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Most mothers still do not supplement infants with vitamin D – July 2010

Use of Supplemental Vitamin D Among Infants Breastfed for Prolonged Periods.

Pediatr 125(1):105-11 (2010)
profile James A Taylor, profile Leah J Geyer and profile Kenneth W Feldman
Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; and.

Objectives: To determine the rate of vitamin D supplementation in predominantly breastfed children.
To identify patient characteristics, parental beliefs, and practitioner policies associated with supplementation.

Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in a practice-based research network.
Network pediatricians completed a survey regarding their policy on vitamin D supplementation for breastfed infants.
Parents of children 6 to 24 months old completed a survey on the initial type of feeding given to the child, length of breastfeeding, formula supplementation, and use of multivitamins.
Parents indicated their level of agreement with statements regarding vitamin D supplementation.

Results: Among 44 responding pediatricians, 36.4% indicated that they recommended vitamin D supplementation for all breastfed infants.
A total of 2364 surveys were completed on age-eligible children; 1140 infants were breastfed for at least 6 months with little or no formula supplementation.

The rate of vitamin D use for these infants was 15.9%.
Use of vitamin D was significantly associated with parental agreement that their child's pediatrician recommended supplementation (odds ratio [OR]: 7.8), and that vitamins are unnecessary because breast milk has all needed nutrition (OR: 0.12).

Among parents of predominantly breastfed infants who indicated that their child's doctor recommended vitamin D,
44.6% gave the supplementation to their child.
Conversely, 67% of parents agreed that breast milk has all needed nutrition, and only 3% of these parents gave vitamin D to their children.

Conclusions: A minority of breastfed infants received vitamin D supplementation.
Educational efforts directed at both physicians and parents are needed to increase compliance with vitamin D supplementation guidelines.
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1195 * PMID: 19948571
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Summary

Otherwise only 3% of mothers supplemented with vitamin D

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