Vit D supplements(20 Posts)
Does anyone here give their bf baby vit D drops and if so, which ones?
I didn't take a regular supplement when pregnant after about five months so advice says I should supplement my 11-week-old ebf baby, especially as it's winter and has rained most of the year so far, but my local pharmacist was worse than useless on this so any experience/ advice welcome! Thanks!
Current advice would not be that your baby needs supplements just yet. Where have you seen that you should give these? It's good for pg women to take a Vit D supplement, but there's nothing in the guidance to suggest you need to make this up to your baby with early supps, if you didn't take a supplement.
I was wondering this too! Have a 6 month old EBF and haven't been advised about vit d so wouldn't have known if I'd not come across it on mn! Is it necessary in every case?
A midwife or hv mentioned it early on, but wasn't good on the specifics, and when I was looking for more info, I found this on NHS Choices (under Vitamin D subhead).:
I'm not keen on giving ds vits - or anything that's not vital really - at such a young age. I understand why he may need vit d but I can't find a supp that provides that alone - only a multi vit which doesn't seem ideal.
I'm in France where it is standard practice to give vit K to bf babies until they start solids and vit D for the first two years. When DD had some issues and saw a metabolic bone specialist, she recommended vit D as standard until 5 years old. I think that lack of vit D has been linked to an increase in rickets.
aliceinchains I give these which are just vitamin d in coconut oil, no other vitamins/colours/flavours. I also like them because you can administer easily by putting on your nipple.
In deprived areas it's recommended by HVs from 1 month. Don't have web links but I still have the local leaflets in my red book. I ignored that as I don't see what difference living where I do makes to my baby personally
Thanks for the link orange. I
think I'll probably wait until six months and then fail to remember to give the drops every day, just as I do with my four-year-old...
Hmm. HV gave me vitamin drops when my LO was newborn. Said lots of people were getting rickets! Didn't realise it's because we live in a deprived area! (cheaper rent while we save up to buy).
She spoke an awful lot of what I deemed to be crap. I haven't given my baby vitamins.
Health visitor gave them to us. They had unnecessary ingredients in them. I just took a supplement myself and then started putting drops in his food after six months. Not the ones they gave us- some in coconut oil I ordered online.
I give them to DS as he has a lot of melanin in his skin from DH and there is a serious lack of sunshine here!
If you are breastfeeding then your baby gets all the Vitamin D it needs from you and thats all it needs. If you have enough Vitamin D then your baby will have enough, now if you have very low levels your baby will have very low levels too, so I think my advice would be to take Vitamin D yourself and your baby will get all it needs from the breastmilk. My HV was insisting for my baby to take the drops and I was trying to explain to her that if I am taking Vitamin D the baby is getting enough! If a baby is being formula fed, the formula already contains enough Vitamin D. Hope this helps!
Sorry Yummi but that is not correct about bf. Vitamin D is dependent on sunlight and in cases where there is very little sun exposure and/or dark skin there may be a need for supplementation.
Kellymom has a good summary of Vit D and breastfeeding in particular:
(even if the mother supplements herself, it may not be enough without sunlight).
You can buy the NHS Heathy Start vitamin drops at the pharmacy. £2.88 a bottle.
The reason the recommendation for supplementing bf babies exists is because mums in the UK are very often Vitamin D insufficient/deficient thus their babies are insufficient/deficient too. It is a lot easier and cheaper to supplement all babies than have all babies tested for Vitamin D deficiency and supplement only those who are indeed deficient. It is also easier to supplement the babies than the mums apparently due to better compliance! As many mums have said before, I don't feel I want to give my baby supplements if not actually needed. I would rather take the supplements myself and my baby receive the Vitamin D through the breastmilk. Maybe its my mistrust to the pharmaceutical companies and the manufacturing processes or my need to keep things for my baby simple.
Booboostoo, The kellymom.com website has got some very good and well written information, it does however apply to the US population. Due to the UK latitude we make minimal to no Vitamin D production on our skin after sun exposure during the months of October to April (even if you stood naked in a field holding your naked baby!) so we can only get a good amount of Vitamin D from supplements and a very small amount from our diet. Add in the rain during the summer months and then everybody in the UK should be deficient and all babies would be born with rickets, but they are not.
I thought I read somewhere that vitamin d didn't get through in breast milk, is that not correct?
Vitamin d is certainly in breastmilk.
Not sure where you would hear any different, Dog.
Yummi I live in the south of France where vit D is given as standard to every child under 2 and my DD's consultant who recommended it as standard until 5 was in Greece, so it seems to be recommended in countries with a lot more sunshine than the UK. Rickets is on the rise, but it is a relatively rare problem (the NHS reports 900 cases in England in 2012) it's just that in public health terms the vit D supplementation is a very easy, no/low risk solution to a small scale problem which might have a wider impact (studies indicate that much larger numbers of people are vit D deficient).
The situation is very similar to the discussion over iron supplementation for toddlers. Studies seem to indicate that significant numbers of toddlers may be iron deficient and there are moves in the US to introduce iron level screenings between 12mo and 32mo. Again it's something easy to correct is noticed early, but can lead to serious problem if left untreated.
So if it gets through in breastmilk why isn't it just recommended that the mother takes supplements rather than the baby? Can I assume that if I take supplements now then I won't need to give my little one any supplements as well?
BigDog, logic fail, sorry
Vitamin D is indeed in breastmilk. But when a baby grows, he needs his own supply because breastmilk does not supply all his nutritional needs....otherwise you'd be breastfeeding your baby forever and there would be no need to give him/her other foods because 'it's all in the breastmilk'.
When the mother takes supplements, it has to go through her system (obv) and is metabolised by her (obv) and there is insufficient in the breastmilk to supply the baby's needs as well. The baby needs his own supply....which he will make from sunlight, from his diet, and for most babies this may be sufficient, but in the UK the public health advice is that it is not sufficient or rather we can't be sure it is sufficient for every baby and the easiest thing is to recommend supps for the baby.
I moved to the Middle East and our paediatrician prescribed vit D, I was ex bf my then 5 month old and it's obviously very sunny but she said we cover up too much to make enough for both and don't expose the babies to the sunlight (sunscreen/hats/uv shades on prams) So I can imagine it would be a similar conversation in the uk.
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