What You Need to Know About Vitamin D and Your Breastmilk
We have all been told how incredible our breastmilk is for our babies.We have talked about the benefits of breastmilk, how it is the optimal source of nutrition for our babies, newborns and infants. It’s an excellent source of nutrition for fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, antibodies, and most essential vitamins for growth and development.
However, breast milk typically contains an insufficient amount of vitamin D for exclusively and partially breastfed infants. This is why a vitamin D supplement is recommended to avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency. The vitamin D supplement should start the first few days of life and continue throughout childhood, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and it should be 400 IU per day.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important for bone health in both children and adults. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption.
The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. But, as research shows, there is a risk of skin cancer with too much sunlight exposure. Because we know it is important to protect our skin, we also prevent all of the necessary levels of vitamin D in our body.The winter season also limits vitamin D levels.
Basically, we need to find other natural ways to get adequate levels of vitamin D through natural dietary sources. This means a vitamin D supplement is recommended for infants and children because there is not enough passed through the mother’s breast milk.
It’s important to get your vitamins and take note of any behavioral changes. American Family Physician states that, “children with vitamin D deficiency may present with hypocalcemic seizures, growth failure, lethargy, irritability, and a predisposition to respiratory infections during infancy.” The loss of vitamin D can increase chances of bone weakness and bones being easily fractured.
Vitamin D Recommendations
According to American Family Physician,
Infants who are exclusively or partially breastfed should receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily, beginning in the first few days of life. Supplementation should continue until the infant is weaned to at least 1 qt (1 L) of vitamin D–fortified formula or whole milk per day. Infants who are not breastfed, as well as older children who drink less than 1 qt of vitamin D–fortified milk per day, should also receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D per day. Other dietary sources of vitamin D (e.g., fatty fish, fortified cereal, egg yolks) may be included in the daily intake.
Make sure to check with your doctor and pediatrician and ask if they have any certain supplemental recommendations. You can also take a multivitamin or vitamin D supplementation which can help enrich your breastmilk. Make sure to check with your doctor and pediatrician and ask if they have any certain supplemental recommendations. You can ask for blood work to reveal if any supplements are actually needed.
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