Once your baby arrives, you want to give him/her the best of everything. From the clothes that you choose to the safest car seat you can afford, to going without some things to save for the college fund, you make your selection with as much care and love as you can.
The same goes for the newborn supplements that your baby may need. There are many different types to choose from, but before you go out and buy them, educating yourself will help you to make an informed decision.
Keep reading to learn more about the supplements your little bundle of joy might need.
Vitamin K injections are given to newborns because it can prevent a rare bleeding disorder called vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). And yes, the thought of someone giving your newborn an injection so early in his/her life is not a nice one, but the alternative could be devastating for your child.
Vitamin D is needed in the human body because it promotes healthy bones and teeth, and prevents chronic disease. It is administered in liquid drops. Your baby might need a Vitamin D supplement if exclusively breastfed. Infant formula has higher levels of Vitamin D and children that are formula fed usually don’t need additional Vitamin D. Other factors that contribute to a Vitamin D deficiency is a lack of sufficient sunlight or if a breastfeeding mom is deficient in this vitamin.
Iron is a very important element in our bodies. It helps to make haemoglobin. Haemoglobin takes oxygen through the blood to all the cells in our body. If our iron levels are low, the red blood cells become small and they can’t carry oxygen to all our organs and muscles. Babies are born with their own store of iron which will last them for about 6 months, but your healthcare professional will tell you if your baby needs to take a supplement. Some symptoms of iron deficiency in babies may include slow weight gain, no appetite, pale skin, and crankiness.
This vitamin prevents anaemia as well as supporting healthy neurological function. It is found naturally in animal products like meat, eggs, fish and dairy. Therefore, if you are vegan and exclusively breastfeeding your baby, you might need to supplement the diet with B12. Vegan babies that are formula-fed usually get their Vitamin B12 from a soy-based fortified formula. Vitamin B12 is usually administered to babies in drop form.
Fluoride reduces the incidence of tooth decay, but too much of this natural element during childhood can cause fluorosis, those white specks or streaks in the enamel of the tooth. If your primary source of water is deficient in fluoride, you might need to give your baby additional fluoride, but only babies that are 6 months and older. Your healthcare provider should know if the water supply is lacking in fluoride and will inform you if your baby needs to be supplemented.
When we think about scurvy, which is just a nasty sounding word for a Vitamin C deficiency, we see pirates that have been at sea for months on end not getting enough fruit and vegetables. But in rare cases, children can also suffer from scurvy. To make sure your baby gets enough of this vitamin, breastfeeding moms need to get 120mg per day in their diet.
Ask For Help
Being a parent stretches you in ways that you never thought possible, but that is why we have healthcare providers that can help us. If you suspect that your child has a vitamin deficiency, mention it to your doctor or obstetrician. They have years of experience and will know what to do. You are not alone in this.