Vitamin D Supplementation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've taken my new babe to the pediatrician twice so far. First for a 2 week check up and just today for a 2 month check up. Both times the doc has recommended that I give my baby vitamin D supplements. I take a prenatal vitamin plus extra vitamin D on top of that. He says that's not enough. There have been increased cases of rickets in babies because of vitamin D deficiency so they are recommending it for all BFed babies. Note, he didn't say all babies, just BFed babies. Not sure if that was just a mistake on his part or if they really are only recommending it for BFed babies.

Anyway, I am of the mind that my breastmilk is perfect for my baby. Unless and until there is a clear and specific indication that my baby and/or my breastmilk is deficient in something, I don't need to give my baby any supplements. For me, it's more than just about the general health and well-being of my baby. If I thought there was something wrong with my baby, I would give him supplements in a heartbeat. However, I don't like the presumption that everyone's breastmilk is lacking so all babies need supplementation. To go along with that leads to a slippery slope.

It's the same as the presumption that all pregnant women need doctors and hospitals and "help" to have healthy babies. The presumption is that our bodies cannot do what they were engineered to do on their own, give life, that the female body does not work. I don't like it.

Am I being neurotic about this or does it make sense?

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#2 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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I think the reason the dr said specifically bf babies is because formula is heavily supplemented with it already so it isn't neccesary for form. fed babies. That said, I haven't supplemented any of my kids with vitamin D and i don't take it myself. We have not had any problems as a result so i don't plan on starting now. My doc advocates it too, but i ignore her on that one. I do try to get my little one outside in very small doses during times of the day that r not peak sun hours, and i figure that helps a little.
I hear what you r saying about the blanket assumptions about the content of our bm, but i think they r supposed to advocate it. In canada anyway, they have certain things they r supposed to reccomend based on the cpa. I wouldn't take it personal and jyst proceed with what u believe is best.
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#3 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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I believe you need about 6,000 IU a day in order to get enough in your bm IF you aren't getting enough from the sun. I'd rather take d3 in cod liver oil, sit in the sun, or take a supplement than give it to the baby. At least you'd both benefit. There was a recent study released, so that may be why they're changing their protocol. Too bad they aren't following the recommendation that Mom increase her intake. Keep in mind that if you're in the northern US, you may not get enough D from the sun even with all day exposure from Nov. - Mar. Really far north, you can't get enough year-round. For our area, anyone north of San Francisco should supplement with cod liver oil or D3.

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#4 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I figured formula was highly supplemented.

I do take extra vitamin D because mine was tested after having several miscarriages and was slightly low, not excessively low, though. Interestingly, I had already been taking extra vitamin D in addition to my prenatal and my DHA supplement but it didn't seem to help. I told the doc everything I take but he didn't care. Just said I should still give it to my baby. I'm not worried about my or my baby's vitamin D levels.

I'm not taking it personally (although it does bug me that they keep telling me after I've acknowledged their recommendations but they do the same with vaxes). What concerns me, like I said, is the blanket assumption that we must act as if all breastmilk is deficient. There's already a not so subtle message that breastmilk is inadequate and I think this only fuels that. I think that the medical establishment probably hasn't thought of those ramifications when proceeding with this recommendation.

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#5 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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my take on it is that neither mom's nor babies get enough vit D from their diet.  you're not really designed to; you are supposed to get sun to make a good portion of it.  the uv rays will also break down vit d if you have too much of it. since people have been wearing so much sunscreen, vit d levels have plummeted.  also, if i remember correctly vit d is fat soluable? so all of the fat free dairy, oj, supplements, etc that have vit d added aren't really helping unless you are eating some kind of fat with them, right?

i don't think that there have been too many studies indicating how well vit d is transferred from mom to baby, so docs like to be "preventative" and recommend supplements.  IMO, so long as you are getting enough sun and eating healthy, there is no reason to supplement.  personally, i may add in an occasional dose of vit D during the winter, since i'm in new england, but i'm not going to be neurotic about a daily dose.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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They've proven that you don't need a daily dose, either. It is perfectly fine to take it once a week or so. With older folks that have osteoporosis, they'll give infusions or injections in massive doses, and it works okay. I always take the supplements during winter with a protein snack that has some fat. I don't believe that low fat diets are particularly healthy - we need healthy fats.

But you're right about doctors assuming that breast milk is deficient. They also do this with iron. Breast milk contains iron that is easily absorbed, so babies don't need as much as they do with formula.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and vitamin K. rather than giving my baby a vitamin K shot, my MW offered a vitamin K tincture for me for a few day.

i was going to say that i don't think you need to get daily doses of vitamins or sun or types of foods, even. it all balances out.

so, am i being too sensitive or hypervigilant or whatever because it concerns me that docs are telling breastfeeding mothers that they need to give their babies vitamin supplements? Seems to me it would be better to start with discussing diet and getting adequate sun exposure before going straight to assuming that breastmilk is deficient and women need to give their babies supplements.

I've breastfed 3 babies for at least a year (not including my current BF babe who is only 2 months old) and none of them had rickets or were sickly. I didn't give them any vitamin supplements. We just ate like normal and BFed like normal.

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#8 of 9 Old 09-28-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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I think that this type of recommendation is not exclusive to breastfeeding - most appointments that I have been to for my self and that I hear of from friends/family sound the same way.  Make sure you are taking supplements, wear sunscreen at all times, yadda, yadda, etc.  They never really have an open discussion about where we are health wise, or what type of lifestyle we are living (beyond basic info).  They just seem to have this cookie cutter response, and it will be slightly different depending on what the current fad is.  It's really unfortunate, IMO - I spend more time doing research and treating myself than relying on the docs.  

 

I really just think that it's up to us to be educated and really honest with ourselves in terms of what kinds of supplementation we may or may not need.

 

FYI the next thing they will start recommending is fluoride.


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#9 of 9 Old 09-28-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
because it concerns me that docs are telling breastfeeding mothers that they need to give their babies vitamin supplements? 

 

When you said it is a slippery slope before, I very much agree. Supplements can have manufacturing defects, recalls, allergenic ingredients, and so on. I would not supplement a breastfed baby unless diagnostic work indicated a need to do so, then as mentioned, try to improve the breastmilk via mom.

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