For quite a while now, pediatricians and medical alike researchers have been preaching to young mother the benefits of breastfeeding their infants. But, according to the latest research, breastfeeding alone is not enough. Breastfed infants should receive Vitamin D supplements even if they are on solid food.
Breastfeeding you child has more benefits than one is capable of counting. Among the most important one, breastfeeding strengthens the infant’s immune system, thus preventing him or her from getting sick in the first years of life. Moreover, the act is self is beneficial even to the mother. Breastfeeding has been linked to fewer risks of developing breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases
But even this motherly act has its limits. According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it would seem that infants are not receiving enough vitamin D from mother’s milk. The same situation applies to those hooked up on formula or infants who receive solid food.
According to the pediatricians in charge of this research, the best solution to this problem is to give your baby vitamin D supplements while you are breastfeeding him or her. As we know, our body is able to produce Vitamin D in the presence of UVB radiation through a process called dermal synthesis.
Among other things, Vitamin D aids in the intestinal absorption of magnesium, calcium, phosphate, zinc and iron. In the case of breastfeeding, Vitamin D supplements are essential due to the fact that mother’s milk is not considered a rich source of Vitamin D. Even solid food is quite poor in Vitamin D.
Furthermore, the study has pointed out that infants the longer you breastfeed your child without giving him supplements, the more chances he has of developing a Vitamin D deficiency. According to the study, infants who were breastfed up to 24 months had a 16 percent risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency. On the other hand, those who were breastfed past 36 months had a 36 percent chance of suffering from the deficiency.
Doctor Sarah Ronin, a pediatrician, who did not participate in the study, declared that the study’s findings may provide an insight for young mothers who have recently started to breastfeed their children. The pediatrician also added that breastfeeding is an important step in the infant’s life, but young mothers should not avoid the Vitamin D issues.
She also added that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to all sort of immunity issues, and, in very rare circumstance, can hamper the body’s way of handling calcium, by deforming the bone structure.
For this study, the researchers review the health reports of over 2500 newborns from Toronto and have concluded that breastfed infants should receive Vitamin D supplements.