Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breastfed infant following maternal gastric bypass

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1994 May-Jun;11(3):311-8. doi: 10.3109/08880019409141674.


Breastfed infants of women who have had gastric or intestinal bypass procedures may develop nutritional deficiencies. We describe a 10-month-old exclusively breastfed white male infant who presented with vomiting, failure to thrive, and megaloblastic anemia. He was found to have vitamin B12 deficiency. His mother had undergone a gastric bypass procedure for morbid obesity 2 years prior to her pregnancy with this child. She had subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency, with an abnormal Schilling test that corrected with the addition of intrinsic factor. Therefore, we believe that the mother's gastric bypass had caused a decrease in available intrinsic factor, resulting in subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency and decreased breast milk B12. Although she was asymptomatic, her breastfed infant developed symptomatic B12 deficiency. This is the first reported case of a maternal gastric bypass resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency in an infant. These mothers should receive vitamin supplements, including vitamin B12, during and after pregnancy, and may require parenterally administered vitamin B12.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / etiology*
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / therapy
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Stomach / surgery*
  • Vitamin B 12 / analysis
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / etiology*


  • Vitamin B 12