La Leche League, starting solid foods & Vitamin D

 Rather than write our own blog this week we are going to connect you to the blog of the Vitamin D Council, a US non-profit that speaks on the topic of Vitamin D. A few weeks ago their blogger made an inaccurate statement about La Leche League’s philosophy regarding when babies will start eating complementary foods. After much discussion Dr Cannell, their founder and blogger, requested La Leche League write a statement that he would post on his site to counteract his previous comments. This Vitamin D Council blog, written primarily by La Leche League Canada, regarding starting solid foods and Vitamin D can be found on the Vitamin D Council site.

As we talk about breastmilk and Vitamin D content it is important to remember breastmilk is not “deficient” in Vitamin D but rather it was never intended by nature to be the major source of Vitamin D for infants. Over the centuries, humans have moved physically further from the equator requiring those of us in northern climates to wear more clothing and spend more time indoors especially in colder parts of the year.  Our societies and life styles have also changed from having significant sun exposure though an agricultural based life style, which allowed synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin, to ones in which people remain indoors or block the sun with clothing, lotions, and hats to avoid the possibility of sun damage. It is skin exposure to the sun rays which allows for creation of Vitamin D in the body.  Mothers who are themselves deficient in Vitamin D cannot pass it on to their babies through the placenta or supplement, via breastmilk, the Vitamin D their baby’s skin creates in response to sun exposure.

We hope everyone will have an informed discussion about Vitamin D with their health professionals regarding to their own and their children’s Vitamin D needs. 

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