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Does a BF baby need vitamin supplements?

(7 Posts)
GetDownYouWillFall Fri 21-Sep-12 15:26:20

Just had my 1 year check with HV. She asked me how many bottles DS is still having, and I said none he is still bf. She looked really shocked! And then said "I hope he is having vitamin supplements!".

Is this true? I've heard that iron stores run low after 6 months or so, but he has a really varied diet and eats broccoli, wholemeal bread, loads of fruit and veg, meat etc.

So does he need supplements? I bought some Abidec but I can't get it into him!

tiktok Fri 21-Sep-12 15:48:59

Current guidance is that all babies over 6 mths not using formula should have Vitamin D - the Vitamin D is already added as an extra to the formula, so ff babies don't need it.

There is good evidence that in northern climates like the UK, some babies benefit, as we don't live out of doors much these days, so what little sunlight there is, we don't get. As long as you get outside most days and your ds is having food with Vit D in it, it's hard to justify any need for extra in the form of drops, but they don't do any harm...ask your HV for more info on this and then judge for yourself if your ds needs them.

Can't think why your HV is shocked at you bf - she should get out more smile

GodisaDj Fri 21-Sep-12 21:59:56

I agree with Tiktok's advice.

I personally have taken the decision not to supplement (although I did buy some from the Sure Start centre). DD is now 13 months (still Bf'ing) and my HV advised she should be on vit D supplement too but I feel that as we do go out most days and she eats a varied diet with vit D foods, there isn't any need.

sad that your HV was shocked at you still bf'ing. It just isn't "the norm" is it, which is a shame.

gemmeg Sat 22-Sep-12 18:57:10

It does sound like an exaggerated response from your HV! I live in Austria where all babies are given vitamin D for the first year of their lives but I do know that in the UK the subject of whether to give vitamin D supplements as a standard has come up recently due to a rise in the number of cases of rickets. I would also agree with tiktok.......nothing to worry about but ask if you're interested to know more.

NoodieRoodie Sat 22-Sep-12 20:10:58

I asked the HV about this when DS was around 7/8months and was told that if he was eating a varied diet then not to bother. I did a bit of reading and as we go out walking for a couple of hours a day whatever the weather and he eats plenty of iron rich foods I decided that vitamin drops were one less thing to worry about!

GetDownYouWillFall Sun 23-Sep-12 15:13:02

Thanks for the advice everyone. I know, I was a bit sad too at her shocked reaction to me still breastfeeding.

Interesting you mention about vitamin D. I had in my mind it was more that the iron would be lacking, but it seems vitamin D is the thing to worry about.

I've bought the vitamin drops, but he just hates the taste! Don't know why as I've tried them and they taste sweet, and my 4 year old loves the stuff! I've tried shaking a spoonful into his water but he turns his nose up!

LonelyCloud Sun 23-Sep-12 17:02:11

DS was 6 weeks early, in neo-natal for the first few weeks, and when he was discharged, as I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding him (didn't work out, but that's another story) the paediatricians gave us a bottle of Abidec vitamin drops (contains A, C, D and 3 of the B vitamins) to take home with him. They said that breastmilk doesn't always have enough of all the right vitamins in it.

I don't know if that's different for healthy full term babies though. Also, we initially found it easiest to get vitamin drops into DS if we offered him them just before a feed.

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