It was National Vegan Day on the 1st and November is #GoVegetarian month. #Veganism is becoming a more popular choice and the array of foods and recipes in the media are helping those choices. I am the wife of a Vegetarian and our 15 year old daughter decided to turn vegetarian at the start of the summer holidays, so this is very much a hot topic in our household in terms of food choices. Now my 3 older meat eating children have left home I am in the minority. This has turned my thoughts to pregnancy and breastfeeding when vegetarian or vegan and there are many myths and realities that need to be addressed. So this month I will be tackling Vitamins and Diet in relation to breastfeeding. First up is #VitaminD, not really a vitamin at all but a hormone.
RISK FACTORS OF DEFICIENCY:
☼Living further north of the Equator
☼Those who have less exposure to the sun
☼Those over BMI 30
For anyone it is hard to get enough Vitamin D in our diet and the most effective way is through sunlight. A difficult battle when you are warned of the dangers of skin cancer and covering up and especially at risk are young babies.
It is such a hard balance to consider protection in the sun and maximising Vitamin D. Follow this link for helpful information: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/
FOOD SOURCES OF VIT. D:
cereals and fat spreads
(apologies to the Vegetarians and Vegans I couldn’t find an image without fish)
Ensure you are careful to read the packaging to ensure the derivative of any Vitamin D supplements are suitable for Vegans.
It is recommended that ALL adults take 10µg of Vitamin D daily especially from October to March (www.nhs.uk, 2018) There are arguments that supplementing a breastfed baby is not required if the mother follows this advice. However the Department of Health recommendations are that all breastfed babies should have supplements of 8.5 - 10µg of Vitamin D daily from birth to 1 year. Breastfeeding mothers have raised concerns about the disruption this could cause to the balance of the gut flora and as ever more research is required to establish this effect.