Vitamin D Levels May Be Low in New Mothers and New Born Babies
Anne Meerwood, director of the Breastfeeding Center at Boston Medical Center, invetigated the vitamin D levels in mothers and their newborns within 72 hours of delivery. Questionaires and medical charts provided information about the women's vitamin D supplementation, while blood tests revealed the vitamin D levels.
Of the 433 mothers interviewed 36% were vitamin D deficient. 58% of the 376 newborns studied were deficient. Two thirds of the subjects were severely deficient.
Even women who took vitamin D suppplements at least 5 times weekly throughout their pregnancy were ~30% deficient.
A vitamin D deficient mother is 5 times more likely to have a vitamin D deficient infant. Infants of African American descent, those born to obese mothers and those born in winter versus summer are also more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
Infant care providers have debated for some time now the issue of routine vitamin D supplementation for breastfeeding babies.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the exact vitamin D requirement of lactating mothers and breastfeeding babies is not currently known.Therefore they are recommending breastfeeding babies get a daily supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D.
Our skin makes vitamin D from sunshine making it the most ideal way to get vitamin D. Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D:
fatty fish - the flesh of fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources.
beef liver - small amounts
cheese - small amounts
egg yolks - small amounts
Some mushrooms provide vitamin D
Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet, such as vitamin D fortified milk.