Vitamin D for breastfed babies?

Shannon - posted on 11/28/2008 ( 14 moms have responded )

85

7

21

Has anyone heard of this Vit. D for breastfed babies as a sort of supplement? Apparently the experts are saying that some children are at risk of vit. D deficiency and therefore at risk for Ricketts. They are currently suggesting that all breastfed babies receive vit. D in addition to their breastmilk. It just seems odd to me that breastmilk wouldn't supply ALL of the needs for your baby. I don't have a breastfeeding child right now, but I may again someday in the future, and I was just wondering what everyone thought. I've breastfed all of my children, and we've never had any problems, so where are all of these cases of Ricketts coming from?

14 Comments

View replies by

Annie - posted on 02/26/2014

3

0

0

Research the ingredients in the vitamin d supplements some have food color addictives etc. I've chosen a more organic vitamin d brand baby d drops vs enfamil

[deleted account]

I had both my babies in Hawaii, where there is lots of sunlight, indirect and direct whether you want it or not, and since your body uses the sunlight to make Vit. D., I didn't give my babies the supplement, even though we were prescribed it and it was free.

Now we are in Nebraska, in the winter, rarely seeing the sun, staying inside all day, so if I were to have another baby, we'd do the supplement.

I think it all depends on your lifestyle and location.

Good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 12/01/2008

8

11

2

My son had Ricketts, and is breastfed. He is on a supplement now. Its not something to mess with if your doctor suggest a supplement do it.

Jennifer - posted on 12/01/2008

7

0

0

I agree that none of us mom's were raised on additional vitamin D and that breast milk is best...and the most natural for baby. But I leave the research up to the experts. My girls were premature and also had iron supplements for the first 6 months after they were born. They are 10 months now and continue to take Vit D. It's all personal choice.

Kristina - posted on 12/01/2008

97

4

20

No, no no....there is no reason for all breastfed babies to have supplements. I can understand there are individual circumstances. I am so tired of people thinking they can improve upon the perfect natural order of things. All of a sudden formula fed babies are getting all the correct amounts of vitamins they need to be healthy?? I don't think so. Sorry I can't link you up, but that is my common sense opinion.

Jennifer - posted on 12/01/2008

7

0

0

I gave...and am still giving my girls vitamin D. I only breastfed them for 4 months and switched to formula. I was still advised to continue with the supplement and will do so until their doc says otherwise. It's expensive (especially with twins) but with winter coming and less time outdoors I like to know they are getting enough.

Sherrie - posted on 11/30/2008

12

13

1

the vitamin d is in liquid form. and you really have to get past the smell of them to give them to your child. They are saying that breastmilk don't actually have the proper amount of vitamin d to help with growth that babies need.

Shannon - posted on 11/28/2008

85

7

21

Wow! That was pretty amazing, and very informative input. Thank you all! I do know that the sun exposure isn't supposed to be enough because it's the absorption through the supplement that's supposed to be needed. Very interesting about Canadian sun exposure, though. I'm from Illinois, and am a bit sheltered from some cultural differences. Thanks for the info!

Monica - posted on 11/28/2008

23

5

4

I've been breastfeeding my son for the past 9 months & at his first appointment the doctor recommended polyvisol drops. She said that all breastfed babies should take them to ensure they get enough vitamin D. Babies aren't exposed to the sun enough to absorb the amount of vitamin D that they need. Polyvisol comes in a dropper & I give it to him once everyday. If you don't it doesn't necessarily mean your baby will develop ricketts, but why risk it when it's so easy to give him the extra vitamins.

Amie - posted on 11/28/2008

6,596

20

412

I heard about this 8 years ago with when my eldest was put on vitamin D. She wasn't getting enough from me and as the other Canadian mom said, anyone living here knows how hard it is to get decent sun exposure, especially is winter. She didn't need to be on it long it went back up and the doctor told me to stop. I've always had a great doctor though who's known me along time and actually takes the time to make sure everything is alright. =)

Danielle - posted on 11/28/2008

12

11

0

Apparently just being out in the sun for 5 minutes a day with only face and hands exposed to the sun is enough to require the appropriate Vitamin D. Those supplements are sooo full of sugar too.

Tara - posted on 11/28/2008

21

22

0

I nursed both of my children for about 18 months and did also give them a Vitamin D supplement until they were drinking cow's milk which is fortified with Vitamin D. We live in Canada and if moms don't receive enough exposure to sunshine each day, they are at risk of a Vitamin D deficiency. Consequently, their children are also at risk. When I lived north of the 60th parallel, I benefited from taking a supplement myself as I found the winters with barely four hours of sunlight a day to be dreadful for my spirits.



Canadian mothers and babies, especially those in northern communities, aren’t getting enough vitamin D, according to a new statement by the Canadian Paediatric Society.



Vitamin D deficiency—prevalent among pregnant women, exclusively breastfed infants, and northern Aboriginal populations—can pose serious dangers to the development of a fetus and infant, yet is easily preventable through supplements. Vitamin D can also help protect babies against certain illnesses in childhood and later in life.



“Ensuring that pregnant women and babies have enough Vitamin D can have lifelong implications,” said Dr. John Godel, principal author of the statement. “The currently recommended levels of supplementation for pregnant and breastfeeding women may not be enough to ensure that babies get what they need.”



The CPS recommends that all babies who are exclusively breastfed receive a supplement of 400 IU/day, and that babies in the north (above 55 degrees latitude) get twice that amount during winter months (from October to April).



Pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor about taking a supplement of 2000 IU/day.



The CPS statement, Vitamin D supplementation: recommendations for Canadian mothers and infants, published in this month’s issue of Paediatrics & Child Health, also recommends that babies who are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency—those with dark skin, who have limited exposure to the sun, or whose mothers are Vitamin D deficient—also get extra Vitamin D during the winter, regardless of where they live.



Vitamin D, which is involved in the regulation of cell growth, immunity and cell metabolism, is produced mainly in the skin through sun exposure, but is also ingested through food and supplements. Recent data from the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program suggests that rickets—a Vitamin D-deficiency associated illness—is still prevalent in Canada, especially among First Nations and Inuit populations, despite simple and cost-effective prevention measures.



“Limited sun exposure at northern latitudes contributes to low levels of Vitamin D, especially among northern Aboriginal communities,” said Dr. Kent Saylor, chair of the CPS First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health Committee. “Vitamin D supplementation is the simplest way to protect mothers and their infants from preventable illness.”

Sati - posted on 11/28/2008

55

7

8

That is question I've asked myself! My 14-month-old was breastfed for 6 months, and my doctor told me the same thing. However, I opted to just take my chances, seeing as how there were no Vitamin D supplements back in the day, and there was no problem. My baby was just fine; we never had a problem. I started thinking, you know you can get enough Vit D for a week just from 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight. Maybe, what with all the concern about UV rays, and skin cancer and such, mothers are just not taking their babies out in the sun as much as they used to, hence the Ricketts. Just an idea...

Barbara - posted on 11/28/2008

537

19

42

I don't give my son the supplement. There is not much vitamin d in human breast milk, and if you live somewhere where it's hard to get enough sun exposure (which is about 20 minutes a week on the face and hands in my region) or if your baby has dark skin there may be a risk of becoming deficient in vitamin d and developing ricketts. You just have to do a bit of checking to know whether your child really needs it or not.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms