Emergen-C During Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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If you find yourself starting to feel sick, you may be tempted to reach for Emergen-C Vitamin C supplementation to give your immune system a boost. However, is this a good idea if you are breastfeeding?

Emergen-C is safe to use during breastfeeding as long as you stick with just a packet a day. However, it is best to consult a physician before use. Additionally, the Emergen-C Energy Plus product line contains caffeine which should be limited while you are breastfeeding. 

Let’s dive into more details about consuming Emergen-C while nursing, including whether it impacts breast milk or milk supply. Read on!

Can I Take Emergen-C When Breastfeeding? Is it Safe?

Emergen-C is safe while breastfeeding when used in adequate amounts (about one packet a day). However, it is recommended to consult your physician before starting any dietary supplement.

Overall, the original recipe contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and vitamin C, which support immune health. 

Using Emergen-C products while breastfeeding is likely safe in normal dosages; however, you should consult your physician when taking any dietary supplement during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

woman drinking emergen-c

Additionally, since Emergen-C is considered a dietary supplement is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for safety or effectiveness before getting put on the grocery store or health food store shelves.

Therefore, exercise caution when taking a dietary supplement and always speak with your physician beforehand. In addition, the Emergen-C website recommends consulting a health professional before consuming the product if you are nursing. 

Furthermore, the Emergen-C Energy Plus line also contains 50 milligrams of caffeine per packet. While recommendations are more strict during pregnancy, with only 200 milligrams of caffeine permitted, breastfeeding women must limit their caffeine to 300 milligrams or less (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).

This number is the total caffeine consumption for the day, including coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and products, chocolate, and more. 

Therefore, if you choose to take Emergen-C Energy Plus while breastfeeding, make sure you are keeping track of the total amount of caffeine you consume each day to prevent any adverse effects on your breastfed infant. 

Does Emergen-C Affect Breast Milk or My Milk Supply? 

While Emergen-C in regular amounts is safe for breast milk, an excessive vitamin C intake (more than one packet of Emergen-C) can have a negative impact on your breast milk. 

It is recommended that breastfeeding women consume a daily dose of about 120 milligrams of vitamin C (source: Drugs and Lactation Database).

Smiling woman drinking a glass of emergen-c

However, while consuming up to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C does slightly increase milk levels, it is not considered to be a health concern for the breastfed baby. However, more than 1,000 milligrams have not been deemed safe for breastfeeding women.

It is important to note that one packet of Emergen-C contains 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and, therefore, should not be exceeded. Stick with one package a day to avoid going over 1,000 milligrams. 

In addition to being a source of vitamin C, it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals that can benefit breastfeeding women and their babies. 

Additionally, since Emergen-C is a fruit-flavored powder that is mixed into a cup of water, it can help encourage adequate hydration. One of the main factors in having an adequate breast milk supply is staying hydrated and drinking enough fluids (source: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center). 

In conclusion, I hope this article helped break down the information regarding whether you can take Emergen-C while you are breastfeeding.