Recent research has shown that Breast fed babies might need extra vitamin D in their diets. Sarah Maginn asks our Nutrition expert Catherine Jeans for some advice on what to do to ensure your baby is getting enough vitamin D …
We all hear (especially from our health visitors) that ‘Breast is Best’ as it provides our little ones with the nutrients and vitamins they need as newborns, so I was shocked to realise that this ‘liquid gold’ we produce as mothers might not have everything that baby needs.
Now, when it comes to vitamin D, the recent study undertaken by The Mayo Clinic concluded that in some cases breast milk doesn’t provide enough vitamin D for newborns. It actually showed that less than half of babies are not receiving the recommended daily supplement of 400IU.
How to ensure your baby is getting enough vitamin D
So, I asked our very own Nutrition expert Catherine (aka The Family Nutrition Expert) her advice and the overall message is that ‘we are all probably deficient in Vitamin D, so we could all do with a little top up’. But she also reassures that there’s no need to panic as you can soon get you or your child’s levels back up! Phew!!!! I was worried there about my little ones.
What should we do to boost our vitamin D levels:
“A mum’s breast milk is only packed with enough nutrients if mum has enough nutrients. Unfortunately so many of us are Vitamin D deficient – the Department of Health believe it could be as much as 80% of the population. Without Vitamin D, we cannot absorb calcium into our bones, and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of many health problems, including autoimmune diseases and mental health problems,” says Catherine.
“I recommend all pregnant ladies and breastfeeding Mums should supplement Vitamin D, or make sure their pregnancy supplement has around 1000iu (25mcg) in it. If not you can top up with some extra Vitamin D3, liquid form or chewable options are best. We do make Vitamin D from the sun’s action on our skin, but many of us don’t get enough sunlight (especially during these winter months) and sun block prevents us from making Vitamin D through our skin.”
Baby can soon catch up
Catherine also says that: “No one should worry if baby hasn’t had the extra supplements. It’s never too late to start supplementing, and we can very quickly get our vitamin D levels back up to normal range.”
Here are some great products to get yours and your munchkins’ back to the recommended Vitamin D levels!
- Toddlers can take a Vitamin D3 supplement – We recommend the products by Better You, which you can buy in store at the clinic. They are sprays which you give baby onto their tongue.
- You can also get D3 drops which you put into your child’s food, available from most chemists.
- For toddlers – aim for around 600iu per day (15mcg) and babies 6 months to 1 year – 400iu per day (10mcg).
To find out more about Vitamin D please don’t hesitate to contact Catherine.