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Do Breastfed Babies Need Vitamin D Supplements

Not Getting Enough Vitamin D In Your Diet

Why does my breastfed baby need more vitamin D?

Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and egg yolks. However, its found naturally in very few foods.

For this reason, vitamin D is often added to certain foods and beverages, such as milk. This process is called fortification.

Even with fortified foods, many people still dont get enough vitamin D. Vegans or vegetarians are at a particularly high risk for a deficiency, as their diets may not include any fish, eggs, or milk.

What Supplements Do Babies Need

In most cases, children get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from the variety of foods they consume in their diet. There are, however, a handful of babies and children who may need supplements in order to make up for any vitamin deficiencies for a variety of reasons. Before making any hasty decisions to purchase or supplement with any particular vitamin, its important to get an expert opinion and check in with your pediatrician.

Vitamin D: An essential baby vitamin

While there are food sources of Vitamin D, its called the sunshine vitamin because its created by our bodies with exposure to sunlight . As most babies are protected by the sun with clothes and sunhats to prevent sunburn, they dont get the exposure they need. Additionally, with proper use, sunscreen blocks the UVB light needed for our bodies to create vitamin D, so the skin that does get exposed usually cant create adequate amounts. Beyond the use of sunscreen, if you live where theres less sun due to winter, places with higher pollution, areas with periods of prolonged sun exposure or if your baby has darker skin, they may not get the vitamin D they need.

Do formula-fed babies need to take supplements?

Do breastfed babies need to take supplements?

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How Do We Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D comes from different sources:

  • Sunlight: Vitamin D is formed naturally when skin is exposed to sunlight. Because Canada is located so far north, sunlight isnt enough at certain times of the year. Also, darker skin, sunscreen and clothing, which protect babies from the harmful effects of the sun, wont allow vitamin D to be formed.

  • Foods: In Canada, vitamin D is added to cows milk and margarine during production. Some plant-based beverages may have vitamin D added. Some foods fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout and whitefish, and egg yolksare also sources of vitamin D.

  • Vitamin supplement: For babies, it comes in liquid form and is given daily with a dropper. Its important to give your baby a supplement that is meant for babies. Read the instructions carefully to be sure you give your baby the right amount. If you are unsure, talk to your pharmacist.

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What Is Vitamin D And Why Do We Need It

Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. It can also be found naturally in foods such as fish and egg yolks. In the 1930s, the United States also started fortifying a lot of foods such as cereals and milk with vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, both of which are needed to help build strong, healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin D deficiency in children can lead to rickets, delayed motor development, muscle weakness, aches and pains and fractures.

When Can Babies Stop Getting Vitamin D Drops

How Much Vitamin D Does My Baby Need?

Once your baby is drinking one liter of formula or fortified whole milk every day, they are getting enough vitamin D without drops. For formula-fed infants this could be within a few months of life but for infants who are exclusively breast fed this is not until they reach 1 year of age and are able to start drinking fortified whole milk. Ask your pediatrician when to stop giving your child vitamin D drops.

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Recommendations For Vitamin D

Babies who are exclusively formula-fed with an infant formula that contains vitamin D do not need additional vitamin D supplements.

To prevent vitamin D deficiency and bone problems, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a supplement for all breastfed babies. Starting on the first day of life, vitamin D is given in liquid drops. The recommended dose is 400 IU a day.

Studies show that people who are nursing and who supplement with 6400 IU/day of vitamin D can safely produce breast milk with enough vitamin D to satisfy their baby’s requirement. This is a good alternative for people who do not want to supplement their babies directly.

How Much Vitamin D Does Your Baby Need

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants get at least 400 IU of vitamin D supplementation per day. Infants who are formula fed will usually meet this recommendation. However, if your child is being exclusively breastfed, or even partially breastfed, they may not be getting enough vitamin D. You can purchase vitamin D drops from nearly any pharmacy or grocery store. Drops should be given on a daily basis for babies who are breastfed.

Your childs doctor might ask you to supplement your breastfed babys diet with vitamin D drops. These drops can help protect your child against rickets and sure up their bone health. In addition to the drops, you can ensure your child is getting enough vitamin D by getting enough vitamin D yourself. You can also expose your baby to sunlight in short amounts of sunlight daily. Just be careful not to keep your baby in the sun for too long.

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What Happens If You Dont Take Dha During Pregnancy

If you dont take a DHA supplement or consume food with DHA, you might be wondering if a deficiency can harm your growing baby. Although the research is limited, its suggested that an inadequate DHA in gestation may compromise fetal development, but not as much is known about the long-term consequences.

Can Babies Get Vitamin D From Sunlight

Do breast fed babies need vitamin supplement?- Dr. Jyothi Raghuram

Our bodies make vitamin D when were exposed to the sun. So can you just spend time outside with your baby and skip the supplement?

UV rays from the sun are damaging to the skin at any age, says Dr. Liermann. Its better to take the supplement than to risk skin damage from the sun. When your baby is outside, cover them with a hat, clothing, or a shade over their stroller or baby carrier. Once theyre 6 months old, you can use sunscreen, but you should still keep them out of the sun as much as possible.

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Study Population And Randomization

The study participants were recruited from healthy full-term infants and their mothers who attended the well-baby clinic at Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute for a routine 2-month infant checkup and immunization. To be eligible, the infants were required to be 6 to 12weeks old when they entered the study. Only mothers who performed exclusive breastfeeding and had an intention to continue exclusive breastfeeding until the infants were 6months old were approached for their consent to participate in the trial. The exclusion criteria were premature infants with a gestational age of < 37weeks at birth, infants with a congenital anomaly, introduction of infant formula and/or complementary foods before 6months of age, and participant withdrawal. After the mothers had provided informed consent, the infants were randomized into two groups: the control group and the intervention group. Randomization was performed using opaque, sealed, sequentially numbered envelopes opened after informed consent. Each envelope contained a computer-generated block of four intervention order randomization assignments. An enrollment log was kept to ensure all envelopes were accounted for and used in the correct order.

When Should Babies Start Taking Vitamins

When your baby reaches 4, 6 months of age, as he or she gradually transforms from a liquid diet to a liquid diet containing more and more solid foods, his or her doctor could recommend that he or she supplement vitamin intake. Its not advisable for babies who eat a number of foods for most of their lives to acquire them, though there are some exceptions to this rule.

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Vitamin D And Sunlight

Children need sunlight on their skin for their bodies to make vitamin D. They get about 80% of their vitamin D this way.

Scientists arent sure exactly how much sun Australian children need for good levels of vitamin D. But we do know that the amount of sun your child needs depends on where you live in Australia and the time of year.

It also depends a bit on your skin colour. People with naturally very dark skin need 3-6 times more sun to make vitamin D than the amount fair-skinned people need.

Benefits Of Vitamin D For Babies

do breastfed babies need vitamin d supplements?

As a parent, you want to make sure your little one is getting proper nourishment and nutrition. That includes vitamin D, a very important nutrient for babies. As breast milk alone doesnât provide enough vitamin D for babies, breastfed infants and those who are partially breastfed will need vitamin D supplementation to help boost immunity, build healthy and strong bones, and prevent diseases like rickets. Weâve got all the details on the benefits of vitamin D for babies and how much your newborn needs.

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Other Important Supplements To Ask Your Pediatrician About

There are a variety of other vitamins and supplements that your baby may need to grow up strong and healthy. As you transition to solid foods, picky eaters may also need supplementation. Track your babys diet over a few weeks to bring to your doctor so they can appropriately assess and figure out what your little one needs.

Does my baby need to take calcium supplements?

On the topic of vitamin D and stronger bones, youve probably heard that

Do babies need iron supplements?

While babies are born with enough

As your little one grows and begins eating solid foods, consult with your doctor about how long to keep up this supplementation. You can find iron in beans, lean meats, spinach, eggs and dried fruits. Cereals and some pastas are also fortified with iron, as are some snacks like granola bars or crackers. Check the nutrition label as those amounts vary per product. Consider incorporating these food choices into your childs diet as they transition to solid foods.

Do babies need to take vitamin B12?

Does my baby need a vitamin C supplement?

Do babies need to take vitamin A supplements?

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Foods High In Vitamin D

Unfortunately, not many foods are naturally high in vitamin D. The best source of naturally occurring vitamin D is fatty fish like salmon or tuna. Other foods that have a small amount are whole eggs, cheese, beef liver, and mushrooms. But fortunately, many foods in the U.S. have been fortified with vitamin D, including:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Infant formula

Vitamin D fortification is usually voluntary and will vary from brand to brand so always read a nutrition facts label to make sure.

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Why Babies Need Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps us to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Our bodies can make vitamin D from the sun. But babies cannot safely get the vitamin D they need from the sun.

Your baby needs vitamin D because:

  • their skin is very sensitive to the sun and should not be in direct sunlight
  • their food may not have enough vitamin D in it
  • between 0 to 12 months babies grow very quickly and have a greater need for vitamin D to form strong bones

Research shows that vitamin D plays an important role in helping the immune system. It may help prevent diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, MS and some forms of cancer.

African, Afro-Caribbean, Middle-Eastern or Indian parents are more likely to have babies with low levels of vitamin D.

How Can I Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency In My Baby

My 5 month old is only breastfed. Should I also give him vitamin D and iron supplements?

If youre pregnant, make sure that youre keeping your own vitamin D levels up. An infants vitamin D levels depend on the amount of vitamin D they received from their mother in the womb as well as the amount of vitamin D they ingest and process during exposure to ultraviolet light. When a woman has very severe vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, her baby can have signs of rickets at birth or during the first three months of life.

Because all infant formulas in the United States contain at least 400 international units of vitamin D, formula-fed babies do not need vitamin D supplements. However, the diet of exclusively breastfed infants and partially formula-fed infants does not provide the recommended intake of vitamin D, so it is important that all breastfed infants receive vitamin D supplements.

Once your baby has started eating solid foods, they can start getting vitamin D from fortified foods like breads, cereals and milk.

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How Fast To Push Iv Vitamin Therapy

Push IV therapy is faster, taking approximately 15 minutes, whereas IV drip therapy can range from 30 to 180 minutes. Not all vitamin infusions are available as an IV push, however. Some vitamins, nutrients, and medications need to be administered more slowly to mitigate side effects, such as nausea or lightheadedness.

Why Do Breastfeed Babies Need Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for your babys development, so if their diet doesnt provide them with enough of this vitamin, chances are that you will have to give them supplements.

In the first six months of life, vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins. Your baby will go through a lot of developmental stages during this time, and their diet needs to support all that.

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Can You Give A Baby Too Much Vitamin D

Excess vitamin D can actually lead to extremely high blood calcium levels, which can then cause nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, abdominal pain, muscle weakness/pain, confusion, fatigue and even kidney damage.

When giving your baby vitamin D, make sure you do not exceed more than the recommended amount.

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency In Babies

Giving Vitamin D To Breastfed Babies

Because breastmilk does not contain a lot of vitamin D, the main reasons for vitamin D deficiency in babies are prolonged breastfeeding without vitamin D supplementation and avoidance of sun exposure.

Naturally darker skin is an additional risk factor for vitamin D deficiency in breastfed infants because darker-skinned individuals produce less vitamin D in response to sunlight, causing the vitamin D concentration in their breastmilk to be lower than that of lighter-skinned individuals.

Vitamin D deficiency can also be caused by prior conditions such as cystic fibrosis or other disorders of exocrine pancreatic function, gastrectomy or extensive bowel surgery, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other malabsorptive conditions.

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Mixing Formula With Breast Milk

Mixing formula with breast milk in the same container is one way of supplementing breast milk. You may want to supplement your breast milk with infant formula if your milk supply is low or when you are physically separated from your infant.3

Supplementing your breast milk with formula, however, may not be nutritionally the same as giving breast milk.4 Discuss the practice with your infants health care provider before starting to mix formula with your breast milk.

Does My Breastfed Baby Need Vitamin D

by thebirthcenter | Apr 15, 2021 | Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum, and Motherhood |

As mothers, we are told that our breast milk is the perfect food for our baby and contains everything that he or she needs, so we are left puzzled when our pediatrician recommends a vitamin D supplement. Why does the American Academy of Pediatrics consider breast milk the optimal source of infant nutrition if it doesnt have enough vitamin D? Is breast milk really lacking this essential nutrient?

The answer is mixed. As humans, one of the most common ways that we get vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. In order to do this, we require direct sunlight exposure without sunscreen. Since direct sun exposure puts us at risk for skin cancer, mothers are advised to limit their babys sun exposure as much as possible, especially without sunscreen. This means that since most babies cannot safely get enough exposure to sunlight, they need another way to get vitamin D. Humans can also get vitamin D through dietary sources and supplements. Many foods such as milk and cereal are fortified with vitamin D and most multi-vitamins contain vitamin D. Still, it is believed that many mothers are not receiving enough vitamin D through their diets to make up for the lack of sun exposure. This leaves very little vitamin D to be passed through to breast milk.

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What Should I Look For When Buying A Vitamin D Supplement

A single vitamin D3 supplement in a liquid format is recommended. Some supplements require you to place a drop of vitamin D on the breast and others need you to fill a dropper to 400 IU and place it in your babys mouth. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully and only use the dropper that comes with the vitamin D supplement purchased.

Specific Groups At Increased Risk

Breast feeding and vitamin D | Why breastfed babies need vitamin D | How much vitamin D babies need?

Some mother and infant groups have been shown to be at increased risk, including:

  • Babies of mothers with darker skin types
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Babies born in the winter months and not exposed to the sun
  • Babies and mothers who wear concealing clothing, preventing skin exposure to sunlight
  • Babies and mothers who spend a lot of time indoors or use sun creams, reducing exposure to sunlight
  • Babies of obese mothers
  • Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes.

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