1. Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common during pregnancy. Several lifestyle factors also increase the risk of deficiency. These include having darker skin color, living in areas of high pollution, and living in northern latitudes.
2. Bone health
Vitamin D is well known for the role it plays in bone health. Every single type of tissue in the human body has a receptor for this vitamin. Furthermore, vitamin D also influences more than 200 genes.
3. Healthier pregnancy
Research into the role vitamin D plays in pregnancy is currently being studied. Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy have been shown to increase the risk of preeclampsia and bacterial vaginosis. Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may also increase the need for a caesarian delivery.
4. Supplements are often necessary
Very few foods contain significant amount of vitamin D. Foods that do include cod liver oil, mackerel, egg yolks, beef liver, and herring. Even fortified foods such as cereal and milk do not contain a substantial amount.
5. How much is enough?
There is some disagreement among medical professionals about the definition of a vitamin D deficiency. The levels that are considered normal for women to prevent bone loss differ from the healthy levels needed during pregnancy.
6. Reducing preterm birth
Studies show that women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day during pregnancy had the greatest benefits, including reducing the risk of preterm birth and infections. This level is safe for a mother and her baby. Vitamin D also supports healthy bone development in the fetus.
7. Breast milk
Infants who are breast fed by mothers who are deficient in vitamin D are also at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Many physicians believe a breast feeding mothers can take a vitamin D supplement safely as this can also prevent the infant from other illnesses.
8. Baby’s health
Vitamin D deficiency in a developing fetus can lead to a number of health problems when the child is born. These include skeletal problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypocalcemia, and food allergies.
Consult a healthcare professional
While there is plenty of evidence that increasing vitamin D levels can help during pregnancy and increase the changes of a healthy baby, every person’s needs are different. Before taking on additional vitamin D through food or supplements, consulting a healthcare provider is advised.