Thursday, January 15, 2009

More on Vitamins: Vitamin D & DHA in Formula

In my last post on vitamins, I included the hugely informative link to Navelgazing Midwife's post on Vitamin D & It's Role in Women and Children.

I want to add a link to a New York Times article I read that summarizes a study done at Boston University that concluded that Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of an emergency cesarean.
"The researchers studied 253 births at a Boston hospital from 2005 to 2007. After controlling for other variables, the scientists found that women with low blood levels of vitamin D were almost four times as likely to have an emergency C-section as those with normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with muscle weakness and high blood pressure, which might help explain the finding."
I would be interested to know if these cesareans were truly emergency, and even more importantly, what specific, medical reason for the cesarean birth was given.

I also wanted to offer this link to the Motherwear blog post on Vitamin D. There is great information on breastmilk and Vitamin D in the two links provided in this post. And, there is interesting discussion in the comments.

Finally, when I wrote the post on Omega-3's during pregnancy, I wasn't thinking about formula, and the attempts on the part of formula-makers to manipulate mothers into buying DHA-"enhanced" formula.

I believe that adding DHA/ARA is a marketing ploy made to manipulate mothers into buying a more expensive product that contains additives of questionable value. As someone who believes in the inherent superiority of breastmilk for infants, I also would hate to think that any mother ever gives up on nursing thinking that DHA/ARA formula is "close enough" to human milk - that the DHA/ARA confers some magic benefits. I am not anti-formula - there are times when it is necessary; however, I am firmly against the manipulative scare tactics employed by many companies marketing to mothers.

According to an article in Mothering's May/June 2008 magazine, "test results have shown the additives have negligible positive effects on infant development. The FDA's initial analysis of the additives reached no determination of their safety, while noting that some studies reported unexpected deaths among infants who have been fed DHA/ARA formula" and that there have been an array of symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) reported by parents and doctors that "disappeared when the infants were switched to a non DHA/ARA formula".

To read more about DHA/ARA in formula, read the .pdf "Replacing Mother: Imitating Breastmilk in the Laboratory".

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine

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