Vitamin D Supplementation Lacking in Breast-Fed Infants — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 10, 2017

Vitamin D Supplementation Lacking in Breast-Fed Infants

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Roughly half of infants are not receiving vitamin D supplementation as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, according to a study in Annals of Family Medicine.

Researchers surveyed 180 mothers who at least partially breast-fed their infants (aged 6 weeks to 5 months). Roughly 55% said they had given their infants vitamin D supplements in the past week, and only 42% overall administered the recommended 400 IU. Most mothers (88%) said that they preferred supplementing themselves rather than their infants.

The authors conclude: "Promotion of breastfeeding as a complete nutritional source could be facilitated by providing adequate maternal vitamin D supplementation to breastfeeding mothers. Maternal choice of mode of supplementation may help ensure adequate vitamin D status for infants."

Reader Comments (1)

Anne Arikian Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, UCLA Department of Family Medicine

As a practical matter, it can be challenging to administer Vitamin D drops to an exclusively breastfed infant. I discovered this with my own babies. The secret I found is to put the drop on your finger and let baby suck it from your finger- this is much easier than trying to get it directly from the bottle to their mouth without spilling!

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