Did you have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia during your pregnancy? If you’re currently breastfeeding your baby, it’s crucial that you continue to check your vitamin B12 (cobalamin) levels. Here’s the scoop on taking care of baby with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Breastfeeding with B12 deficiency
Even after giving birth, if you breastfeed and have vitamin B12 deficiency at the same time, then your baby is also at high risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of how often you nurse.
Many studies have been conducted documenting the dangers of exclusive breastfeeding while suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.
In them, researchers noted some disturbing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants, such as failure to thrive.
Most of these symptoms were alleviated only after B12 levels were restored to normal through immediate supplementation of vitamin B12.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency in infants
In numerous studies, exclusively breastfed infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency showed the following symptoms:
- Failure to thrive
- Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
- Poor muscular coordination (ataxia)
- Developmental delays
- Pernicious anemia
Permanent damage caused by B12 deficiency
Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause:
- Permanent neurological damage
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Increased risk for heart attack and stroke
- Bone loss
- Death- Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?
Breast or bottle- it’s still up to you
The decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed is a personal decision, but vitamin B12 deficiency should not be the deal breaker.
You can rest assured that your baby is getting all the nourishment it needs, as long as you continue to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels.
Remember, it’s not possible to take too much vitamin B12, as there are no harmful side effects to taking large doses of vitamin B12.
Not having enough vitamin B12 in your blood supply, however, can be detrimental, even deadly.
Please tell us…
If you have pernicious anemia, did you find out only after years of suffering, or were you warned about it from family members?
Have you been putting off having a baby because of low energy from vitamin B12 deficiency?
As always, we welcome your comments!
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Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency in infants:
Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part I: Planning a Baby
Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding
Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants- Developmental Disabilities
Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency: Two cases detected by routine newborn urinary screening
Manifestations of Low Vitamin B12 Levels
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12- Health Professional Fact Sheet
Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanisms