OB-GYN (Obstetrician-Gynecologist) Questions OB-GYN

Supplements while breastfeeding?

I’ve been battling fatigue for a long time. I have trouble falling asleep at an appropriate time but when I do fall asleep I have no trouble staying asleep. With that being said I still feel tired and sore all day. It doesn’t matter if I get 6 hours or 9 hours. I never feel rested. Someone suggested trying CoQ10 with NADH but I’m breastfeeding my 6-month-old and of course, the bottle says don’t take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. I’m wondering if it would be safe to give it a try now or if I should wait until my baby is done breastfeeding. I don’t take any prescriptions nor do I have any other health issues.

Female | 31 years old
Complaint duration: Years
Medications: None
Conditions: None diagnosed

2 Answers

The causes of fatigue is really the question that you are asking here: and the answer has multiple possibilities. The obvious answer that may not be the correct answer is lack of quality sleep or adequate sleep cycles while breast-feeding your 6month old. The 2nd most common cause of fatigue is low Ferritin/low iron. Ferritin is the protein that carries iron and is the best way to check for iron. Most breast-feeding moms have this cause overlooked as they are told ‘you’re not having periods so you shouldn’t be low in iron’ but it overlooks the loss of blood at time of delivery that you may not have adequately had time or nutrition to rebuild your iron stores. Simply checking an Hgb/Hct or CBC may not be good enough; checking a ferritin level is the most accurate. If you are unable to get this checked or cannot make it into a lab to get a blooddraw, then start liquid iron 1 teaspoon daily as it will not cause constipation and will more quickly raise the ferritin count.

If poor sleep quality is happening, then the question to ask is would you be comfortable taking a melatonin or 5-HTP supplement or do you feel it would prevent you from hearing your baby in the middle of the night? Only you can answer this question.

If low female hormone or low Estradiol is the reason for poor sleep quality, this will not recover until you decide to stop breast-feeding. Moms who have resumption of periods during breast-feeding will at least make SOME Estradiol but the amount that you will make is low and usually inadequate to cover for low Estradiol production.

Lastly, do not underestimate the psychological impact or your mental health on your physical health; take a walk daily or do something just for you everyday; your mental health depends on it.
You need to get your thyroid checked and your blood count checked.


Dr. Janice Alexander, RN, MD