Inviting little life into the world brings a range of feelings for every new parent. From feeling maximum excitement to seeing your child make a huge milestone, all the way to being concerned that they aren’t living the healthiest life. This week we are going to address the question that a lot of new parents ask us: “Do babies need supplements?”
To answer the question, we’ve got to mention the popular and all-natural choice of pure breastmilk. Many mothers around the world make the decision to breastfeed their infants exclusively for the first 6 months (WHO recommended). Breast milk is known to provide close to ideal nutrients for infants, antibodies to help fight off viruses and can help build more physical closeness between a mother and their child. Comparing to formula milk a big difference would be breastmilk is provided in a form that is easily digested. While many women have initiated breastfeeding during the first 6 months, the rates of women who actually do it are at a low 27.9%, with most women discontinuing within the first few months. There are many reasons in which women stop exclusively breastfeeding and one of the main concerns is the nutritional value with breastfed milk.
DOESN’T BREAST MILK CONTAIN ALL THE NUTRIENTS?
If you’re a healthy mother who has a balanced diet and takes prenatal vitamins, it is very likely your breast milk contains all the nutrients your healthy full-term baby needs. For the most part, it’s true, but even with a healthy breastfeeding diet, you may find that your breastmilk lacks certain minerals and vitamins. You’re not ready to give up all the good that comes with breastmilk, so the best way to address this lacking is with baby supplements.
WHICH NUTRITION IS LACKING IN BREAST MILK?
The vitamin that is found to be most varying and lacking in many women’s breastmilk is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in infants’ healthy growth and development, it helps in absorbing and retaining calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building healthy bones and teeth. Infants need a strong bone structure to help them stand and walk properly. The amount of Vitamin D in breastmilk really depends on how much a mother gets – you can get some from food, but the majority is from how much exposure you have to the sun. But how much sun time really depends on a mother’s skin tone, lifestyle and where they live.
Because low levels of vitamin D are commonly seen in infants and children, the American Academy of Paediatrics says all breast-fed infants, whether exclusively breastfed or partially breastfed, should take the daily recommended 400IU of Vitamin D. For new parents we recommend our Baby Vitamin D3. As well as being certified organic and clean from nasty artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, one drop a day is all your baby needs to reach their daily Vitamin D intake.
BUT MY KID WON’T TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, WHAT SHOULD I DO??
So you’re probably wondering how on earth are you going to get your little love one to take these supplements, trying to feed them the bare necessities is challenging enough already! At Life Nutrition, all our baby supplements come in liquid or drops form. For infants, you can place it directly on the mother’s breast, a clean finger or pacifier and allow your baby to directly suck it. For kids, you can hide it with foods or liquids, this way you never need to negotiate or spend hours explaining why.
All in all, supplements aren’t just about making sure your children have the nutrients they need but also to help them they grow up healthy, and isn’t that what every parent wants for their children?