While there’s no question that breastmilk is the perfect food and drink, it’s long been recognised that it provides insufficient Vitamin D for the baby. When you consider that a significant number of pregnant women are deficient in Vitamin D, it’s a completely logical finding. So if you’re a breastfeeding mum you’ll be interested in this study confirming the high doses of Vitamin D supplementation required to ensure your infant gets a minimum of 400IU/daily. Unfortunately the recommendation of a short daily “sun bath” for babies has gone the way of a good deal of other grandmotherly wisdom. This recommendation, which I know my own mother heeded (probably beginning my life-long love affair with the sun) was firmly put to bed with the scare campaign about the damage of sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer. If you feel uncomfortable about exposing your baby’s delicate skin to the sun, here’s the recommendations for either your own regular sun exposure and/or supplementation while breastfeeding. If you’re planning a baby or already pregnant, I’ve included the recommendations for Vitamin D supplementation for you too. You might be surprised by the doses required - very significantly higher than many commonly available supplements! Here’s the word from researchers at GrassRootsHealth, whose work now spans more than three decades, on the required dosages and for a continuing appropriate relationship between your skin and the sun. These apply to Australian latitudes. In colder climates (higher latitudes) supplementation is the only way to achieve appropriate status.
Minimize UVA while allowing UVB
10-15 minutes exposure/day between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm during daylight saving)
Expose 40 percent of skin area
Ensure it’s a clear day without pollution
If this isn’t possible, use oral D3 supplements to achieve 40-60ng/ml (100-150nMols/L)
Vitamin D Recommendations Update for Preconception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Dose for adults: 1 drop (I,000IU) 1 to 2 times daily.
Dose for preconception: 2 drops (2,000 IU) daily.
Dose for pregnancy: 4 drops (4,000 IU) daily
Dose for breastfeeding: 6,400IU daily
The only way to get Vitamin D3 in breast milk is by dosing daily - either by sun, diet or supplementation. The latest research of Grassrootshealth and Dr. Bruce Hollis, Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina indicates that 6,400 IU/day is necessary for breast feeding mothers to attain sufficient vitamin D (to the value of 400 IU/day for the infant) in their breast milk.
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