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Tag Archives: Vitamin D

  • Is your Baby getting enough Vitamin D?

    Breastfeeding your baby is a great way to not only bond with your baby but to give them the very best customized nutrition and antibodies that they need to be healthy.  However the one vitamin that you may be lacking in providing through your breast milk is vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important part of both your pregnancy diet while your baby’s bones are developing and your breastfeeding diet as your baby continues to grow and develop.

    If you do not get enough Vitamin D in your diet when you are pregnant your baby may develop a condition called rickets from soft bones. Also by getting enough Vitamin D while you are pregnant you increase your chances of having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.

    While breastfeeding it is important that you eat a healthy diet as your nutrient intake is what feeds your baby the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy as well. Depending on how much vitamin D you are getting with your diet and sun exposure, you may or may not be providing enough vitamin D for your baby. If you do not have enough vitamin D in your diet, you will need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement (and you should probably a supplement for yourself too).

    Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a number of factors including:

    Not enough sun exposure outside.

    Having dark skin

    Being overweight or obese

    General recommendations for Vitamin D for pregnant women by the Vitamin D Council are 4,000-6,000 IU/day. Researchers found that moms that took at least 4,000 IU a day where more likely to have uncomplicated births and their newborns were likely to have enough vitamin D when he or she was born. Women without enough Vitamin D in their diets were more likely to have premature births, develop gestational diabetes, have preeclampsia and more likely to have a C-Section.

    The Vitamin D Council’s recommended intake of vitamin D for babies is 1,000 IU/day.  If you are getting enough vitamin D as a breastfeeding mother, then your baby is also getting enough vitamin D and does not need a supplement. If you baby does need a supplement you can give them prescription vitamin D drops directly or add them to food or drink for your baby.

    If you as a breastfeeding mother are taking a supplement of 6,000 IU of vitamin D each day, then your baby does not need a vitamin D supplement as your breast milk will have enough. If you are not taking a supplement (or you are taking less than 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D) and not getting a good amount if sun exposure, then you need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement.

    If you are getting a good amount of skin exposure to the sun each day, then you are probably getting enough vitamin D to make your breast milk rich with vitamin D. However most mothers are not able to get enough skin exposure every day to meet this requirement and do need a supplement 5-6 days a week. When you are not getting enough sun exposure for a number of days your breast milk will quickly clear itself of vitamin D unless you are taking a supplement.

    The upper limits for Vitamin D intake is 2,000 IU/day for babies and 10,000 IU/day for pregnant women. So, unless you are over supplementing, it is hard to exceed these limits. Formula milk varies with how much vitamin D in the formula. Most formula milk has between 40-100 IUs of vitamin D per 100 calories. You will need to figure out how much formula your child has a day to add up the vitamin D IUs they are getting. Based on this result you can figure out if you need to supplement your baby with vitamin D or not and how much to supplement. Remember to adjust your supplements as your baby’s intake of formula may increase over time.

    Although exposing your skin to the sun is a great way for pregnant and breastfeeding women to increase their vitamin D supply for both themselves and their babies, you also want to be careful not to burn. Although skin exposure for your baby will increase their vitamin D directly, your baby’s skin is extra sensitive and should not be exposed directly to the sun for at least the first six months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even after 6 months you will need to be careful of your baby’s sun exposure, especially in the hot summer months as burns can happen quickly to your baby’s sensitive skin.

    Vitamin D supplements are a good subject to bring up with your pediatrician. However it is also good to educate yourself on this subject as well so you can have a very informed conversation with your doctor on how to best supplement your baby if needed.

  • Looking For A Tasty Way To Add Vitamin D To Your Diet?

    New research has found that it is very important for pregnant women to get enough Vitamin D for their infant’s healthy development. When pregnant we need more than the recommended 200 milligrams supplement of Vitamin D.

    This quick and tasty omelet dish from Fit Pregnancy is an easy way to add both Vitamin D and protein to your healthy diet. Among the many great things that Vitamin D will do for your body it will also help your baby absorb bone building calcium and phosphorous.

    1⁄2 cup baby bok choy, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces

    1⁄2 cup mushrooms (any variety), wiped clean and sliced

    1 teaspoon sesame or other cooking oil

    2 eggs

    2 ounces canned cooked baby shrimp

    1. In a small pan, sauté bok choy and mushrooms in 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil for 2 to 4 minutes.

    2. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork.

    3. Preheat an 8-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat with a few spritzes of cooking spray.

    4. Add egg mixture and swirl around until pan is evenly coated.

    5. When eggs begin to set slightly, run spatula under cooked egg and tip pan to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Keep doing this all the way around until center is set, about 2 minutes.

    6. Top half of the eggs with mushroom mixture and shrimp, then fold in half using the spatula. Cover and cook over low heat until omelet fluffs up, 30 to 40 seconds. Carefully slide omelet onto plate.

    Nutritional information per serving

    Per serving: 256 calories, 26 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 15.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 181 mg calcium, 3.6 mg iron, 88 mcg folate, 1 g fiber

  • New guidance on vitamin D recommends midday sunshine

    New health advice recommends short spells in the sun - without suncream and in the middle of the day.

    Seven organisations have issued joint advice on vitamin D, which the body gets from natural sunlight.

    The nutrient keeps bones strong, and protects against conditions like osteoporosis.

    The guidance was drawn up because it is thought fears about skin cancer have made people too cautious about being in the sun.

    Cancer Research UK and the National Osteoporosis Society are among the bodies which agree that "little and frequent" spells in summer sunshine several times a week can benefit your health.

    The experts now say it is fine to go outside in strong sun in the middle of the day, as long as you cover up or apply sunscreen before your skin goes red.

    'Too negative'

    A good diet and sensible sun exposure will be adequate for most people to minimise their cancer risk.”

    End Quote Professor Peter Johnson Cancer Research UK

    Professor Rona Mackie, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "Total sun protection with high factor suncream on all the time is not ideal, in terms of vitamin D levels.

    "Even Australia has changed its policy on this. They're now producing charts showing parts of Australia where sun protection may not be required during some parts of the year.

    "Some of the messages about sun exposure have been too negative. UK summer sunshine isn't desperately strong. We don't have many days in the year when it is very intense.

    "What's changed is that we're now saying that exposure of 10 to 15 minutes to the UK summer sun, without suncream, several times a week is probably a safe balance between adequate vitamin D levels and any risk of skin cancer."

    Official government advice already recommends vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children aged under five.

    But the experts who wrote the joint statement say mothers often are not made aware of this recommendation. They suggest women consult their GP.

    Winter levels of vitamin D can be helped by a break in the tropical sun - or by eating oily fish, liver and fortified margarine.

    'Complex area'

    Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, Professor Peter Johnson, said: "A good diet and sensible sun exposure will be adequate for the great majority of the UK population to minimise their cancer risk.

    "The area of vitamin D and cancer is complex.

    "There's some evidence, which is strongest in bowel cancer, that low levels of vitamin D in the blood correlate with the risk of developing cancer.

    "But that doesn't mean those low levels cause bowel cancer.

    "We think overall that low levels of vitamin D are unlikely to be major contributors to the chances of developing cancer in the UK population."

    The joint statement also highlighted questions about vitamin D that warrant further research.

    These include finding out the optimal levels of vitamin D, and more detail about the role of dietary sources and supplements.

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