Breastfeeding, Babies and Vitamin D

Breastfeeding, Babies and Vitamin D

Few in the medical community will now argue that “breast isn’t best” for a baby, agreeing that breastmilk is the most nutritionally complete food for infants. But as the awareness of how good vitamin D is for the human body grows, an increasing number of studies that focus on vitamin D and its importance for infants are beginning to mount up. The studies are revealing that a mother’s breastmilk may not have the ideal amount of vitamin D for her baby. 

The Benefits of Babies and Vitamin D

Sometimes referred to as a “wonder vitamin”, vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for anyone, of any age. When it comes to babies, vitamin D has a number of significant benefits such as:

  • Maintaining the potassium and calcium levels in an infant’s blood so that they are able to build strong bones and teeth
  • Maintains insulin levels (some studies have shown that adequate vitamin D intake early on can prevent type 1 diabetes)
  • Helps support the baby’s heart and nervous system
  • Maintains your baby’s blood clotting abilities and mineral balance

Some studies have also shown that adequate vitamin D intake can reduce the risk of suffering from infection as well as curtail the development of other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

How to Add Vitamin D to you Baby’s Life

If your baby is under 12 months old and is exclusively or partially breastfed, the best way to provide them with that much needed vitamin D is through one drop of 400IU (international units) vitamin D drops a day. Mums can place a drop on their nipple prior to having their baby latch on (though make sure that the baby has a good latch and feeds for at least 30 seconds). If you’re feeding you baby more than 1 litre of vitamin D-fortified infant formula, however, then you baby is likely receiving enough. As your baby grows, he or she will be able to obtain vitamin D through a number of different sources, including:

  • Sunlight
  • Oily fish
  • Eggs
  • Vitamin D fortified foods (including whole cows milk)

Before including any new supplements to your baby’s diet, be sure to stop in and consult with your baby’s health professional for further guidance. 

 

Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash


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