Fat & Fatty Acids: Dha For The Developing Brain
About 50% of the calories in breast milk and infant formulas come from fat. All baby formulas contain a blend of different fats and oils that provide essential fatty acids for normal brain and eye development.
- Similac formula Has No Palm Olein Oil
- Palm olein oil is often the first fat listed on the ingredient labels of other leading infant formulas. Palm olein oil binds to calcium in the intestine, making it difficult for calcium to be absorbed into your babys body. This makes it difficult for calcium to be absorbed into your babys body.
Similac does not use palm olein oil, which means our formulas support excellent calcium absorption for strong bones.
What Other Conditions Are Associated With A Deficiency
Since the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency has been increasing, its role in health and disease has been a focus of much research. Vitamin D deficiency has been proven to cause osteoporosis.
A variety of other conditions are suspected of being linked to vitamin D deficiency, but research is ongoing. These conditions include:
How To Get Vitamin D
A unique attribute of Vitamin D is your bodys ability to create this vitamin when your skin is exposed to the sun. All other vitamins are dependent on the type of foods you eat or the supplements you take Vitamin D is the only vitamin your body can make itself. While some foods do contain Vitamin D, your body needs exposure to sunlight to create enough of this important vitamin. However, when it comes to our little babies, exposure to sunlight can be a bit complicated.
Because of the high risk of sunburn and possible skin cancer development later in life, protective clothing and sunscreen is always recommended for children. While these protective tools are absolutely important, they block the ultraviolet rays that help the skin to produce Vitamin D. Additionally, particularly in cold climates or in very warm climates , children often do not spend enough time in the sun to adequately make enough Vitamin D. We also know that living in urban areas with tall buildings and increased air pollution can block the sun. Finally, people with darker pigmentation require more sun exposure to create enough Vitamin D.
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How Much Vitamin D Do Babies Need
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a daily intake of 400 IU for babies. Most infant vitamin D supplements contain this amount in one dose. But the dose could be different, depending on which brand of drops you buy.
Some supplements have 400 IU in one drop, but others have 400 IU in a dropperful, says Dr. Liermann. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure it says its for infants. Follow the dosing instructions carefully. If you dont know which kind to use, ask your childs pediatrician.
Risks Of Low Vitamin D Levels
In severe cases, low-levels of vitamin D can cause rickets or osteomalacia in children.
Rickets is a condition that leads to soft bones. It can cause severe bone deformities such as bowed legs and spine curves.
Rickets in adults is known as osteomalacia or soft bones. This can cause frequent bone fractures, muscle weakness and bone pain.
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Health Benefits Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential to your newborns health. Babies who dont get enough vitamin D can develop Rickets. Rickets is a disease that softens your bones. Young children who dont have enough vitamin D can end up with bowed legs as they grow, delays in crawling and walking, and soft skulls. In recent years, rickets has become more and more of a problem in young children. Doctors are trying to combat this by recommending vitamin D drops.
Key Vitamins For Babies
Similac formulas have vitamins babies need to regulate the processes in their bodies. Here are some vitamins listed below and how they support your babys growth:
- Vitamin E Found in breast milk and supports developing cells
- Vitamin D Functions as a hormone and is essential for maintaining strong bones and healthy muscle
- Vitamin A Supports vision, growth, cell division, and immunity
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Do A Mother’s Prenatal Vitamins Have Enough Vitamin D For Babies
Nursing moms should keep taking their prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding, but the supplement doesn’t contain enough vitamin D to meet your babys needs. Thats why breastfed babies need vitamin D drops until theyre able to get enough through their own diets. The typical prenatal vitamin only contains 600 IUs, which isnt nearly enough to cover both Mom and baby.
That said, moms who supplement with 4,000 IUs of vitamin D daily have breast milk that will typically contain 400 IUs per liter or 32 ounces. But since newborn babies are unlikely to take a full feeding of breast milk, you’ll need to give them a vitamin D supplement at least at first to ensure that your baby is getting enough until she takes a full feeding.
Though that’s not a practice new moms generally follow, most experts say it’s safe. But always check with your pediatrician and OB/GYN to make sure what you’re doing is enough for your child.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Plan Wisely For Your Baby
You want your baby to get the nutrition they need to grow up strong and healthy. Today, most women breastfeed their babies. Breastfeeding is important and gives your baby just the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Breastfeeding provides antibodies and other immune factors. These help protect against infections and disease.
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Avoiding The Sun Or Using Sunscreen
While getting more sunlight can be beneficial for vitamin D, many people today are avoiding too much sunlight exposure or using sunscreen. This is because of the increased risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One type, known as melanoma, can be fatal.
Most cases of skin cancer are caused by exposure to UV light from the sun. High exposure to sunlight also leads to skin aging.
How Much Vitamin D Should My Baby Receive
- Babies who are breastfed should get 400 IU per day. If they have one or more risk factors listed above , they require an additional 400 IU/day.
- Babies in northern communities or who have other risk factors should get 800 IU per day, year-round.
If you arent sure about the right amount to give your baby, talk to your health care provider.
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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.
When Can Babies Stop Getting Vitamin D Drops
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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How Much Vitamin D Do Toddlers Need
As your little one transitions to toddlerhood and solids become their primary source of nutrition, maintaining a balanced diet will become extra important as every food you offer can help their development. Specifically, children 12 to 24 months old need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. As you likely know, most of the foods high in vitamin D may not be all that appealing to a fussy toddler, so you may want to consider a toddler formula or nutritional drink to boost the amount of vitamin D, as well as other nutrients their diet may be lacking.
Vitamin D Your Baby And You
It is a known fact that human milk is the superior infant food. Human milk is the most complete nutritionally, immunologically, and is the only food designed specifically for your baby. Given that it is expected to be perfect, you may be confused about why your babys doctor is encouraging you to give your breastfed baby vitamin D supplements.
In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics amended its recommendation regarding vitamin D supplementation of infants and children. The current recommendation reads:
A supplement of 400 IU/day of vitamin D should begin within the first few days of life and continue throughout childhood. Any breastfeeding infant, regardless of whether he or she is being supplemented with formula, should be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D. :1142-52)
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is a key nutrient in the maintenance of bone health in children and adults. Because vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the body, vitamin D deficiency is marked by such conditions as rickets , osteomalacia , and can lead to osteoporosis if left unchecked longterm. While researchers are still working to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between low levels of vitamin D and other health issues, anecdotal and epidemiological correlations have been found between vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency and the following:
I spend a lot of time outside. Surely Im not deficient in vitamin D.
Should I supplement my breastfed baby with vitamin D?
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Food Sources Of Vitamin D
Not all foods are a good source of vitamin D. The table below provides a list of the some common Canadian dietary sources of vitamin D.
Food International Units of Vitamin D
- Egg yolk, 1 unit 25 IU
- All cows milk , 250 mL* 88 IU
- Infant formula , 250 mL 100 IU
- Salmon, cooked, 1 oz 103 IU
*Cows milk is not recommended before 9-12 months of age. Value obtained from average vitamin D content of 3.3%, 2% and 1% cows milk.
Does My Breastfed Baby Need Vitamin D Drops
Question: My baby just went for her two month checkup. I am exclusively breastfeeding her, and she is healthy and gaining weight well. My pediatrician told me to give her Vitamin D drops every day, and Im wondering if thats necessary. Why would she need anything besides my breast milk?
Answer: Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin produced by exposure to sunlight. For the majority of babies, human milk contains all the Vitamin D they need, as long as the mom gets enough in her diet during her pregnancy. Most babies get enough Vitamin D before birth to last them for several months after theyre born. If the mom doesnt have enough Vitamin D, her baby will need to get it from sunlight or dietary supplements. Premature babies have fewer fetal stores of vitamins, so they may need additional supplementation.
Other than sunlight, the babys main source of Vitamin D is the stores that were laid down in his body before birth. Most well nourished mothers who eat a varied diet including dairy products fortified with Vitamin D, take vitamin pills, and have some exposure to sunlight will have plenty of Vitamin D to pass on to their babies.
it doesnt take much sunlight to moms and babies to get the Vitamin D they need.Just getting in and out of the car or going for occasional walk can provide all the sunlight necessary. The body can store Vitamin D from sun exposure for months, so its not necessary to go for walks every day, or spend lots of time in the sun.
Anne Smith, IBCLC
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What Causes A Deficiency In Vitamin D
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. The exact amount of sunlight people need to make enough vitamin D depends on their skin color, the time of day theyre outside, and the time of the year.
When ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin, it triggers your body to synthesize vitamin D. Once in your body, vitamin D needs to be activated through a process known as hydroxylation.
A vitamin D deficiency is usually caused by not getting enough sunlight.
Pregnant or nursing mothers dont usually get enough vitamin D to provide for both themselves and their babies. This is why babies who are exclusively breastfed are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. Breast milk contains very little vitamin D.
If I Am Breastfeeding And I Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin D Do I Still Need To Give My Baby A Supplement
Yes. Although some foods are good sources of vitamin D, they wont provide enough vitamin D to enrich your breast milk to the level your baby needs.
If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about whether a supplement of up to 2000 IU/day is right for you. If it is, this will help your baby maintain a healthy vitamin D level.
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Biological Behavioural And Contextual Rationale
Hope Alberta WeilerMcGill UniversityJuly 2017
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in two forms, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol which is the mammalian form and vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol which is the fungal form . From a nutritional perspective both forms are metabolized similarly . At birth, human infants have a limited amount of vitamin D stores that primarily reflect transfer from the mother during pregnancy . After birth, vitamin D can be obtained by the infant through mothers milk , and through supplements . Vitamin D can also be made in the infants skin when exposed to ultraviolet beta solar radiation . However, at latitudes greater than 37 degrees north or south the beta radiation is too low to enable vitamin D production during the late fall to early spring months. In addition, melanin pigmentation of the skin absorbs beta radiation and thus it limits the ability to make vitamin D for those with darker skin . Parents are advised to limit their infants exposure to ultraviolet solar radiation by use of hats, swaddling in blankets and avoidance of direct exposure to sunlight . This means that even though vitamin D can be made in the skin in some regions and seasons, the limited exposure of infants to sunshine renders this source to be minimal. Therefore, the main sources of vitamin D for the infant include vitamin D obtained from the mother during pregnancy and after birth from diet and supplements.
New Vitamin D Recommendation Information For New Parents
Throughout life, vitamin D is essential for keeping boneshealthy. In Scotland, we only get enough sunlight to make vitamin Dduring the summer months . It is now recommended that everyone in the UK should take a vitaminD supplement daily, particularly during the winter months .
Why should we give babies vitamin D drops?
A new-born baby’s vitamin D level depends on their mother’slevel during pregnancy. It will be higher if she has taken avitamin D supplement during pregnancy. Most of us are able makevitamin D in the summer sunlight but living and working indoors andusing sun creams makes this less likely. Babies are also kept inthe shade to protect them from sunburn. Some mothers and babieshave a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency including those who wearconcealing clothing, those with darker skin types and babies whosemothers are overweight and/or diabetic.
The main UK expert committee onnutrition has recently reviewed the research evidence on vitamin D.Based on their advice, the Scottish Government has updated therecommendations for new-born babies as follows:
- As a precaution, breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age should also be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10g vitamin D per day.
- Babies who are formula fed do not require a vitamin D supplement if they are having at least 500ml/day, as infant formula already has added vitamin D.
Is breast milk low in vitamin D?
How do I give my baby vitamin D?
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Do Infants Get Enough Vitamin D From Breast Milk
Breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D. Shortly after birth, most infants will need an additional source of vitamin D.
To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and partially breastfed infants be supplemented with 400 IU per day of vitamin D beginning in the first few days of life. Families who do not wish to provide a supplement directly to their infant should discuss with a healthcare provider the risks and benefits of maternal high dose supplementation options.