Vitamin D


Vitamin D

April 7, 2012

All mothers are told their breastfed babies need to take a supplement of 400 IU of Vitamin D per day. If breast is best, why supplement? The answer, in Canada, is women have low levels of vitamin D and therefore our breast milk does too.

What is Vitamin D?

It is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin D has actions all over the body but is most commonly known for increasing calcium absorption. Vitamin D is found food such as dairy products, fatty fish, and eggs. It is difficult to eat enough Vitamin D from foods. However, our bodies also get Vitamin D from the sun.

Why are we low?

In Canada, our skin only makes Vitamin D from April to October due to the angle of the sun. Many of us cover ourselves with sunscreen in the summer which helps prevent sunburns. Sunscreen also prevents our bodies from making Vitamin D. More research is showing that Northerners may be continually low in Vitamin D.

Do I supplement my baby?

Many women wonder, if my milk is low, can I just take supplements myself? While it may be a good idea for you to take a Vitamin D supplements, your baby should too. Studies dosing women only have been less than promising, although more research needs to be done. Babies usually enjoy taking Vitamin D supplements. My suggestion is to supplement your baby even if you are taking some yourself. It is also important to note that formula-fed babies also need to be supplemented until the time they are drinking one litre of formula per day.

To decide if you should take supplements talk your physician. You can get more information from a Registered Dietitian. Check out for more information.

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