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Vitamin D is practically considered a wonder drug these days, getting a lot of attention for its ability to help lower the risk of certain diseases, including cancer, heart disease and depression. But it's something most of us probably don’t get enough of. According to one study published last year, a whopping 77 percent of teens and adults in the U.S. lack sufficient levels of this powerhouse vitamin.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, add her to that statistic, because breast milk, for all of its benefits, usually doesn’t provide babies with enough D. (If you’re using formula, check with your pediatrician, but you probably don’t need to supplement.) That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementing breastfed babies with a daily 400 IU dose of vitamin D. Simple enough, right?
Not according to the FDA, which recently issued a warning that the droppers for some liquid vitamin D supplements could give babies an “excessive” dose. It's a little scary because too much D can cause a host of health problems, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, abdominal pain -- even kidney damage.
So how can you make sure your breastfed baby gets enough -- but not too much -- of this important vitamin? The FDA recommends that you hold on to the supplement's original packaging and instructions; that you only use the dropper that comes with the product; and that you make sure you can see the dropper’s measurements clearly. It's very important not to unintentionally give more than the recommended 400 IUs. If you’re not positive you’re giving your baby the right dose, talk to your pediatrician before giving it to her.
How do you make sure your baby's getting the proper vitamins? Chime in below!