Why Do Newborns Need Vitamin D?

Health

You’ve got the nursery all painted and decorated, you’ve stocked up on diapers and made sure that everybody’s had their DTaP and you’re ready for anything. However, there is one very common thing you may be missing and might need it on hand to help your newborn. Many newborns are born with jaundice, and this is common because the baby’s liver is not mature enough to process out bilirubin in the bloodstream – this is especially the case in babies born before 38 weeks.

Prevention Starts at Birth

According to the Mayo Clinic, the best way to prevent jaundice is to feed the baby 8 to 12 times per day if breastfed and with 1 to 2 ounces of formula every 2 to 3 hours before their first week of life. Lots of women are shamed for not exclusively breastfeeding, but this may lead to under-feeding, jaundice, liver damage, and even life-threatening conditions such as acute bilirubin encephalopathy. Breastfeeding, formula feeding, or supplementing breast with formula – it doesn’t matter. A fed baby will be a healthy baby, and every woman should feed by the method with which she is most comfortable.

A Little Help

Newborn vitamin D drops and supervised phototherapy can help to prevent jaundice and to treat existing cases of jaundice. Under no circumstances should newborn vitamin D drops be the only treatment. This is a severe pediatric medical condition, even though it is a common one complications can develop.

Check in with your pediatrician for regular appointments and if the condition becomes concerning, go to the nearest emergency room with your child. Even if your child does not present with jaundice, supplementing breastfeeding or formula feeding with vitamin D drops in the first few weeks of life is a great way to give them a great start.