Not just any vitamin. Specifically Vitamin D and iron. Have you ever wondered if you should be giving your baby extra anything? I mean, as adults it always seems like we need something extra, right? I could probably name several vitamins or nutrients I am deficient in as I sit here and type. Does that mean your baby needs something in addition to breastmilk?
The short answer is NO. The long answer is that there are always exceptions. Read on.
Your breastmilk has whatever the baby needs. In addition, the nutrients in your breastmilk are bioavailable, which means that the baby is able to absorb them better. For example, iron in breastmilk is absorbed into the baby ‘s system much more efficiently than iron from milk based formulas. Basically, the baby’s body “likes” the iron from the breastmilk much better and hangs on to it for safe keeping. Iron from other sources is foreign to babies’ little system, and they kick that stranger to the curb instead of letting it in.
It’s true that Vitamin D is low in breastmilk, but do you know why? Because it is low in everyone. It is not a negative on breastmilk, but a wake up call to all of us to make sure our Vitamin D is where it should be. There are options – supplementing your baby or supplementing yourself.
As I said, there are always exceptions. Premature babies, medical problems for either mother or baby…this is where things become cloudy. Talk with your provider about specific issues or questions.
Do you want to hear more about this and learn the science behind it all? Check out the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week and become informed. Education is power.