Monday, February 4, 2013

Vitamin D and Baby

The other day I finally did it, I bough a vitamin D supplement for Baby.  I still feel slightly guilty both for buying it, and for the fact that I hadn't bought it sooner (he'll be 6 months this week).

You see, I've known for some time that the both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control recommend a 400 IU vitamin D supplement for exclusively breastfed infants.  We were also sent home from our stay in the NICU with multivitamin drops I was theoretically supposed to mix with formula or milk and then feed to Baby.  Well, I wasn't going to give Baby formula, and it just seemed so inconvenient to pump just to turn around and immediately give a bottle-- it seems like so many extra, and unnecessary steps.  I know our wonderful pediatrician mentioned the need for vitamin D at one point as well.  So, yes, if my son has a vitamin D deficiency it is solely my responsibility.  And therefore, as you could guess, this is why I feel guilty for not having bought it sooner.

But, I'm stubborn.  I don't like supplements-- you could say it's a pet peeve of mine.  I feel like I ought to be able to get all the vitamins I need from my diet and a healthy lifestyle (spent anytime outside lately for your vitamin D?).  The only time I've even semi-consistently taken vitamins or other supplements is during pregnancy.  I suppose all of the hype surrounding neural tube defects and folic acid influenced me and I decided the potential benefits outweighed the risks.

To take the time and thoroughly research vitamin D supplementation has been on my mental to-do list since shortly before Baby was born, but to be honest I still haven't really gotten around to it.  By purchasing the supplement I feel like I caved in to pressure and am conforming to the norm without knowing if this is really best.  I know this is silly, but this is how my mind works...I want to know why, and just knowing that it's recommended isn't enough.

On an unrelated note, the supplement contains artificial coloring.  I asked the pharmacist if it were possible to find one without artificial coloring, and she seemed skeptical.  Even the supplements she had behind the counter contained artificial color.  Perhaps there is some available somewhere -- I'd love a link if you know of a place that sells some.

That said tough, after considering what I know of the benefits and risks, I've decided to swallow my pride and add the vitamin D supplement to Baby's diet, even without actually doing the research myself.  Perhaps this is keeping with my evidence based theme, or perhaps not.  I could see it both ways.  At least I've 'fessed up to it.

Here's hoping Baby will swallow the drops!

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