“Breast milk doesn’t contain enough vitamin D to prevent rickets. Babies who are exclusively breast-fed should receive vitamin D drops.” – MayoClinic
Were all babies at an increased risk for rickets before formula and vitamin D drops were invented? Or, were babies perhaps just exposed to more sunlight, without the knowledge of skin cancer, therefore providing them with ample vitamin D?
It’s so strange to me that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all exclusively breastfed babies receive daily drops of vitamin D. I was just informed of this at Elizabeth’s four month check-up yesterday. Is this new? Because my other three children never got such a recommendation at the pediatrician’s office, but we are at a new practice with Elizabeth because our previous pediatrician went home to be a SAHM with her toddler and newborn.
Sometimes, I am blown away by the inconsistency of medical (and dental!) advice & recommendations. Our old doctor was much more about natural parenting and care. But, if rickets is a real threat to a breastfed baby, shouldn’t she have mentioned it? :/
So, this whole thing put me in research mode this morning and while I did find a lot of information supporting yesterday’s recommendation, I also found this on KellyMom:
How much vitamin D does breastmilk usually contain? Why?
Human breastmilk is a very poor source of vitamin D, usually containing less than 50 IU per quart. This is why the AAP recommends all breastfed infants receive 400 IU per day vitamin D by supplement drops. This IS NOT A DEFECT IN BREAST MILK but a defect in the recommended amount of vitamin D the lactating mom should be taking. If a mom takes 6400 IU per day, she will supply her nursing infant with plenty of vitamin D thru her milk and will not need to give her infant drops. – KellyMom
Here’s what I take every day:
Yeah, I’m totally not getting enough vitamin D. In fact, I’m only getting as much as my BABY should be getting! I also take a supplement of calcium, magnesium and zinc but that doesn’t help the vitamin D cause. So, it looks like I need to increase my intake by taking a separate vitamin D supplement, OR I need to start giving Elizabeth Tri-Vi-Sol. And/or I should get her out in the sun more. Or should I? Both my parents had skin cancer. :( Ugh
Did/do you supplement to provide enough vitamin D for your breastfed baby?