Should Pregnant Women Take Vitamin D Supplements
How much vitamin D you get while youre pregnant will affect how much vitamin D your baby has at birth. A baby born to a mother who is vitamin D deficient is more likely to also have a deficiency.
You are more likely to be vitamin D deficient if:
- you dont use products like milk and margarine, which in Canada are fortified with vitamin D.
- you don’t have much exposure to the sun.
- your skin is covered with clothing or sunscreen much of the time.
- you have darker skin.
- you live in a northern community .
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether a supplement of up to 2000 IU/day is right for you.
Ways We Get Vitamin D
You and your baby can get vitamin D from a number of sources. One of the most common ways we get vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight. As you spend time in the sun, your body produces vitamin D. Throughout history, sunlight is a main way humans have gotten their vitamin D. Today you can also get vitamin D through the things you eat, or through supplements. Many foods like milk or cereal are fortified with vitamin D.
I Forgot To Give My Infant A Vitamin D Drops
Its okay if you forget most days, or you didnt know to supplement your baby. Sometimes a complicated birth experience can leave you worrying about other things. Again, it is okay!
Start now. Offer a supplement today to your baby and continue to give it daily.
Vitamin D is essential in calcium absorption and metabolism. Vitamin D deficient infants can develop problems that are difficult to reverse.
Examples include: weak tooth enamel, fragile bones, slow growth, and a delay in closing of the soft spot on the head, etc.
So, sometimes forgetting to offer vitamin D drops isnt the end of the world. But these points highlight the importance of vitamin D recommendations!
Some folks , swear that they didnt give vitamin D drops to their infants. Heck, they all grew up fine, right?
Well, nutrition science has since evolved, so why not reap the benefits?
Here are suggestions to help you remember to give the supplement to your baby:
- Keep the vitamin D drops bottle near your nursing station
- Place the vitamin D drops bottle near your own medication that you take daily
- Put the vitamin D drops near your coffee machine or anything that you use daily
- Use an alarm or a daily reminder in your calendar, nothing like a beeping phone to keep you on top of it!
- Buy more than one bottle of infant vitamin D drops so you have easy access in your favourite nursing spots
The challenging part is to remember to give the supplement to baby everyday!
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Do Breastfed Babies Need Supplements
If your baby is exclusively or partially breastfed: He or she receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily, beginning in the first few days of life. Supplementation should continue until he or she is weaned to at least 1 qt of whole milk per day. Whole milk should not be used until after 12 months of age.
Vitamin D Supplements: What Parents Should Know
Getting enough vitamin D is essential so kids bones can grow strong and their immune systems can ward off illness.
Vitamin D gets into the body through absorption of sunlight and ingestion of food. From April through the end of October, spending just 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day with hands and face exposed will stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D your child needs. In fact, on a sunny summer day, a child wearing a bathing suit can generate 10,000 to 20,000 international units of vitamin D after 15 to 30 minutes. In a neat biological trick, a persons body cant overdose on vitamin D created by the sun.
Foods such as salmon, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin D. Many kids dont seem to love these vitamin D superfoods, so luckily store-bought milk is often fortified with vitamin D, as are many cereals and even orange juice. Not all dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, however, so make sure to read the labels.
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Why Is It Necessary To Give Vitamin D Supplements To My Breastfeeding Baby
Doesnt human milk have all the essential nutrients for babies? The AAP recommends breastfeeding of infants for at least 12 months and for as long thereafter as the mother and infant desire. However, human milk does not contain enough vitamin D to prevent rickets. Sunlight is the usual source of vitamin D production in the skin.
Is There Any Test To Check The Babys Vitamin D Levels
Yes. If your doctor suspects that the baby has low levels of vitamin D, then they can check it through a blood test .
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, muscles, and the circulatory system. It is also crucial for keeping the babys immune system in top-notch condition. While vitamin D is always available through sunlight, we cannot expose infants to sunlight for long due to the risk of sunburns.
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Can You Raise Vitamin D Levels In Breast Milk
What if a breastfeeding mom takes vitamin D? Does that change levels in her breast milk?
One study found that mothers could safely supplement 6400 IU/day and adequately supply their breast milk to satisfy the infant requirement, says Dr. Liermann. But mothers should discuss with their pediatrician to determine if this is the right option for them.
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 Dosing Errors Happen
Liquid vitamin D comes in different doses and strengths ranging from 5,000 units per 5 drops to 400 units per drop to 400 units per 1mL. The higher doses are intended for older children and adults the lower doses are for infants and young children. Mistakes can happen if parents accidentally purchase the concentrated, higher doses of the adult vitamin D liquid and give it to their infants.
This mistake happened just a few weeks ago. A mother unknowingly purchased the concentrated adult vitamin D supplement for her infant. The infants doctor had told the mother to give 1 mL of a vitamin D supplement to her child daily. The doctor did not tell the mother which brand of vitamin D drops to buy. He assumed she would purchase a commonly used Enfamil brand supplement, D-Vi Sol, which contains 400 units of vitamin D per 1 mL . The error was noticed several weeks later during a follow-up office visit after the infants mother showed the doctor the vitamin D supplement she was using. The infant had received at least 40,000 units of vitamin D per day because she gave the child a full dropper of the adult supplement! Fortunately, the infant was not harmed although the amount of vitamin D in her blood was very high.
Sunshine Vitamin: Can My Baby Produce Vitamin D If Exposed To The Sun
Our bodies are able to produce vitamin D with exposure to the UVB rays of the sun. But it is not recommended to expose young infants to the sun because their skin is thin and fragile.
Applying sunscreen to infants that young isnt recommended either. Yes, even though it protects against UVB rays.
Instead, stick to vitamin D drops for infants to ensure your baby gets enough daily.
Vitamin D supplementation is a safer strategy than exposing infants to the sun
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Breastfed Babies Still Need Extra Vitamin D
By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
– Many breastfed infants may not get enough vitamin D because their mothers prefer not to give babies supplement drops, a study suggests.
Pediatricians recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants until at least six months of age because it can reduce babies risk of ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, allergies, childhood obesity and diabetes.
Because breast milk typically doesnt contain enough vitamin D to help infants develop healthy bones, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises nursing mothers to give their babies daily supplements of 400 IU of vitamin D. As an alternative, women can take vitamin D supplements themselves typically 4,000 to 6,000 IU daily to give babies enough in breast milk so that drops arent needed.
The research team surveyed 184 breastfeeding mothers, including 44 mothers who also gave their babies formula in addition to breast milk.
Altogether, just 55 percent of the women said they gave their babies vitamin D drops and only 42 percent supplemented with the recommended 400 IU.
Many mothers were not aware of the need for vitamin D supplementation or their physician had not recommended supplementation, said senior study author Dr. Tom Thacher, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Women who didnt give babies vitamin D most often cited safety concerns, the survey found.
SOURCE: bit.ly/2jfiYBJ Annals of Family Medicine, online January 9, 2017.
Study: Many New Moms Babies Deficient
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vitamin D supplementation of 400 IU for all breastfed babies and those who are drinking less than 1 liter a day of formula.
But pediatrician Frank R. Greer, MD, who headed the committee that came up with the new guidelines, says pediatricians are not selling the message to new parents.
I am frankly surprised that more pediatricians are not recommending supplementation, especially to new moms who are breastfeeding, he says.
The CDC study appears in the April issue of Pediatrics, along with another study, which finds a high rate of vitamin D deficiency among new mothers and their babies living in Boston.
Overall, more than half of the infants and more than a third of the mothers were considered vitamin D deficient. More than a third of the infants and a fifth of the mothers were considered severely deficient.
Study researcher Anne Merewood, MPH, says she was most surprised by the high rate of deficiency among the moms.
Many of these women were taking prenatal vitamins, but this did not ensure that they had adequate vitamin D levels, she says.
Merewood points out that supplementation may be especially important for darker-skinned people who absorb less light from the sun and for lighter skinned people who have little exposure to the sun.
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Why Children And Adults Need Vitamin D
Children need vitamin D for bone growth and development. So do babies developing in the womb. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium.
Serious vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, delayed motor development, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and fractures.
If women dont get enough vitamin D during pregnancy, their children are at greater risk of developing rickets later in childhood. This risk is reduced if children get enough vitamin D after birth.
Babies Need A Vitamin D Boost
Because a typical mothers breast milk does not give her baby enough vitamin D, breastfed babies need vitamin D supplementation. Either the baby can be given drops of 400 IU a day directly or the mother can take 5,000 IU a day , which will fortify her milk with enough vitamin D for the baby. We call this super milk!
Although all standard infant formulas are fortified with vitamin D, vitamin D supplementation is also recommended for formula-fed babies. A baby would need to drink a quart of formula each day to get the recommended amount of vitamin D, Dr. Levine says, and young infants may not take in that much. Consult with your babys pediatrician or healthcare provider to make sure they are getting all the vitamin D they need.
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How To Give Your Baby Vitamin D Drops
Administering our organic vitamin D drops to your little one is as simple as its list of ingredients. Before removing the cap, tip the bottle upside down. Mix a single drop in with your babys food, milk or formula, or place a drop on the nipple of a bottle or pacifier. Thats it once you have done that, store the bottle in a dry, cool place until the next day.
Vitamin D is essential to your infants growth and development and his or her overall health. To ensure your little one receives the nutrients necessary to thrive, supplement his or her diet with Wellements Organic Vitamin D Drops.
Why Is Vitamin D Important For Babies
Vitamin D is crucial for the health of your babys bones and teeth. Severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to a brittle bone disease called rickets, says Dr. Liermann. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and utilize it to form and strengthen bones. Without vitamin D, a child is more prone to fractures and growth problems.
The body also needs vitamin D for brain development and immune system health. Vitamin D is necessary for so many functions, and its hard to get enough without a supplement, says Dr. Liermann.
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How Prevalent Is Vitamin D Deficiency For Young Children
In the US alone, 60% of children have a Vit D deficiency year around. It doesnt matter what time of year it is or the season. Kids are still at risk of deficiency. In the summer months, the sun will help production and synthesis on a small scale.
Furthermore, lacking the sunshine vitamin can cause brittle bones that fracture far more easily in kids.
The problem is deeply widespread due to the symptoms that are experienced being so subtle. Parents dont even notice the signs their kids are experiencing.
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.
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Vitamin D And Infant Health
Vitamin D is just as important for babies and toddlers as for adults. The NIH recommends a daily intake of 400 IU for infants 0 to 12 months old and 600 IU for children age one to 13 years. Researchers point out that human milk alone doesn’t provide enough vitamin D. Therefore, breastfed infants are more likely to become deficient in this nutrient.
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A one-year study published in the Korean Journal of Pediatrics in May 2013 assessed the vitamin D status in 117 infants. More than 90 percent of breastfed infantswere deficient in vitamin D. Female infants seem to be at greater risk. Dietary supplements, such as baby vitamin D drops, may help prevent deficiencies and ensure that your child is developing properly.
According to the World Health Organization, children are born with low vitamin D levels in the bloodstream. Medical professionals recommend supplementing with vitamin D for breastfed babies to prevent rickets, a disorder that causes children’s bones to become weak and soft. This condition is more common in babies, ages 6 to 24 months, leading to bone pain, muscle cramps, impaired growth, skeletal deformities and fractures.
How Much Vitamin D Does My Child Need
Vitamin D is measured in international units .
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. If your baby drinks only breast milk or gets less than 32 ounces of formula each day, ask your health care provider about giving your baby a vitamin D supplement.
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day. Health care providers often want healthy kids to take 600 to 1,000 IU daily.
Some kids might need more vitamin D, such as those who:
- have certain medical problems
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