Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, especially in New York in the winter and unfortunately we are approaching the time of year when it feels like it’s dark outside all the time. Most adults know that Vitamin D is important for them but it is just as important for the babies in your life.
If a baby is being fed with store bought formula exclusively, there is enough Vitamin D to meet their needs in that formula. If the baby is being breastfed, consuming a combination of breastmilk and store bought formula or is fed a non-traditional formula (please have a very educated conversation with your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric dietician about potential risks of this option) Vitamin D supplementation is likely necessary.
The most common recommendation is to give the baby 400IU of Vitamin D drops daily. I have been having this conversation with a lot of new moms recently and they tell me how often they forget because when their baby is screaming, all they want to do is calm their baby and that does not leave time to get the drops in effectively. There has been mixed evidence in regards to mom being able to supplement and the Vitamin D being transferred through the breast milk and if this is sufficient to meet the needs of the baby and mom too. Well..a study in 2006 (Wagner et al.) and then again in 2015 (Hollis et al.) both show that if mom takes 6400IU of Vitamin D daily it is enough to keep both mom and the baby from being Vitamin D deficient.
I always tell patients that knowledge is power. A lack of Vitamin D long term could impact several things such as bone density, cardiovascular disease, increase of infections, neurological disease and even pregnancy complications. Supplementation is a good way to know just how much you are getting but you can also get Vitamin D from foods like egg yolks, fatty fish, beef liver and fortified dairy products.
As always this should be a conversation with your whole care team as well as the baby’s pediatrician. If you have any questions, the chiropractors at PHC are always willing to answer them for you.