine.

In the case of vitamin B9 also known as folate, its recommended dietary allowance is 0.5mg with a daily limit of 1 mg for breastfeeding mothers. This is best recommended if you’re struggling with malnourishment.

3. Zinc

Zinc has recommended a dietary allowance of 12 mg per serving with a maximum limit of 40mg for breastfeeding mothers. The majority of Emergen-C supplements have about 2mg per serving.

As a nursing mother when you consume zinc in a higher dose, it could result in headaches, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of appetite.

4. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid also referred to as ALA, is naturally found in the body. It serves to protect the body cells from harm often referred to as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Alpha-lipoic acid is best taken with Vitamin C, which is one of the reasons why it is found in the Emergen C ingredients.

It is also considered safe to be taken by nursing mothers and shows the low risk for breastfeeding mothers.

You should always keep an eye on your breastfed baby and milk supply for any unusual side effects from any supplements, herbs, or medications you may be taking while nursing.

Interestingly, when ALA is combined with Omega-3, it shows to help postpartum perineal pain among postpartum mothers due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Quercetin

As a breastfeeding mom, when you consume Quercetin as part of your regular diet, it tends to pass through your milk to your baby.

The Quercetin content in Emergen-C is safe for breastfeeding moms. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid and one of its health benefits for nursing moms is that it helps the body’s immune system fight off viruses.

Always keep in mind not to take excessive of it, to be on the safer side consuming foods rich in quercetin like onions can help boost your body’s immune system.

Read: Can I Drink Flat Tummy Tea While Breastfeeding? 

How Much Emergen C Can I Take in a Day While Breastfeeding?

 

The amount of Emergen C to take in a day is dependent on the prescription given to you by your doctor who must have conducted a test on you to ascertain how much enough for your system is in a single day.

For immune-boosting purposes, it’s best advised to take up to one packet of Emergen-C twice per day while breastfeeding.

If you’re taking vitamin C tablets separately from other nutrients contained in Emergen C, you can take up to 3000mg a day, taking nothing more than 1000mg at a time while breastfeeding.

What Other Nutrients Can A Baby Get Through Breast Milk?

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, many of the nutrients contained in the food you consume are passed to the baby through the placenta and breast milk respectively.

This is why it is best advised to be careful with the type of food you consume during these times.

Here is a list of some of the other minerals and vitamins that a baby can get through breast milk.

  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Vitamins A, E, K, and D
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamins B6 and B12
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Thiamine
  • Selenium
  • Amino acids
  • Riboflavin
  • Lipids

Can I Take Emergen C While Pregnant?

As a pregnant woman or a nursing mother, it is only natural that the well-being of your baby matters to you so much that you want to ensure he/she is healthy at all costs.

Certain questions like can I take emergen C while nursing or pregnant may pop up in your conversation with a friend or your spouse. Things like dietary supplements can be tempting at this point.

And yes the vitamins are very much needed for your well-being also but consumption of any supplements should be as instructed by your doctor.

If otherwise, do not take any since your antenatal medications already contain some vitamin supplements.

Supplements like Emergen C are not encouraged during pregnancy due to the unclear results of its effects on pregnancy as conducted by WHO.

While it gave improved results in some women, it didn’t in others, making it difficult to conclude whether Emergen C can be taken during pregnancy or not.

Read Also: Breast Milk Coming Out Of Armpits (Explained)

Conclusion

Questions like Can I take Emergen C while nursing is quite common amongst first-time breastfeeding mothers or mothers who are newly introduced to any Emergen C products. While it is advisable to stay healthy, you cannot ignore the baby whose food comes from your body.

While you may want to badly get your immune system on and about with different dietary supplements to help it serve you better, you should always try to get your doctor’s input on the type of supplements you are going for especially if it is a “highly potent vitamin C” supplement like Emergen C that may lead to complications if abused.