I'm often asked for resources about vitamin D for breastfeeding babies. Since I’m a postpartum doula, I don’t give medical advice, but I do pass along resources and encourage my clients to discuss them with their pediatrician.
A few years ago a study came out about maternal versus infant supplement of vitamin D which concludes, “Maternal vitamin D supplementation with 6400 IU/day safely supplies breast milk with adequate vitamin D to satisfy her nursing infant’s requirement and offers an alternate strategy to direct infant supplementation.” That was great news for my clients, since giving a newborn supplemental drops can be messy and easy to forget.
While we know that vitamin D is important for growing babies, did you know that it is also important during pregnancy? If you are currently pregnant, especially if you live in a northern state like Michigan, it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D3 in your prenatal supplements. As a postpartum doula, I serve the Metro Detroit area, so it’s important to me that my fellow Michiganders and my future clients are aware that for most of the year, we can’t get enough vitamin D into our bloodstream through sun exposure alone. We are too far north.
There are numerous reasons why adequate vitamin D is important during pregnancy. From improving pregnancy mood to increasing a pregnant mother’s chances of fighting off the flu, vitamin D levels matter. Now, researchers have found a new reason to make sure that our vitamin D levels are high enough during pregnancy.
A new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that vitamin D-deficiency in expectant moms has a negative effect on the motor skill development and social development of their children that is noticeable by pre-school.
Researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Surrey found that when pregnant women had vitamin D levels lower than 50 nmol per liter of blood during pregnancy, their children were more likely to end up in the bottom 25th percentile in preschool developmental tests for gross and fine motor development. The researchers looked at data from more than 7,000 child-mother pairs and accounted for other variables. The study was done after earlier research in animal studies showed that neurocognitive delays were more common among vitamin D deficient animals’ offspring.
"The importance of vitamin D sufficiency should not be underestimated. It is well-known to be good for our musculoskeletal systems, but our research shows that if levels are low in expectant mothers, it can affect the development of their children in their early years of life,” Dr. Andrea Darling, lead author of the report wrote.
Many years ago, women were more inclined to consume cod liver oil, salmon, and sardines. If you are pregnant and haven’t thought about your vitamin D levels, I urge you to consider discussing testing and supplementing with your medical professional. If you know someone who is expecting, please pass this post along to them right away!
As new and expecting parents it can be challenging to stay up to date with the latest research. One of the benefits of working with a trained, and/or certified postpartum doula is that we do ongoing continuing education and pass that knowledge on to our clients. Since we are non-medical we don’t prescribe or diagnose but instead share information and resources so each client can make decisions that work best for their family.
If you are interested in learning more about working with my team in Metro Detroit, Michigan just fill out the contact form and I will send your more information. We are currently taking clients who are due in 2018.
What clients are saying about working with The After Baby Lady! Lisa S. from Birmingham, Michigan, shares, "Jill was my postpartum doula after the birth of my first son. Not really knowing what to expect or what kind of help I'd need, Jill was extremely flexible with her schedule. Also, as new mom, in the beginning I didn't always know what help I needed or how Jill could help me. Jill is so great in those situations because of her proactive attitude and many years of experience as a mom, she knows what you need even when you don't!"
Happy New Year!
One of my recent clients gave me a wonderful Christmas gift, a testimonial! I don't know if there is anything better than hearing from someone you've worked with and having them say beautiful things about the time you spent together. Even her husband shared his thoughts! He said that hiring a postpartum doula and a wedding planner is similar. We both try to decrease your stress, and increase your enjoyment! Great analogy!
I love to share what my clients say about working with me. Since not everyone is familiar with working with a postpartum doula, I think it is best to hear from clients who have worked with me about their experience.
Mary in Royal Oak shares,
"A good friend of mine recommended Jill to my husband and I. At first I was skeptical because I thought that maybe having a postpartum doula meant that I, "couldn't handle" being a new mom.
Thank you so much Mary for sharing your experience with me! I love that your husband compares hiring a wedding planner, with hiring a postpartum doula! I am so glad to know that he went from thinking that hiring me was an "extra expense" to sharing what I do with others. Give him a big high five from me.
You perfectly explained so many of my goals as a postpartum doula.
I wonder what else postpartum doulas and wedding planners have in common? If you think of something, share it in the comments!
If you would like to read about products my clients loved in 2015 read Top 5 Favorite Products for Parents with New Babies!
Mary shared a beautiful photo of her and her baby taken by Courtney Sprague Photography.
Baby Gear New Parents I've Worked with Love!
I see so many new products every year in my work with new families as a postpartum doula. Some of these are favorites of mine as well, others were new to me but I can see why my client's love them.
Soft, and re-usable Bamboobies breast pads where a favorite for many of my clients.
There are lots of wonderful swaddle blankets on the market today but these are a consistent favorite! The designs are fun and gender neutral. The bamboo fabric is delicate and soft. I've also seen these used as a nursing cover or cute scarf!
There are SO MANY great bottles out there, and not every bottle works well for every baby. This specialty feeding system is for "infants with the following conditions – cleft lip/palate, oro-neuromotor dysfunctions, congenital heart disease, common or rare syndromic sequences and/or craniofacial anomalies," according to the Dr. Brown's website. I've had the pleasure of working with babies with some of these conditions and this bottle is very helpful and easy to use!
I'm a huge fan of The Moby Wrap company and products! I often wear my client's babies in a wrap while mom/dad is sleeping, showering, or taking a break. Once my clients see how much I am able to do with their baby snug in the Moby Wrap they want me to teach them how to use it too! Using a wrap is especially helpful for mothers of multiple babies. Babywearing with any product is wonderful for parents and babies! I highly suggest you try it out!
Modern Natural Baby is a local store in Metro Detroit, Michigan, that offers great cloth diapering options and classes. They created the display window pictured above. It's pretty amazing to see the difference cloth diapers can make on the environment. I used disposables myself since I didn't know anything about cloth diapers as a young mom. Now that I've watched several clients use a system of washing, and seen all the cute cloth diapers available I can see why people choose this option.
Thank you for reading this Top 5 list of products my client's loved this year. I'd love to hear about the products you loved as a new parent! Comment below!
Learn more about how I support new parents as a postpartum doula in this recent blog post Clinton Township Parents Recommend Postpartum Doula Services.
I created this list to help new parents and expecting parents understand how a postpartum doula can solve some of their common worries.
“How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?”
Breastfeeding Support and Knowledge – Most hospitals provide wonderful lactation care. After you return home, I will help make sure your latch and positioning are optimal for successful breastfeeding. Even when things are going well with breastfeeding clients have questions and I am happy answer them so you feel confident that breastfeeding is off to a good start.
“I don’t know much about newborns, how do I best take care of my new baby?”
Newborn Care and Education – Newborns are very different from older babies. I will support you to parent the way you want while increasing your understanding of the unique characteristics of a newborn.
“My baby is crying! What should I do?”
Soothing Techniques – Many new parents want to feel confident soothing their baby/babies. I will help you learn how to parent with confidence so if baby is unhappy you know how to respond.
“How do I get stuff done and keep my baby happy at the same time?
Babywearing – I can demonstrate and suggest options for babywearing. There are numerous benefits to parents and babies by using a wrap, sling, or carrier. Using this tool parents will be able to easily integrate baby into their life and wearing your baby helps their digestion and can increase sleep!
“I need sleep and a shower!”
Support – I will expertly care for your baby so you can get some rest. I also offers overnight care to help you get as much rest as possible, and I will share her tips and tricks so when I'm not there you can handle it on your own.
“We could use some help with baby laundry, and organization.”
Tidying up – I am happy to help make your life easier by throwing in a load or two of laundry, putting dishes in the dishwasher, tidying up, and I can give you suggestions on how to organize baby clothes, and gear.
“Everything is so different now, when will I feel like being a parent is normal?”
Listening – I have worked with many parents to help them feel more confident and trust their parenting skills. Consider that becoming a parent is like any new job and having a mentor like me makes the transition so much easier.
“I will have to go back to work, or leave my baby with another care provider eventually. How do I pump and bottle feed my baby?”
Bottle Feeding and Pumping Information – I can answer questions about bottles and help you with pumping. I can also teach you some bottle-feeding techniques that mimic breastfeeding so you can optimize your feeding time with baby (whether you are using formula or breastmilk).
What were your top worries when you were a new parent? Share them in the comments so I can address them in a future blog post!
Want more tips from me? Watch this quick video A Simple Strategy to get More Sleep After Baby Arrives.
Jill Reiter CPD, Author
A mother, wife and Postpartum Doula's blog.
The After Baby Lady
Shelby Township MIPhone: 586-604-1446