Vitamin B-12 supplement for vegan 16 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi--we are a newly vegan family (2 weeks and counting) and I am wondering if anyone can give me a good suggestion. I still breastfeed my 16 month old DS, so I am wondering if he gets enough B-12 from my milk if I am supplementing? I figured I would go ahead and give him a vitamin B-12 supplement just in case, but I went to my local health food store and they weren't much help. Just kept asking me if I had talked to my baby's doctor. I also went to Whole Foods, but I couldn't find a liquid supplement, which is what I figure he would need. Thanks in advance for help!

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#2 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that as long as you are nursing and you supplement it, a toddler will be fine. Most B-12s are tiny, chewable tablets, way too small to be a choking hazard, so those could be given to a little one, or you can get it in a spray form.

 

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#3 of 10 Old 10-09-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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I agree with the PP. As a vegan, I get a little more concerned about my LO D3 levels...so I make sure she gets plenty of sunshine and also supplement with this.

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#4 of 10 Old 10-09-2011, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! It is amazing how great I feel even after eating a plant-based diet for just a few weeks. I do already give DS coconut milk, which is fortified with vitamin B-12, so between that and my supplementing and nursing him I am hopeful he is covered. I am giving DD, who is 4 years old, a multivitamin (the "Raw" brand whole food based), so I am thinking she is getting enough B-12 from that (says 100%). Thanks for your replies.

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#5 of 10 Old 10-09-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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Actually, in Becoming Vegan they discuss research which suggests that breast milk often contains insufficient B12, and they recommend supplementing from very early on (6 or so weeks old, I think). That book is so incredibly thoroughly researched and Davis and Melina know their stuff inside and out. I really super duper trust them and their advice.

 

Bottom line, why would you even want to risk it? B12 deficiency can be silent for a long time, doing damage without showing any warning signs. But it can do a LOT of damage! So, why not just cover your bases? At least that's my thoughts on it and it keeps my mind at ease. As a momma I worry about enough, so this is just one less thing, haha.

 

I use a spray. It's methylcobalamin which is more easily absorbed than cyanocobalamin (which is what the vast majority of B12 sups are made with) and the fact that it's a spray makes it easy to administer to a toddler. I give my bubs a dose ~3 times per week - http://www.veganstore.com/product/440/individual-and-multi


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#6 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Thanks for that great info! Just purchased the spray.

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#7 of 10 Old 10-10-2011, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Sayward! I agree with you. I have the book you recommended (Becoming Vegan), but haven't started reading it yet--I bought like 10 vegan books and just hadn't gotten to that particular one! I am going to look through it right now. I probably should have started with the vegan books regarding children first instead of reading the vegan cooking/baking books and the Crazy Sexy Diet and The Kind Diet books first, which are great and interesting for sure! I will feel better KNOWING that DS is getting enough B-12, and the spray is going to work well, I think. I do wish that one in the link didn't have the preservative potassium sorbate in it, but maybe they all do? Going to do some research. Thanks again, I really appreciate your post!

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#8 of 10 Old 11-02-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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Sayward, did they mean just vegans' breast milk, or everyone's?  I have never known a breastfed baby to be supplemented so young, though the one's I've known haven't been vegan.

 

I am ovo-vegetarian, and the truth is that I really can't bring myself to eat many eggs, so I suppose I should be in the worrying group, too.  I plan to breastfeed, and I don't mind supplementing the baby (I already take sublingual tabs, myself), but I did hope that, now that I occasionally put egg in a pancake (which is mostly what I do), I would be just like a regular omni and my breast milk would be awesome.  (I'm seven weeks pregnant.)  Do I have my head in the sand?

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#9 of 10 Old 11-06-2011, 12:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Sayward, did they mean just vegans' breast milk, or everyone's?  I have never known a breastfed baby to be supplemented so young, though the one's I've known haven't been vegan.

 

I am ovo-vegetarian, and the truth is that I really can't bring myself to eat many eggs, so I suppose I should be in the worrying group, too.  I plan to breastfeed, and I don't mind supplementing the baby (I already take sublingual tabs, myself), but I did hope that, now that I occasionally put egg in a pancake (which is mostly what I do), I would be just like a regular omni and my breast milk would be awesome.  (I'm seven weeks pregnant.)  Do I have my head in the sand?



They mean everybody's breast milk, but if veans aren't getting sufficient B12, then it is more pertinent for them. Of course, there are TONS of omnis who don't get sufficient B12, but the book wasn't written for them!  ;-D  But seriously, statements like this:

 

"I would be just like a regular omni and my breast milk would be awesome"

 

make me sad. What in the world makes you think that vegan breastmilk is inherently inferior?? And what makes you think that omni breastmilk is going to be nutritionally perfect? Vegan diets have deficiency risks, and omni diets also have deficiency risks, and anyone who's not paying attention to their intake will be at risk, regardless of diet. But vegans are perfectly capable of getting everything that they need. Myself and my breastfed bubs, along with countless other mamas in this group, can certainly attest to that!


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#10 of 10 Old 11-06-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Sayward, did they mean just vegans' breast milk, or everyone's?  I have never known a breastfed baby to be supplemented so young, though the one's I've known haven't been vegan.

 

I am ovo-vegetarian, and the truth is that I really can't bring myself to eat many eggs, so I suppose I should be in the worrying group, too.  I plan to breastfeed, and I don't mind supplementing the baby (I already take sublingual tabs, myself), but I did hope that, now that I occasionally put egg in a pancake (which is mostly what I do), I would be just like a regular omni and my breast milk would be awesome.  (I'm seven weeks pregnant.)  Do I have my head in the sand?

 

The chances are that your breastmilk would have plenty of B-12, because you supplement, and because your body will deplete its own stores to make sure the baby gets enough. But, to repeat what Sayward said, why take that risk when the damage from B-12 deficiency can go unseen until it is irreversible? It's not like iron or Vitamin C where correcting the deficiency at the first sign of symptoms fixes it, it causes permanent nerve damage.

 

Healthy young omnivores are a lower risk of B-12 deficiency than vegans that don't supplement, yes (seniors are at the highest risk, no matter what they eat). But there are vitamins and minerals that omnivores are more likely to be deficient in - folic acid comes to mind off the top of my head, and that's another one that can cause damage without you ever realizing that it was a problem until too late.

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