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Vitamin D Breastfeeding

Vitamin D and infants who are breastfed

Should I take in extra vitamin D when breastfeeding?

Yes, nursing mothers do need to supplement themselves or baby with extra vitamin D. This is because people do not spend enough time in the sun anymore.

Your body uses the sun to make Vitamin D. Normal levels of Vitamin D in breast milk are usually between 20 and 60 IU. This is not nearly enough for baby.

Vitamin D deficiency in milk is not a defect in breast milk, but is caused through mom not having enough sunlight exposure and not eating Vit D rich foods.

Why take extra vitamin D?

Vitamin D breastfeeding

~Vitamin D in food~


Cod liver oil


Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)


Fortified dairy products


Egg yolk


Butter

- Vitamin D breastfeeding research states that childhood diabetes has been found to be 90% less likely if Vitamin D supplements are taken.

- Long-term Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and type I diabetes.

- Vitamin D for infants promote bone and teeth health

- Vitamin D keeps you from getting sick by boosting your immune system

- Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis when you get old

- It can cure and prevent bone diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia

How much vitamin D? “vitamin D supplementation breastfeeding”

- Baby should be given 499IU daily (can be given to baby in drops) Minimal recommended supplementation for baby is 200IU

- Baby can be exposed to sunlight for a few minutes (4 – 5 minutes) each day. Black babies will need double the time in the sun for the same results. Don’t put sunscreen on baby for those few minutes. Keep baby in just a diaper or even naked if possible, so that the sun can get to his skin. Don’t let baby stay in the sun until his skin turns pink.

- Mom can either give the vitamin D drops to baby or take supplementation herself, which is about 1000IU per day.

Mom must not take over this amount high levels of vitamin D can become toxic in breast milk.

- Recommendations do vary. Mom is safe if she has some sun exposure and takes a supplement, then it will not be necessary to supplement baby.

- Mom can try getting herself and baby exposed to the sun in the summer and then take supplementation during the winter months.

Who are at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency?

- Dark skinned people (or black people).

- Mothers who wear veils that cover most of the skin

- Moms who stay indoors all the time

- Moms who are malnourished

- Mothers who stayed away from the sun during pregnancy

Vitamin D breastfeeding

~ Interesting fact ~

Early morning, late afternoon and winter sun is insufficient in producing enough vitamin D through your skin.


Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with vitamin D and breastfeeding

- Breastfeeding diet guidelines

- Vitamin intake and breastfeeding

- Iron intake while breastfeeding

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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.