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ebf baby and vitamin drops

(21 Posts)
gitinora Sat 09-Jul-11 22:20:21

My baby turned 6 months this week and someone asked me today was baby taking vitamins! I said no, knowone had mentioned him needing vitamin drops. She said she had read somewhere that bf babies need vitamin drops from 6 months.
Does anyone know if this is true? and if so do i need to get them from the GP?
Thanks

MrsJamesMartin Sat 09-Jul-11 22:24:44

Yes recommended from 6 months in baby who is EBF. You can get lots of different types from Boots etc but the Healthy Start ones are recommended by Department Health. Ask your HV where you can get them from,usually a health centre or childrens' centre, they are free if you receive Healthy Start vouchers or about £1.50 if not.

2tired2bewitty Sat 09-Jul-11 22:28:19

I got a prescription from the practice nurse. Helpfully they suggest mixing them with baby's usual drink, which is tricky if you are EBF grin

Bert2e Sat 09-Jul-11 22:34:27

You don't need to give them!

reallytired Sat 09-Jul-11 22:34:52

You will be starting weaning soon and the easiest way to give vitamen drops is to drop it on their food.

gitinora Sat 09-Jul-11 22:39:02

Thank you everyone. Just looked at the breast feeding booklet i was given in hospital and it doesnt mention it either. Hv never said and i saw the breast feeding councillor the other day and she never mentioned it either. Thank goodness for mumsnet, Will get some on monday

2tired2bewitty Sat 09-Jul-11 22:39:32

I agree with Bert2e, I didn't give them religiously (in fact I still haven't finished the bottle and she is 17m now). So long as your dc is gaining weight and seems bright and alert I wouldn't worry too much.

RitaMorgan Sun 10-Jul-11 14:14:30

I didn't bother, ds eats a good diet. Vitamin D is a good idea if your baby has dark skin or doesn't get much sunlight though I think.

Yesmynameis Sun 10-Jul-11 17:23:56

I didn't bother. DD took to solids really well and was still nursing plenty. If she had been a fussy eater or had a restricted diet i might have considered it.

RightUpMyRue Sun 10-Jul-11 17:37:22

The recommendation is there because of vitamin D. There have been worryingly increasing cases of vitamin d deficiency and some cases of rickets in recent years in children so the DoH brought out this guideline about 2 years ago.

Our bodies don't store vitamin d, we must get it from our food and exposure to sunlight. We don't get masses of sun in this country, particularly throughout the winter months, and if we do get a sunny day the recommendation is to keep out of the sun and wear a high factor sun block. There isn't an abundance of it in lots of foods either.

Most of the vitamins you can get for children come with a,c,d and sometimes e too but d is the important one.

And like Rita says the darker your skin the more sunlight you need to produce vitamin d.

It's a recommendation and therefore the choice is yours. Those are the reasons behind the recommendation. If you think your baby has enough vitamin d in his diet and has enough exposure to sunlight (without sunblock) then you don't need to give vitamins. However, the recommendation is a good one.

pollyr01 Sun 10-Jul-11 21:47:19

my 7.5 mo old dd is ebf - Ive asked around about this and you really don't need to bother, as long as they are getting a balanced diet as you wean, with lots of fruit, veg, going outside, etc.

IamtheSnorkMaiden Sun 10-Jul-11 23:03:03

If your baby gets some exposure to sunlight on a daily basis and is introduced to solid food from around six months then s/he does not need vitamin drops.

It was believed that iron reserves for EBF become depleted at about six months but babies don't need huge amounts of iron anyway. When you start weaning your baby will get iron in the solid food.

openerofjars Sun 10-Jul-11 23:14:52

I got given vitamin drops for ebf DS at 6 weeks as I live in an area where Vitamin D deficiency is common, so the local advice is to give them to everyone. I get out in daylight for lots of the day and am fair skinned.

I ignored them. DS is fine at 2.8, strapping, in fact. No bowed legs here.

ChunkyPickle Sun 10-Jul-11 23:25:06

They nagged me to give mine vitamin D drops at every appointment too - despite the fact that he's EBF and we're both pale as the driven snow.

I read up on Kellymom and a few other places, and decided that since we walk everywhere, sun-block free (although with a hat/sleeves if it's sunny) that he didn't need them.

FringeMonkey Mon 11-Jul-11 00:28:42

SACN are reviewing policy on vitamin D at the moment and are due to publish new stuff in September. The general trend in the research literature seems to be that low vitamin D is more of a problem than has previously been thought, especially for breastfed babies whose mothers were pregnant in the Winter (formula has vit D added to it, so all formula fed babies are supplemented through it automatically). It isn't as simple as getting some sunlight. It needs to be strong sunlight, which is only in the mid part of the day. How long is needed is unclear, but the further north you live in the UK or darker skinned you are the more is needed. In the Winter months sunlight isn't strong enough for the skin to make vit D. Advice on Kellymom, a US site, may not apply, as much of the USA is further south than the UK.

This issue isn't just about rickets either. Sub-optimal vit D levels affect the immune system and bones long before any bendy legs appear!

This lecture from 2010 is an interesting read.

FringeMonkey Mon 11-Jul-11 00:29:37

SACN = Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition an advisory Committee of independent experts that provides advice to the Department of Health as well as other government agencies and Departments. Its remit includes matters concerning nutrient content of individual foods, advice on diet and the nutritional status of people.

nectarina Mon 11-Jul-11 02:22:34

I'm in france where ebf babies are given vit k drops once a week and all babies are given vit d daily.

japhrimel Mon 11-Jul-11 19:35:52

You do need to give drops because of vitamin D. If you find a way to consistently get them into a spoon-refusing baby, let me know!

It isn't just rickets that's the issue. Lower vitamin D during maternal pregnancy and childhood has been linked with an increased risk of MS and Lupus in adulthood. So just because your child doesn't have bowed legs, doesn't mean there is no risk. And an adult would need to get 1/2 hour of sunlight on the skin, every day, without sunblock, during March-September to get enough vitamin D and an adult cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun during the winter in the UK. I'm not sure what the requirements are for a baby, but I follow the advice to pretty much keep DD out of the sun!

Drops are available from Boots if you don't get the SureStart vitamins. I've struggled to find one DD will accept though.

Eachpeach80 Mon 11-Jul-11 19:46:10

I have been giving abidec drops to my 16 mo since he was 6mo - I do think that it is important that they get the vit D and even if it isnt if you stick to the recommended amount it will not do them any harm. Luckily for me he loves them and will come running from the next room when I am in the bathroom and say "vitamins!". They come with a dropper thing so even if they dont like them it would be easy to drop them in their mouth without too much of a struggle.

japhrimel Mon 11-Jul-11 21:21:24

They're the ones containing peanut oil, aren't they? As DH has serious nut allergies and other allergies, I was being extra cautious. Just checked the Abidec website and they say the protein is removed so less allergy risk...maybe I should try them.

DD has to have liquid Piriton for severe hayfever and it's put her right off medicines. We now have a struggle to even get calpol down her, which she's always loved, and if she's not holding the spoon (or syringe or dropper) she won't have it!

lurcherlover Tue 12-Jul-11 21:25:14

I give my DS his vit drops (Healthy Start ones from the clinic) in a bit of yoghurt or fruit puree...he is a spoon refuser (decided for himself he wanted to do BLW!) but will take those two things from a spoon as he has worked out that he won't get them into his mouth any other way and he loves them so much smile

I don't worry about iron or Vit C deficiency as he loves his red meat, oranges etc, but I do worry about vit D - he is very fair and blue-eyed so if the sun is strong I slap sunblock on him when we're out. I honestly don't think he'd get enough vit D if I didn't supplement.

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