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Vitamin D and Breastfeeding

Vitamin D and Breastfed Babies

  • Babies need Vitamin D for healthy growth and development. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium and Vitamin D work together to help babies build strong, healthy bones and teeth.
  • Babies who do not get enough vitamin D may be at risk of getting rickets, a disease that affects the way bones grow and develop.
  • Breastmilk is naturally low in Vitamin D. Health Canada recommends a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU (International Units) for all breastfed or partially breastfed babies from birth until 2 years of age.
  • Vitamin D is formed naturally when skin is exposed to sunlight however sunscreen and clothing protect babies from the harmful effects of the sun and prevent vitamin D from being formed.

For the first six months of life breastmilk is the only food your baby needs to grow and be healthy. Continue to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond with the introduction of complimentary foods at six months.

Why is Vitamin D Important?

  • Vitamin D supplements can be purchased without a prescription at your local pharmacy.
  • It is important to give your baby a Vitamin D supplement that is meant for babies. Follow the directions on the package for information on how to safely give the supplement to your baby.
  • Speak to your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.

 

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