You already know that the best diet for a child up to six months of age is breast milk. Children should be given only breast milk and no other drink (barring drugs) till they are six months of age

Breast milk is indeed a complete nutrition package, but another fact is that some nutrients may not be present in adequate quantity in breast milk if the mother is deficient in them

These are listed below:

  • Vitamin D in breast milk: western guidelines (US and UK) recommend a vitamin D supplement of 200 IU for all infants, even the ones being breastfed. A similar supplement should be considered, in India, since a large percentage of Indians are found to be deficient in vitamin D, especially those with inadequate  exposure to sunlight (less than 10-30 minutes of sunlight on bare face, neck and arms everyday)
  • Vitamin B12 in breast milk: supplements should be considered, if the mother could be deficient because of being vegetarian or predominantly vegetarian and getting inadequate intake of milk, eggs and animal meat, which are the only sources of vitamin B12 in diet
  • Vitamin B1 and B6 : if the mother is deficient in vitamin B1 and B6 (deficiencies of which are common in India), she should get supplements so that the infant gets enough of these nutrients in breast milk
  • Iron: supplements are not needed till the child is on exclusive breast feed but the mother should get supplement

Deficiencies of all these nutrients are common in India, therefore you should consider these and discuss with your pediatrician

Other nutrients are present in enough quantities in breast milk even if mother has the deficiency, so no supplements are needed

CHECK OUT: Our references for care during breastfeeding