Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More for expectant mothers: will your baby be born with a soft skull due to your vitamin D deficiency?

Craniotabes is a skull condition characterized by thin, soft areas, and it has recently been defined as the earliest sign of vitamin D deficiency in newborns.[1] It may signal impending rickets, but until recently, it was considered a physiological anomaly needing no treatment. Obviously, any newborn diagnosed with craniotabes should be immediately checked for vitamin D deficiency to avert full-blown rickets.

Remember that it is virtually impossible for a newborn to be vitamin D deficient if the mother’s blood is replete with vitamin D. And as we have already discussed in a previous post, it is imperative that a woman who is breastfeeding take in 6,400 IU of vitamin D3 daily in order to maintain optimal levels in both herself and her infant.[2]

Moms, you are responsible for the health of your infant; you need sunlight or supplements. Act now!

[1] Yorifuji J. et al. Craniotabes in normal newborns: the earliest sign of subclinical vitamin D deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008 [Epub]
[2] Wagner C. et al. High-dose vitamin D3 supplementation in a cohort of breastfeeding mothers and their infants: a 6-month follow-up pilot study. Breastfeed Med. 2006;1:59-70.

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