In my July 28th blog, I made an inaccurate statement about La Leche League’s beliefs in regards to when babies will begin eating solid foods. To correct this error, I have asked Fiona Audy of La Leche League to share their information with Vitamin D Council blog readers. Here are some of the things she wished to share:
- La Leche League has always believed that breast milk is the ideal food for babies and that full term healthy babies need no other foods in the first six months.
- La Leche League (along with the World Health Organization and the Canadian and American Pediatric Societies) recognize that most healthy full term babies will start to show an interest in solid foods around the middle of the first year of life. Babies will increase their consumption of complementary foods while also continuing to breastfed to a year, or beyond if mother and baby wish to.
- La Leche League recognizes that vitamin D is an important hormone created in the skin with sunlight exposure.
- Lack of sunlight exposure due to geography, lifestyle, cultural norms, clothing and sunscreen means that many people have inadequate vitamin D levels. La Leche League encourages people to talk with their health professionals regarding vitamin D supplementation for both adults and children, regardless of how they are fed.
La Leche League and I have differing views on the specific style of the information they should be providing to breastfeeding mothers in regards to vitamin D supplementation. We do however agree that it is important for mothers to know about the risks of vitamin D deficiency and to understand that oral supplementation can prevent and correct deficiencies in mothers and children.
However, I maintain that Dr. Hollis’s prior discovery of how high vitamin D blood levels need to be to produce enough vitamin D in breast milk (40-50 ng/ml) is the one of the best biomarkers we have to date, and one that paints a good picture for how much vitamin D a pregnant or breastfeeding mother needs.