Are you and your baby getting enough Vitamin D?
Everyone seems to agree that vitamin D is important throughout life. This is certainly true for pregnant or breast feeding mums and their babies. In addition to it regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies (both needed for bone and teeth health and repair as well as nerves function and muscle contraction) this crucial nutrient reduces both the risk of current infections and the late-life development of such autoimmune diseases as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes (sciencedaily.com)
So where do we get it?
We produce vitamin-D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The suns ultraviolet B (UVB) rays react with the cholesterol in our skin providing the energy for Vitamin-D synthesis to occur.
The problem is, if you live in the northern hemisphere, ie, the UK, from around mid October too early March, You will not be getting enough, if any, vit-D from sunlight. This is due to the winter sun not containing enough UVB for our skin to be able to produce vitamin-D.
This is why it is important to understand you vitamin-D daily intake and where you are getting it from. There are other sources from which we can increase and 'top-up' our vitamin-D levels. Foods such as oily fish, red meat (no good if you're a vegetarian) egg yolks (or vegan) and some fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals contain vitamin-D. Oh and for our vegan friends mushrooms!
So what about baby?
If your little one is bottle feed they should be getting enough vitamin-D from their formula milk intake. Formula milk has added vitamin-D at a level considered adequate for babies under one years. (see below daily recommend intake) It is advised however, that breast-feed babies should be given a supplement as breast milk alone doesn't contain enough vit-D for baby's daily requirement.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin-D a day
Children over the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin-D a day
But it's not just baby that could benefit from having a supplement during these late Autumn, Winter months. Pregnant and new mums should also make sure they are getting enough vitamin-D too. Your health is equally important! Maintaining strong bones and muscle function is essential in supporting your body during pregnancy, child birth and beyond.
To find out more about the importance of vitamin-D for you and your baby visit https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding/healthy-diet/vitamins-for-mum-and-baby/
If you're looking for a supplement for yourself or baby we would recommend -
For you -
BetterYou Healthy Dlux 3000 vitamin-D Oral Spray £8.49 Holland and Barrett
For baby -
Baby Ddrops liquid D3 drops £10.00 Boots.