Friday, March 30, 2012

Baby D Drops Review/Giveaway

If you had a baby sometime since November of 2008, your pediatrician has probably recommended that you supplement your baby with 400 international units (IU) of Vitamin D per day. This new recommendation was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics after there were published reports of breastfed babies with Vitamin D deficiency rickets in the US. Yikes!

I knew very little about the importance of Vitamin D until I went for my yearly well woman exam in 2006 and my OB suggested I get my levels checked. He had begun doing his own research on the importance of Vitamin D and told me that every woman he'd checked so far had been pretty low, but that the black women's D levels had been abysmal. Black folks have more melanin so in the simplest terms it's harder for us to make Vitamin D from the sun because melanin is extra protection from those UV rays.

We talked about all of the ways that your health can suffer if you are deficient in Vitamin D and he told me his belief that Vitamin D deficiency was connected to everything from autism to preeclampsia and several types of cancer. He insisted I go down the hall immediately to Quest Labs and have my blood drawn for a check.

You can imagine I wasn't really expecting to be led into his office after my paper smear to discuss this, right? I left in a daze with the prescription for the blood work in my hand and went down the hall for my test. My results came in a little bit later. My Vitamin D level? 15. At that time, my doctor said he considered 32  "normal", although his personal belief was that it should be more like 50. So pretty bad any way you slice it (and remember I live in South Florida!!!). I began supplements that day and have continued over the years. As the years have gone by and I've done my own research, I increased my intake to about 5000 IU of Vitamin D a day.

For a really fantastic overview of  Vitamin D and how it's made in the body and why it's particularly important for breastfeeding moms and babies, please read Diana Cassar-Uhl's My Thoughts on the Vitamin D Controversy. She wrote La Leche League's tear sheet on the topic and it breaks it down in a way that is easy to read and understand. You can also check out Dr. Carol Wagner's research on the topic.

I know some moms have bristled at the idea that their babies need a Vitamin D supplement, believing that as long as their levels were OK, their babies would be getting what they need through their breastmilk. I really do believe that breastmilk is the perfect food for babies, but after reading up on the topic I think, particularly for women of color, that a supplement is necessary. I really urge you to do your own research on the topic if you haven't already.

My pediatrician recommended supplementing my kids with the multivitamins you can buy at the grocery store that are made by the formula companies. No thanks. I knew that I wanted to give my babies a supplement that was Vitamin D and ONLY Vitamin D, and preferably not made by you-know-who.
One of my super smart Twitter friends recommended I check out a company called Ddrops out of Canada that made just such drops. She raved about them being easy to use as you only needed one drop for 400 IU. I decided to order them on Amazon. For some reason I placed my order I ended up with another brand of drops that were also only Vitamin D. This brand was a thick, oily liquid that came in a tiny vial with a dropper. The dropper had two markings, one that said 200 and one that said, 400 and instructions to use a "dropperful" with no information on what that dose was on the dropper or what it meant in terms of IU.

Needless to say, I was annoyed. I complained on Twitter about not being able to figure out the dose. The drops were expensive and when I finally asked my mom to bring me home a 1cc syringe from her job and saw how much I had to use for one dose, they became even less economical. Fail.

But being awesome, the Ddrops company contacted me on Twitter and asked if I would like to try their drops. Of course I said yes. They not only sent me the Baby DDrops for Aminah (400 IU per drop) but also the regular Ddrops 1000 IU for me.

This product could not be more fantastic. Before nursing, you turn the bottle over and put one drop on your nipple. Then you latch the baby on and voila! Baby gets her Vitamin D for the day. For my drops, I put 5 drops on top of my lunch to get my 5000 IU for the day. These drops are completely odorless and tasteless. No preservatives, no artificial coloring and gluten, soy, wheat, corn and dairy-free, for those of you whose babies have allergies. The dose drops out slowly so you really cannot overdo it. And if you're not breastfeeding, you can simply put the drop on your baby's pacifier (just be sure it's at a time, like naptime, when you can be fairly sure she'll suck for at least 30 seconds.) That's it. Could not be easier. I leave the bottle on my nightstand so I can give it to Aminah as I nurse her to sleep.

The DDrops company has offered to give THREE Blacktating readers their own bottle of Baby Ddrops so you can see how fantastic this product is for yourself.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Good luck!

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