The AAP’s New Breastfeeding Findings
November 4, 2015
If you are breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding your infant, you probably know that breast milk does not have sufficient vitamin D for your baby’s needs. This is why it is necessary to give your infant a vitamin D supplement to make sure he/she is getting all of the necessary vitamins for proper development.
However, the AAP has determined that even though they recommend giving a daily oral supplement of vitamin D, there is a low compliance rate among breastfeeding mothers for “various reasons,” as they state in the study.
If you’ve dealt with the vitamin D supplement, you can probably think up quite a few reasons for the low compliance. For one, it can be difficult to remember the supplement every day if all other feeding comes from nursing. Second, the supplement, which is in liquid form, has quite an unpleasant taste and smell, and your baby will likely attempt to spit it out once in a while (or every time). This can stain clothing and go down their necks and just make a mess. Not to mention you will probably worry that they aren’t even getting any of the vitamin in their systems with how much they spit out but don’t dare give them more because you aren’t exactly sure and don’t want to give them too much. Of course it’s worth doing every day to prevent your baby from getting rickets, but nevertheless, it’s a pain.
But there is some great news: your infant vitamin D supplementation days may soon be over.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a study in July that found this:
Maternal vitamin D supplementation with 6400 IU/day safely supplies breast milk with adequate vitamin D to satisfy her nursing infant’s requirement and offers an alternate strategy to direct infant supplementation.”
I don’t know about you, but I already take a daily prenatal vitamin per my doctor’s suggestion that I should always take one whether pregnant or not, just in case. It would be a lot easier for me to remember and take a vitamin than to go through the process of trying to get my infant to take it, hope he doesn’t spit it out, and if he does spit it out, bathe him (because that stuff stinks), change his clothes, then stress about whether he even got any down his throat.
The study does mention that the FDA has set the current IU for vitamin D at 4000 IU/day. However the AAP notes in their study that “To our knowledge, not a single adverse event has been attributed to vitamin D supplementation at the doses ranging from 2000 to 6400 IU/day” and goes on to explain that a recent study with thousands of participants taking 10,000 UI/day of vitamin D did not exhibit adverse effects.
To read the entire study (which I would strongly encourage), you can find it here. It’s important that you talk to your doctor and your infant’s pediatrician about this or any other supplementation change to make sure it’s a good, healthy idea for you and your infant.
How do you feel about the findings from this study? Do you think it will be easier to take a supplement versus giving one to your infant?
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