Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Vitamin D for a healthy baby and mom

Vitamin D supplements are recommended in Finland and the US for babies who are exclusively breastfed. It is the one vitamin not produced in high enough quantities by mom. Vitamin D is important for healthy bone development as it facilitates the absorption of calcium and a lack of it can lead to growth disorders and illness.

In Finland, however, the use begins at an earlier age. Our health center recommended that Peanut begin at age two weeks. We started with one drop a day and built up to the full 5 drops over 5 days. For infants under one year, the dose is 10 micrograms/day year round until the age of one - three when the dose is 5 - 6 micrograms/day. After that, from age 3 - 15, it is recommended that children continue the 5 - 6 micrograms/day during the dark time of year (Nov - March).

There were two major brands of Vitamin D drops - Devitol and Jekovit. The nurse suggested that Devitol tasted better. Though I tasted it - not much flavor as its sesame seed oil based - but to see Peanut screw up her face when she takes the drops tells me these is obviously some taste. The other difference was that Devitol has to be stored in the refridgerator, but you only have to give 5 drops a day. Jekovit can be kept at room temperature, however, you have to administer like 12 drops. That was the deciding factor for me! 5 drops is challenging enough. I only hope that it can be absorbed through the skin, particularly on the chin since that's where it often seems most of the drops end up.

MiniSun for mama
Since the sun is a major source of Vitamin D for humans, in Finland, pregnant and nursing mothers should take a Vitamin D supplement during the dark months - beginning of November to the end of March. Other sources for Vitamin D are milk products with Vitamin D additives, eggs and fish oil.

I chose a happily named product - MiniSun. It came in regular tablets and pear-flavored with added calcium (my choice). I had a suspicion that it seemed like a good idea for anyone living in Finland and convinced Peanut's dad to join me in taking a daily supplement. Whether it was psychosomatic or not, I think we both felt more cheerful as well :-)

1 comment:

Asay said...

Peanut's Mom, I loved this post, too! I have taken it as my own. Matter of fact, I used it on granny today. That one sentence could replace most of the contradictory books written by the so-called top 100 baby names for 2001 experts.