Dr Benjamin Jacobs has called on clinical guidelines and healthcare professionals to beware of a gap in suggested units of vitamin D for babies from 0-6 months.

Dr Jacobs highlighted various vitamin D issues as part of his keynote address at today's JFHC Professional Conference in London [17 Mar].
JFHC Professional will next take place in Manchester on 4 June - find out more at www.pavpub.com/jfhc-professional-manchester/

Those issues broke down into four key questions:
1) What is vitamin D and where does it come from - "when asked what are the main seven sources of vitamin D, the first six answers should be sun, sun, sun, sun, sun, and sun".
2) Current developments in vitamin D research and policy
3) Why do we need vitamin D
4) Who needs vitamin D - which communities do we need to target with vitamin D drives

Watch highlights of Dr Jacobs talk below:


Mental health focus
JFHC Professional also focussed on a range of mental health issues on the same day that the government announced children’s mental health services will get a funding boost of £1.25 billion over the next five years to help develop services.

Dr Susan Pawlby outlined that the intervention used at the specialist Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital is based on mind-mindedness, a baby-centred approach which aims to get mothers to think what their young child would say if they could speak yet.

The Channi Kumar Mother and Baby Unit has been recognised as an example of best practice in caring for women suffering with severe mental illness during pregnancy or post-birth. Dr Pawlby explained how her role as a developmental psychologist who works closely with the mothers and infants ensures they achieve key outcomes such as "helping train new mothers with mental health issues to become sensitive primary caregivers able to provide interactive experiences in the first 6 months".

Elsewhere, Dr Pooky Knightsmith used her own personal experience to outline when and why young people are most at risk of self-harm.

"Self-harm has become a regretably all too common coping strategy for children and young people. As people providing support to them, we need to recognise how it has become 'normalised' in order to best counter the belief that it is 'normal' behaviour," she said.

In looking at breastfeeding, infant feeding and mental wellbeing, fellow speaker Dr Maria Iacovou highlighted that "research on what to feed babies is copious - but research on when to feed babies is much less common, despite the many guides which offer opinions on it".

Dr Iacovou went on to reveal that research she has conducted as a quantitative reader at University of Cambridge has found that a clear link between demand feeding and children's cognitive performance, with those demand feed on average 3 positions higher in a class of 30 than those who schedule feed.

Also commenting on the issue of diet Judy More revealed that from a survey of 150 HCPs, 63% say they have not had training on nutrition and lifestyle during pregnancy.

"Don't eat for two during pregnancy", she added. "Only extra 200cals needed during last trimester e.g. a bowl of cereal and milk. Subsequently toddlers need to decide the quantity of food they need unless they are high on the centitle."

To see more highlights from JFHC Professional visit see #jfhcpro15 on Twitter