A baby's need for Vitamin D

My son was born with moderate jaundice, which I did learn was fairly common among newborn boys. I had planned on breastfeeding him, and the Dr let me know that while breast milk was best for babies, it would not have enough Vitamin D to help with my son’s deficiency. In fact, 9 out of 10 babies who are breastfed are not getting enough Vitamin D, as a liter of breast milk only holds 20-40 IUs of Vitamin D. From babies to adults, we should be receiving no less than 200 IUs. He told me to just give him enough indirect sunlight to help ease the jaundice symptoms. So I would make sure to stay near windows with plenty of sunshine so that he could soak up some sunrays and not be in danger of skin cancer. But now that we know even more about the dangers of sun exposure, I question if that could have been too dangerous as well.

Some claim that formula fed babies have an advantage in the vitamin department. Formula is specially made to include the vitamins that they need, including Vitamin D. But a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics is showing that even formula fed babies are not getting enough Vitamin D in their systems. It has become apparent that babies, whether breastfed or drinking formula, will need some sort of supplement to ensure they are receiving the 200-400 IUs of Vitamin D they should be getting daily.

So why does a baby need Vitamin D? (more...)

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