To determine whether a single monthly supplement is as effective as a daily maternal supplement in increasing breast milk vitamin D to achieve vitamin D sufficiency in their infants.

Forty mothers with exclusively breast-fed infants were randomized to receive oral cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) 5000 IU/d for 28 days or 150,000 IU once. Maternal serum, breast milk, and urine were collected on days 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28; infant serum was obtained on days 0 and 28. Enrollment occurred between January 7, 2011, and July 29, 2011.

In mothers given daily cholecalciferol, concentrations of serum and breast milk cholecalciferol attained steady levels of 18 and 8 ng/mL, respectively, from day 3 through 28. In mothers given the single dose, serum and breast milk cholecalciferol peaked at 160 and 40 ng/mL, respectively, at day 1 before rapidly declining. Maternal milk and serum cholecalciferol concentrations were related (r=0.87). Infant mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration increased from 17±13 to 39±6 ng/mL in the single-dose group and from 16±12 to 39±12 ng/mL in the daily-dose group (P=.88). All infants achieved serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of more than 20 ng/mL.

Either single-dose or daily-dose cholecalciferol supplementation of mothers provided breast milk concentrations that result in vitamin D sufficiency in breast-fed infants.

clinicaltrials.gov NCT01240265.