Paparazzi have been camped outside St. Mary’s hospital since July 1st, in anticipation of the biggest baby of the year (figuratively speaking). We will now be deluged with news about the the Royal Baby boy. Twitter is being deluged new #royalbaby providing a continuous stream of updates with everything from excited elation to tongue-in-cheek lion king references. Given the Royal family’s well-known use of natural methods such as homeopathy to support health, I thought it would good to write a post about babies and natural vitamin health!
Vitamins for mommy
Should you be worried about health before the baby? Two months ago, my wife gave birth to a beautiful girl. We were shocked at the sea of (sometimes conflicting) information out there about baby health. There’s a bewildering number of treatments, tests and screenings that you are encouraged to do before the baby is born. We had a midwife, so we kept it more or less natural, apart from a pre-natal vitamin. Pre-natal vitamins usually contain folic acid, beta-carotene and a variety of vitamins and minerals. After the baby arrives, B vitamins (particularly B6 and B12) are helpful for post-partum depression and vitamin D is useful through pregnancy for strong bones and teeth, while the baby is stealing your calcium to build its skeleton.
Most pre-natal vitamins contain all you need and to be honest, folic acid is the thing they all have in common. Go with a brand that you trust and you should be fine. Make sure you check the tablet size as morning sickness can make swallowing more challenging. If you can’t down the pill, just try to take Folic acid by itself or find a brand that has a small tablet size. I LOVE that Natural Factors is now showing the tablet size on their products.
What about vitamins for newborns?
With the exception of Vitamin D, most health care professionals don’t recommend vitamins for the baby if breastfeeding. Usually we get enough Vitamin D from the sun, but in modern society, we spend more time indoors and usually slather on sun screen when going outdoors, which blocks the sun’s UVB rays. Since very small amounts of Vitamin D are transferred in the breast milk, health care professionals recommend Vitamin D for babies who aren’t taking formula.
Pro tip: One of the easiest ways to give Vitamin D to the baby is a couple of Vitamin D Drops on the nipple right before you breastfeed.
We chose to use D drops because we live in a Northern latitude and try to keep the baby out of the sun. My wife has always avoided tanning, which is probably why she still has such nice skin, but also uses Vitamin D.
Do I need to use any other vitamins?
For the most part, no, you don’t need anything else. The only exceptions depend on the health of mommy. For example, if mom has had gastric bypass surgery or takes certain medications, she may not be absorbing nutrients well. If mom is on a vegan diet, make sure you let your health-care provider know. You may have to make an extra effort to eat foods rich in Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The more open about your health you are with your provider, the better start you can give your baby.
Although we’ll likely never really know what the new Royal baby’s diet will consist of, there’s one thing that the baby will have in common with all the babies around the world: milk. Mommy’s breast milk will give that baby pretty much everything it needs. Combine that with lots of love and hugs and kisses, and that baby will be getting the royal treatment it so deserves!