VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS WITH BREASTMILK
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently stated “infants who are breastfed exclusively should receive Vitamin D supplements to prevent rickets, a bone-weakening disease that doctors say may be increasing.”
“The supplementation of 200 units of Vitamin D should begin at two months and continue until baby begins daily feedings of at least 17 oz. of milk fortified with Vitamin D,” the academy said.
This new recommendation comes with some controversy. Many feel that with the vast majority of breastfed infants, vitamin supplements are unnecessary. The problem often lies in black babies whose skin, by virtue of its color, blocks the absorption of Vitamin D from the sun. They also absorb the least Vitamin D
in-utero and from nursing because their moms have lower stores than white women. In fact, 42 percent of black women of childbearing age had insufficient levels of Vitamin D, compared with four percent of whites, in a recent national study.
Breastmilk does contain small amounts of Vitamin D and babies have, in the past, been able to get enough through their exposure to sunlight. However, the recommendation to use sunscreen and avoid exposure to the sun may mean some babies may not be getting enough Vitamin D.