Vitamin D, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


The joy of breastfeeding your baby and seeing them fulfilled and content is a joyous feeling for the mothers who love all that breastfeeding their child has to offer. The benefits are amazing, I breastfed my first son for 23 months and we both enjoyed the bonding experience. The health benefits for mother and baby are awesome.  Did you know that breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies and that researchers concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and significantly improves cognitive development?

Read up on more  benefits for you and your baby here http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-breastfeeding-benefits-you-and-your-baby_8910.bc

As a new mum I basked in the glory of the opportunity to do all that I could to give our son the best start he could have in life by breastfeeding him for the goal of two years, this duration is often referred to as extended breastfeeding as many mothers choose to breastfeed for a shorter time.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

My world of breastfeeding bliss was interrupted when my son’s godmother who is a nurse pointed out that the bones in our son’s wrists looked protruded and that I should take him to the GP to get him checked out. Anxious to know more I looked on the Internet and saw images that looked like our son’s wrist and these pictures were accompanied by information about vitamin D deficiency and ricketts.

An example of a child's wrist with vitamin D deficiency
An example of a child’s wrist with vitamin D deficiency

I was absolutely shocked, horrified to see that despite my efforts to ensure our son was healthy my efforts had possibly given way to him being vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth.  A vitamin is something that helps our body function – a ‘nutrient’ – that we cannot make in our body. Vitamin D is different because even though we call it a vitamin, it is actually a hormone and we can make it in our body. For a comprehensive understanding of vitamin D and why we need it check out this informative article from the Vitamin D Council http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/

Further research lead me to find that many fresh foods today aren’t as rich in mineral content as they used to be especially when it come to foods that contain vitamin D such as oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and eggs. Due to this a lot of foods are fortified with vitamin D for an example breakfast cereals and fruit juices. Food fortification is the process of adding vitamins and nutrients to food and drinks.

As we know the best source of vitamin D is from the sun but we don’t get enough of it here in the UK. Check out this fact sheet from the British Dietetic Association that contains some great information on those of us that may be at risk of Vitamin D deficiency so you’re clued up on this important topic http://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD

I felt it important to share this information with you as none of the health  professionals that I engaged with either during or after my pregnancy mentioned that it would be good to take a vitamin D supplement even though they were aware that I  was extended breastfeeding, dark skinned and dress modestly.

Now would you believe that the year after our was son born in 2012 chief medical officers from the four UK departments of health wrote to some healthcare professionals, although not midwives, to remind them of the recommendations for vitamin D supplementation (Davies et al, 2012). – See more of this insightful article at http://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views-and-analysis/analysis/tackling-the-deficiency

Our son has since been prescribed a vitamin D supplement and has had a good dose of Caribbean sun and we have seen a great improvement in his bones. Please share this information especially with anyone whose planning on starting a family, pregnant or breastfeeding as “PREVENTION” as my Grandmother used to say is “BETTER THAN CURE.”

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Tell me;
Have you or your child suffered with vitamin D deficiency?
How did you remedy your vitamin D deficiency?
Were you well advised by your health service on vitamin D?

Thank you for reading this post, please show you care and share it to help someone!

Peace to you and have a great day.




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