Vitamins and Mineral Supplements

 Maternal Admiration by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869. (Private Collection) Oil on canvas. 89 x 116 cm.

Maternal Admiration by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869. (Private Collection) Oil on canvas. 89 x 116 cm.

Vitamins and Mineral Supplements in the newborn

Intramuscular vitamin K1 (phytonadione) at a dose of 0.5 to 1.0 mg should routinely be administered to all infants on the first day to reduce the risk of hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. A delay of administration until after the first feeding at the breast but not later than 6 hours of age is recommended. A single oral dose of vitamin K should not be used, because the oral dose is variably absorbed and does not provide adequate concentrations or stores for the breastfed infant.

Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency and rickets has increased in all infants as a result of decreased sunlight exposure secondary to changes in lifestyle, dress habits, and use of topical sunscreen preparations. To maintain an adequate serum vitamin D concentration, all breastfed infants routinely should receive an oral supplement of vitamin D, 400 U per day, beginning at hospital discharge.

Supplementary fluoride should not be provided during the first 6 months. From age 6 months to 3 years, fluoride supplementation should be limited to infants residing in communities where the fluoride concentration in the water is <0.3 ppm. Complementary food rich in iron and zinc should be introduced at about 6 months of age. Supplementation of oral iron drops before 6 months may be needed to support iron stores.

Premature infants should receive both a multivitamin preparation and an oral iron supplement until they are ingesting a completely mixed diet and their growth and hematologic status are normalized.

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