Breastmilk Alone May Not Provide Enough Vitamin D for Your Baby
April 19, 2017
A recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that many breastfed babies are not getting enough vitamin D. A postnatal supplement containing vitamin D paired with foods rich in vitamin D may be a solution to help increase the amount of vitamin D that is contained in mothers’ breastmilk.
A mother’s breastmilk naturally does not contain high levels of vitamin D. As the baby’s need for vitamin D grows in utero, the supply of this key nutrient must come from the mother, her reserves of vitamin D can be depleted as the nutrient is diverted to the baby. In the later stages of pregnancy, a mother’s supply of vitamin D begins to run low, which means that the presence of vitamin D in her breastmilk also is lowered.
The Mayo Clinic study surveyed 184 women who received care. Only 42 percent of the women surveyed said they had given their babies the recommended 400 IU of vitamin D per day. Many were not aware of the recommendations or assumed that their breastmilk contained sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
Interestingly, when asked about preferred means of vitamin D supplementation, 88 percent of the breastfeeding mothers in the study said they preferred to take the supplements themselves, rather than give supplements to their infants.
The researchers concluded that if moms take additional vitamin D supplements, it could improve their infants’ vitamin D levels. It is important to note that other studies have found it takes around 4,000 to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per day to sufficiently enrich breastmilk.1,2 This means that new and expecting moms should try to eat foods high in vitamin D while taking a vitamin that contains vitamin D.
Prenatal Vitamins with Vitamin D
While eating foods high in vitamin D is recommended, a daily prenatal vitamin is a quick and easy way to help reach your daily goals for vitamin D consumption. Each of these Prenate® prenatal vitamins contain 1,000 IU of vitamin D3:3-5
- Prenate Mini® – Small prenatal vitamin that contains 14 nutrient forms
- Prenate® Enhance – Most advanced prenatal vitamin for patients seeking high nutrient benefits
- Prenate® Restore – Contains probiotics and designed for the needs of breastfeeding moms
A daily prenatal vitamin is also an essential part of a pregnancy diet that supports the nutritional needs of both mothers and babies. Talk to your doctor to see which prenatal vitamin with vitamin D is right for you.