Kingsley: Vit D

During our last visit to the pediatrician, Kingsley was prescribed vitamin supplements. At first I could not comprehend why a thriving, bonny, breastfed baby should require extra vitamins. Wasn’t my milk good enough for our boy? Well apparently not. At least not when it comes to Vitamin D.

Our indoors baby with Erroll. 17th April 2014 Dubai

Our doctor mandated it: from now, at four months of age, our child is to take a daily dose of 400 international units (IU) of Vitamin D, in the form of a 1ml drop. He took pains to explain why. Living here, in Dubai – the sunniest nation on earth – does not mean that we residents get enough sun exposure to build up critical stores of this super vitamin. And if I cannot do it, what chance a baby?

Indeed there are a few factors that put our breastfed baby at risk for vitamin D deficiency (rickets) are:

  • King has very little exposure to sunlight. We live in an urban area where tall buildings and pollution block sunlight. He is always inside during the day (too hot outside; he’ll desiccate like a coconut) and when he is outside, our child is covered and kept out of the sun.
  • Breastmilk itself is not the greatest repository of Vitamin D either. The amount in human milk is small: around 100 IU/liter. Some quick math would tell you that this is four time less than is recommended.

So supplement we shall. Drops it is. Rickets it ain’t!!

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