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A 21-year-old member asked:

Why is it necessary to give vitamin d supplements to my breastfed baby? doesnt human milk have all the essential nutrients for babies?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jessica Davis
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes: Breastmilk is complete, as long as the mother has adequate nutritional stores. Vitamin d deficiency is very common, due to lack of sun exposure. If mom has adequate vitamin d levels from either sunshine or supplements, breastmilk should be complete. One study suggests that moms need to take at least 2000 iu of vitamin d daily to allow adequate levels in their breastmilk.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz
Internal Medicine 30 years experience
Yes: Human breast milk indeed is nutritionally complete - provided the mother is complete - if the mother has an adequate blood level of vitamin d so will her milk. Simply put - if she is a breastfeeding lifeguard who doesn't use sunscreen - her milk is perfect. If she stays inside - an oral supplement of at least 5000iu will provide adequate levels in her milk.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Cynthia Point
Specializes in Internal Medicine
Yes: If you have enough Vitamin D, then you may not need to supplement, but most of don't have enough, and a small supplement can be very beneficial to your baby. There is no source of vitamin D except supplements in our foods, like milk, or vitamin supplements, or made in your skin from sun exposure. It isn't clear how much sun exposure is needed to have enough D.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. George Valdez
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes, except: If a baby is exclusively breast fed for more than a year, should make sure there is enough iron. Exclusive breast feeding past this age is uncommon, as is iron deficiency cause by this, but can happen and should be monitored.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jan 21, 2019

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