Favoring one Breast AND Vitamin D Drops for Infant
Firstly, I was born with one breast significantly larger than the other but according to doctors, both breasts are perfectly fine. Due to the size difference, my three month old seems to favor the smaller for sucking (she doesnt want a pacifier) so that she can nap and the larger one for eating. Both breasts supply milk but she actually play and suck from the smaller one and if at one moment I switch, she will start eating. Im concerned about this favoring and not sure how to proceed. Secondly, I currently live in Israel and here infants are recommended to take vitamin D supplemt drops for the first year. I am reluctant as preventative and try to get her some sun and even though its not a medicine, but a vitamin, something strikes me odd as a preventative measure. Could you help me with some advice please.
First, with the breast favoring, it sounds to me as though your child has worked things out to suit you both quite well. I imagine that she is taking small amounts from the smaller side. The only concern for you would be if you begin to develop an infection (mastitis) in the smaller breast because milk is being made and not being removed. If it sits there and pools, this can give bacteria an opportunity to build. I’m sure you wish to act preventatively toward this rather than waiting to see if you become ill with mastitis. Your main option would be to pump or express a little on that side a few times a day. My intuition, from what you’ve described, is that everything should continue to work out as well as it is right now and that you don’t need to do this. Be on the alert for bright red tree-branching appearances over part of your breast, or for hardened and tender areas. Should this occur, you will want to pump right away, if you can’t get your little one to move milk out for you. Use heat and massage on the area throughout the day, and at least once during the night, along with removing milk regularly. As your child becomes a little older, you may be able to communicate with her a little on this challenge and try to direct her behavior to suit you better.
As for vitamin D, your baby has three natural sources, her stores from prior her birth, your milk, and her own sun exposure. The amount you supply her in the womb and in your milk is dependent upon your own levels. Your stores are supplying D to your milk. Sunning, diet, or taking supplements yourself can increase the amount you provide through your milk. If you built up high vitamin D stores last year, it can last through the winter, but supplying fetal and breastmilk nutrition taxes your stores pretty well. Since it’s February, you can’t get any significant vitamin D from being outdoors in Israel (or U.S.), but it’s pretty good by mid March where you are. I imagine we are meant to consume fish and liver during the winter.
We are learning more every day about the effects of the vitamin D apathy in the industrialized world over the last decades. It’s certainly healthy for your child to have good levels of vitamin D. With so much sun avoidance, sunscreen usage, misled egg avoidance, and minimal consumption of fish and liver, in general, it’s not a bad idea for the government to make a blanket suggestion that babies receive supplementation. The downside of this is that it suggests to mothers that their breastmilk is not adequate nutrition for their children and it does not educate mothers about natural ways to provide vitamin D.
You can evaluate for yourself, based upon the above information, whether you have been supplying good levels to your child or what steps you may wish to take so that you are. Then, once spring comes, you can go play together outside and eliminate any further concerns.