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A pregnant lady imageNovember 27 2017

NHS Scotland has updated its recommendations around vitamin D intake for new parents. 

It is now advising that pregnant women and infants from the age of two weeks up to the age of 12 months should have a daily supplement of vitamin D, on a precautionary basis. Previous guidance had suggested vitamin D supplementation should start for infants at six months old.

The new recommendations for mothers in Scotland is that:

  • as a precaution, breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age should also be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10 microgrammes of vitamin D per day;
  • babies who are formula fed do not require vitamin D if they are having 500ml/day of infant formula or more, as infant formula already has added vitamin D.

Parents are advised that Healthy Start vitamins are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants.

NHS Scotland’s advice picks up the guidance issued in July 2016 by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, and which has been adopted by Public Health England.

Announcing the updated guidance, Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “We get most of the vitamin D we need from sunlight during summer months. However, anyone can experience a vitamin D deficiency. New born babies depend on their mother’s levels during pregnancy meaning it is important that pregnant women, and babies up to a year old, continue to receive a daily supplement.

“This new guidance reflects the latest available evidence and will help ensure the best start for children. It is essential that parents and guardians are properly supported to follow this new advice, which is why additional, specific guidance for them and healthcare professionals has been created to support implementation.”

Links:
Scottish Government announcement      
NHS Scotland ‘New Vitamin D recommendation information for new parents’. November 2017   
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 

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