I don't know why this hasn't been mentioned in ANY midwife visits, routine immunisations, parents groups, playgroups etc that I have been to since the birth of my daughter few months ago. With my recent obsession with Vitamin D and it so happened today that I stumbled upon a CDC recommendation that infants should have 400IU of Vitamin D supplement a day! Moreover, this recommendation was given by American Academy of Paediatrics in their 2008 report which states ' It is now recommended that all infants and children, including adolescents, have a minimum daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D beginning soon after birth.' This is another clear example of how millions of good research and recommendations never make it to the public.
It is however quite obvious you are not going to expose your precious babies under the sun for extended period of time just to get adequate amount of Vitamin D for the prevention of infant rickets. Not to mention the risk of skin cancer and wrinkling of skin increase with sunlight exposure.
According to the CDC website, 'Human milk typically contains a vitamin D concentration of 25 IU per liter or less' and I don't believe any baby under 6 months can go through 2 liters of breastmilk a day (equivalent to only 50IU of Vitamin D). So mothers, knowing how Vitamin D is essential for our human body (and many more benefits are currently being researched), do not deprive your babies of Vitamin D supplementation if you choose to exclusively breastfeed. If you are like me, lucky enough to have been supplementing formula with breastmilk, your babies will get Vitamin D from the formula.
Bottom line, breastmilk does not contain everything your baby needs. It is important to always be aware and educate yourself.
Dr Nicole Ng (MBBS) is a medical doctor with a passion in women's health and medical research