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Newborn and Infant Care

Breastfeeding and vitamins

07/10/1998

Question:

What are the pros and cons of giving a successfully breast fed baby the Dr.'s prescribed liquid vitamin supplement, from a couple weeks after birth until the 6th month? Signed, Father

Answer:

Human milk provides most of the necessary vitamins needed by a newborn for the first year of life. Vitamin D and Vitamin K are lower in human milk than cow's milk. Vitamin D is necessary for bone mineralization and calcium balance. In addition to human milk, the infant who is exposed to sunlight regularly may make some additional vitamin D. However, generally, vitamin D supplementation is recommended. Vitamin K is necessary for prevention of hemorrhagic diseases of the newborn. The amount present in human milk is less than the suggested intake of 12 ug/day. If your health care provider has suggested that you give your child vitamin supplementation, you should follow their advice. However, if you choose not to supplement, you need to inform the health care provider and discuss your decision with them.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati