Getting Enough Vitamin D in Breast Milk

by Adama

I have been researching Vitamin D online for a while as I am very worried about my newborn baby. Prior to trying to conceive I was taking 10,000 IUs for three months and continued into the first trimester. I then tested my levels which were only 35 ng/mL. I wanted to get my levels between 70 and 80 (especially so because my previous child has autism and I wanted to get my levels up for breastfeeding this baby) so I started taking 23,000 IUs of vitamin D and retested in the final trimester but my level stayed exactly the same. I am now breastfeeding and I have a couple of questions.

Were my levels so low during pregnancy because baby was taking it? Will the vitamin D I am taking now that I am breastfeeding (still taking 23,000 IUs) transfer in my milk or will it be low for baby because I am low? In other words, does the vitamin D content in breast milk depend on the \'quantity\' mum is taking or the \'blood level\' of mum because I\'m taking loads but my level is low? Thanks so much for your advice!

Comments for Getting Enough Vitamin D in Breast Milk

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Unfortunately, I have no answer to getting enough vitamin d in the breast milk
by: Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

Hi Adama,

Good questions, looks like you did some research. So, in answer to your first question, I would suspect that you were still low after increasing your vitamin d MAYBE because the baby was taking it up, but I would suspect it was more likely because you were somewhat magnesium deficient. Please see my page on Magnesium and Vitamin D. The common condition often known as 'toxemia of pregnancy' or the common problem of increased high blood pressure in pregnancy is most often due to magnesium deficiency, so mom's just seem to have a lot higher need for magnesium in pregnancy.

Then your next question is great. No one has done any studies, so far as I know, that show whether it is the blood level or the amount of vitamin d that gets breast milk to baby. The studies that I show on the Vitamin D and Breastfeeding page only measured the amount of vitamin d given and not whether the blood levels had risen. So, it's really impossible to say.

However, since he's already born, it's easy enough to simply give your little one oral vitamin d just to make sure. Even if he's getting some in your breast milk, giving him the recommended dose for newborns will not push him into toxicity. Please see my page on Overdose on Vitamin D where I link to some studies of children in West Berlin who were routinely given 600,000 IU's of vitamin d by injection at birth and every 3 months until they were two years old, and even then with those massive doses, they had no problems.

So, giving your little one the standard newborn dosage by mouth AND getting your levels up the same time, the evidence shows that it would be almost impossible to get him too much through both those sources. Then once your vitamin d levels are up, you can stop giving him the oral vitamin d unless he's eating by then, then you may want to continue anyway.

Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your time, your advice makes perfect sense! My D levels rose quite a bit postpartam, I suspect as you suggested, being a magnesium/pregnancy issue. Also for many years I have always needed a lot of magnesium just to make it through the day so I have an underlying magnesium issue. I've been giving the baby oral vitamin D and will continue as I prefer her to get enough, knowing that toxicity isn't going to be an issue. Thanks again! Adama

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