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Thread: Vit D supplements?

  1. #1
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    Question Vit D supplements?

    Maybe ya'll can confirm/deny my suspicions...

    DS2 is 9 months old. At his well-check, his (very pro breastfeeding) pediatrician recommended vitamin D supplement because "breastmilk is low on vitamin D". I mentioned that take a vitamin D supplement, and the pediatrician said that didn't matter; that vitamin D is not soluble and doesn't transfer well to breastmilk. I knew that was the case with iron, but I'm pretty sure that's not what I'd read about vitamin D.

    So... is vitamin D soluble or not? I do know that the amount in breastmilk has much greater bio-availability than supplements. We also live in central TX, and take walks outdoors every day, so I'm not entirely sold on the need to supplement in any case.

    What do you ladies think? (Yes, I realize this ya'll cannot offer a medical opinion, I'm just curious what ya'll think.)
    Breastfeeding, babywearing, sci-fi loving, total geek of a mom!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. — Dr. Seuss

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    If vitamin D isn't soluble, then my head just exploded. Because somehow it's soluble in com's milk that you buy at the store, but not in human milk... Yup, I think my brain just broke.

    Breastmilk can be low in vitamin D when the mother herself is vitamin D deficient. And since most people spend most of their time indoors and more and more people are getting cautious about sunblock, a lot of moms are low on vitamin D. But unless you and your baby are really dark-skinned or you're super careful about using sunblock on all exposed skin, going out every day and getting some direct sunlight on your skin should be enough to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

    That being said, there's probably no harm in a vitamin D supplement.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    We live in an area where we don't get much sun (summer was an exception) and rainy days already started so we do supplement. I did not supplement when we went to vacation and it was sunny all day long and we were outside (in the natural shade) most of the time. Sun is the best vitamin D activator that you can get so I would not worry too much, especially if you do get out a lot and baby gets a chance to be licked by the sun a bit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    I believe what a study showed was that when mom took massive amounts of Vit D, (by massive I mean 6 thousand + IU per day, which is much higher than the current daily suggested dose or (I think) 400 ius) THAT increased babies vitamin D levels. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17661565 Since (I think) no one is prepared to prescribe super high levels of Vit D to moms due to toxicity concerns, (I am not saying there is a toxicity concern, I do not know-I am just exploring why this is not a typical recommendation at this point as far as I know) that has not been a route that is suggested by doctors. In other words, due top current vitamin supplement recommended levels, doctors are not comfortable telling mothers to take massive amounts of D. So instead, they may tell breastfeeding mothers to give baby vitamin D supplements (formula is already supplemented with D of course) and that is what the AAP currently (as of 2008) suggests.

    If you think about it, it does not really make sense biologically for a baby to receive tons of Vit. D through mothers milk, because baby is capable of making his own Vit D from his own sun exposure.

    But of course as pps suggest, we humans in large part no longer live in a way that allows for biologically normal/necessary levels of sun exposure.

    IF you think vitamin d supplement sounds like a good idea for your baby, it can be found in single drop daily dose that will not interfere with breastfeeding (or get spit up and spat out anyway) like the typical massive syringe does of a daily infant multiple might.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 AM. Reason: holy spellcheck batman!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    If vitamin D isn't soluble, then my head just exploded. Because somehow it's soluble in com's milk that you buy at the store, but not in human milk... Yup, I think my brain just broke.
    I think it is soluble in fat, not water - which is why it is in a fatty drink like milk. The vitamin D I have for my baby is in olive oil. I give her a little drop each day and she loves it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    I think it is soluble in fat, not water
    If that's the case, then I should have plenty in my system!

    I'm not terribly worried about supplementing; DS2's feet and lower legs are tanned from our afternoon walks outdoors. Which earned me a stern look from my mom.
    Breastfeeding, babywearing, sci-fi loving, total geek of a mom!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. — Dr. Seuss

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    We supplement but we live in the north half of the U.S. and I think most people are D deficient. Our doctor recommends it and when we left NICU was had an rx for vit D plus iron because of prematurity. Our MD isn't worried about the extra iron but the D. But I have to pump for my babies anyway so one of their bottles DH will put the dropper full in with about 10 ccs of breast milk and then give them the rest later.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    I will give you my take as I did some research on internet when baby was small. I am just repeating stuff I read, and the conclusion I came to. I believe your Dr is correct in saying that Vitamin D can only be synthesized from the sun or in a factory, you can't get it from anything that a person would naturally eat, which I guess includes breast milk. (I don't know why but that does seem to be how it is).

    If you do not get enough vitamin D, you can get Ricketts which is a horrible illness that used to affect a lot of children in places like Britain and Canada, and still does affect some children who don't get enough vitamin D.

    If you live in some parts of Canada like Edmonton, Alberta, the angle of the sun in winter is very low, and it means you are exposed to so little sunlight - even if you go outside a lot - that your body does not make ANY vitamin D for 6 months or more. Since Vitamin D doesn't stick around that long in your body, people living in such places should get a Vitamin D supplement. Hence, in such places Vitamin D is synthesized in factories and added to foods, especially cow's milk. The governments of such countries, e.g., Canada, strongly recommend Vitamin D supplements for people who are not getting factory Vitamin D from another source (mainly cows milk). That includes breastfeeding babies.

    The vitamin D problem is especially bad for dark skinned people. Dark skinned people are better protected against the sun so they don't make as much vitamin D as light-skinned people when exposed to sun. So dark skinned people living at high latitudes should be especially careful about getting enough Vitamin D.

    I never read about Vitamin D drops causing any harm. But I am lazy, my daughter has lightish skin, and we live mostly in sunny, low-latitude places (25-35 degrees). When I did try to give her Vitamin D drops, I bought the wrong one (massive syringe dose mentioned above) and she gagged and spluttered on it. I read on an Australian government website that babies (in Australia) get enough indirect sun to synthesize Vitamin D by just being outdoors in the shade, so they don't need vitamin D supplements. I figure we are in a similar situation (and I think you probably are too in Texas with a tan-colored baby) so I didn't bother giving my daughter any more Vitamin D drops.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    hi,
    i supplement dd with vitamin d drops, cause she was born low birth.weather where i live is unpredictable, sometimes cloudy and sometimes sunny, she does get sunlight exposure but still turned out to have levels just below the normal range.Initially i used to sporadically suplement her say first three months, then in her sixth month, then after 10 months, still her levels were low, so have actually treated her for mild rickets and continuing to give her maintenance dose.Regarding solids she didnt eat much and was only on yogurt, no cows milk.I guess being low birth weight her stores were not sufficient and i too must have been deficient.Despite being in india which is a tropical country vitamin d deficiency is rampant.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Vit D supplements?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*Pteroglossus View Post
    I believe your Dr is correct in saying that Vitamin D can only be synthesized from the sun or in a factory, you can't get it from anything that a person would naturally eat, which I guess includes breast milk. (I don't know why but that does seem to be how it is).
    No, breastmilk definitely does contain vitamin D! The real issue is quantity. Most women will provide adequate amounts of vit. D in their milk, which is why most babies don't require supplementation and why the overwhelming majority of babies who aren't supplemented don't get rickets. But when a mom is vitamin D-deficient, something which can happen if she spends a lot of time indoors, or goes out only completely covered in clothing or sunblock, or is living at a high latitude, or doesn't consume vit. D-fortified dairy products, or has any of those predisposing factors and is also dark-skinned, then she and her milk can end up vit. D-deficient.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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