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Vitamin D for Breast Fed Infants


sunset in AMI, vitamin D

The major source for vitamin D is sunlight. Breast fed infants get vitamin D from their mother's breast milk. There is an increasing body of evidence revealing many mothers (and other adults) are vitamin D deficient.

For several years, the AAP has recommend vitamin D supplementation in exclusively breast fed infants. Initially, I resisted these recommendations for two main reasons:
1.) I live and practice in the Sunshine state
2.) I tend to believe that breast milk is perfect. (Though I admit the mankind could even mess that one up.)

These recommendations remain frustrating as experts disagree on the need for vitamin D and there are currently no established “normal” ranges for young children. I cannot assess a newborn’s individual need for vitamin D.

When considering supplementation parents need to factor in the mother’s vitamin D exposure. Do you get regular sun exposure? Vitamin D deficiency in newborns occurs because mothers are not getting enough vitamin D themselves.

As the evidence continues to mount and after consulting a local pediatric endocrinologist, I am forced to reconsider my recommendations. As a general rule, mothers who exclusively breast feed should supplement with vitamin D.


see How long on Vitamin D?




Updated July 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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