vitamin D healthy pregnancy

Get Vitamin D During Pregnancy For A Healthy Baby

Make sure you get enough vitamin D during pregnancy for a healthy baby. Not only is vitamin D necessary for the growth of a fetus, it’s necessary for health throughout the lifespan.

Vitamin D Critical For Health of Mothers & Babies

Vitamin D protects a mother during pregnancy and helps set her baby up for a healthy life. A recent study gave 257 pregnant women a vitamin D supplement daily for a month from 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. At baseline, their average vitamin D level was just above “deficient” status at 22 ng/ml. By the end of the study the pregnant mothers increased their vitamin D to a healthy level ranging from 36.2 to 37.9 ng/ml.

Results showed higher vitamin D improved the overall health of the mother and infant. There was less risk of infection and lower rates of pre-term labor in women with higher vitamin D levels. None of the women had complications or side effects from taking vitamin D.

Numerous Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that impacts almost every aspect of health, including immune function, muscle strength, bone health, and brain function. It also supports body composition in pregnant women and their children. Research shows a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy leads to greater maternal body fat and risk of gestational diabetes. Lack of D is also associated with higher body fat in offspring at 4 and 6 years of age.

The following are a few more things you should know about vitamin D and health:

  • Vitamin D is produced in the body in response to full body sun exposure during the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. The body's ability to produce vitamin D is impaired if you wear sunscreen or sunglasses.
  • Vitamin D levels begin to fall in September in the Northern hemisphere and bottom out by May. Surveys show populations in all latitudes are chronically vitamin D deficient and the effect is greater during the winter.
  • Darker skinned people produce vitamin D at lower levels and have a greater tendency to be deficient, making it more important for them to supplement. For instance, in the study mentioned above, at baseline, the African American women had an average vitamin D level of 18.5 ng/ml, the Hispanic women a level of 26 ng/ml, and the white women a notably higher level of 29.5 ng/ml. The African American women were “deficient” whereas the white women nearly reached 30 ng/ml that is considered “adequate.”
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