Should I give my breastfed baby vitamin and mineral supplements? I’m worried he’s not getting the Vitamin D and fluoride that formula-fed babies get.

Human milk is nature's ideal diet for infants. When breastfeeding goes well, a baby will consume adequate quantities of human milk to meet all her nutrient requirements for about six months of life. The milk produced by a well-nourished woman has ample amounts of vitamins. Human milk is relatively low in vitamin D, but this vitamin is synthesised in the skin in ample amounts if a person is exposed to some sunlight. Dark-skinned individuals require more sunlight exposure than light-skinned persons.

While vitamin and/or mineral supplements may be required for premature infants and those with special health problems, no vitamin or mineral supplements are necessary for healthy, breastfed infants of well-nourished mothers. Nevertheless, some doctors routinely prescribe liquid multivitamin preparations for breastfed infants "just in case." This practice probably does no harm beyond the added expense and hassle of trying to get your baby to take the vitamins. However, a few mothers report that their infants react adversely to vitamin preparations, either refusing them or acting fussy afterward. If that is the case with your baby, ask your doctor whether a valid indication exists for prescribing the supplements.

Babies, even those exclusively breastfed, should not be given fluoride supplements in the first six months of life. If you reside in a non-fluoridated area please see your doctor for advice and recommendations.

Rest, stay healthy, eat and drink well….in return, your body will make the most nutritious meal for your baby, your milk!

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