How Much Vitamin D Does My Baby Need?
A breast lactation expert explains who is at higher risk for deficiency
Babies need vitamin D for strong, healthy bones and teeth. A severe deficiency of vitamin D can cause serious conditions like Rickets (a bone deformity that results in permanently bowed legs).
Most mothers eat a varied diet with fortified foods (usually milk) containing Vitamin D, take prenatal vitamins, and have some exposure to sunlight while pregnant and have plenty of Vitamin D to pass on to their babies.
However, due to an increase in vitamin D deficient babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines in 2003, recommending that all breastfed babies receive 400 mgs IU of Vitamin D drops each day.
The increased number of vitamin D deficient babies is likely due to the less amount of time today’s moms and babies spend in the sun. Darker skin tones, vegan diets, babies born in northern regions and those who cover completely (like religious veils) are at a higher risk for deficiency.
Talk with your child’s health care provider about vitamin D options for your child.
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Get to know Holly Erwin, Cook Children's Virtual Lactation Consultant
Holly Erwin, LVN, IBCLC, is a mom of three boys and has worked as a pediatric nurse for over 11 years within the Cook Children's Health Care System. When not working, she spends her time running to and from sports for her boys, being outside with her family and dreaming of traveling with her husband of 10 years. For now, she settles for their bi-annual date-night!
Through her own children and the thousands of moms that she has helped over the years, Holly found a special interest in infants and breastfeeding. In 2015, she became internationally board certified as a lactation consultant and now works as an IBCLC virtually through the Cook Children's telemedicine department. Schedule an appointment with our virtual lactation consultant.