If I eat more foods containing vitamin D while I’m breast-feeding, do I still need to give my baby a vitamin D supplement?
Vitamin D
Why is vitamin D important?
Babies need vitamin D for healthy growth and development. It helps them build strong bones and teeth.
Yes. Although foods like salmon, margarine and milk are good sources of vitamin D, the levels are not high enough to enrich your breast milk to the level your baby needs.
Isn’t sunlight a good source of vitamin D?
Vitamin D is produced naturally when skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, Canada’s higher latitude means we may have a reduced ability to get vitamin D from sun exposure for a large part of the year. This is particularly important in more northern regions. Sunscreen and clothing further limit the amount of vitamin D produced.
What are the facts about breast milk and vitamin D?
There is no question that breast milk provides the best nutrition for your baby. However, the vitamin D content of breast milk has been shown to be low (<6-20 IU/250 mL)* and may not be high enough to meet your baby’s needs. Experts such as the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada recommend that all exclusively and partially breastfed infants or infants receiving breast milk be given a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU from birth to two years of age. Enfamil® D-Vi-Sol® provides the expert recommended 400 IU daily dose of vitamin D.

* Range of vitamin D levels in breast milk, measured in lactating women taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.
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