Breast is often considered best for baby’s nutrition, but when it comes to vitamin D, which is essential for bone and teeth development, research has shown breastfed babies simply aren’t obtaining enough from their mother’s milk.
The new research has been released stating mothers should take a vitamin D supplement to protect newborns from brittle bones and rickets. The Mayo Clinic study confirmed that breast milk rarely provides enough vitamin D for newborns, with less than half of infants not receiving the recommended daily vitamin D supplementation of 400IU.
However, this can be easily remedied with a vitamin D supplementation.
Dr Benjamin Jacobs, consultant pediatrician at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, says:
“Vitamin D is especially important for children and their mothers. During pregnancy, or when breastfeeding, mothers need extra Vitamin D to maintain their own bone health, as well as providing nutrients to their baby.
“Babies in the UK should be given Vitamin D supplements from soon after birth as there is not enough natural Vitamin D in a normal healthy diet, and there is not enough sunshine in the UK to allow us to make Vitamin D ourselves.”
A study by the American Journal of Public Health reported that babies are born with around half of the mother's vitamin D levels, and with only 10% of the body’s requirements satisfied by diet, it is more important than ever that children's vitamin D levels are at an optimum.
Researchers have stated that the only effective way to eliminate vitamin D deficiency in newborns is for mothers to take a supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Raising vitamin D levels to optimal (100-150mnol) in the mother will provide enough vitamin D for the baby through the milk.
Disclaimer: BetterYou recognise that breastfeeding is the best option for mother and baby and we in no way want to discourage mothers from this option. This article was written to highlight the research to educate about the dangers of vitamin D deficiency in mothers and new-borns.