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Vitamin D Deficiency in Pregnancy

In the womb, a child is imprinted with signals from its mother’s body.

Today we are learning how important ante, prenatal, and postnatal nutrition is to help nourish our next generation.

For critical nutrients, like vitamin D, we need to remember, that it is a hormone, and acts deeply on the body, affecting how the DNA will express many years later.

Strong teeth and bones, require many years of nourishment from sunlight derived vitamin D.

Babies born with vitamin D deficiency may have affected bone growth or in severe cases rickets (flexible bones). Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked with the development of childhood allergy

A recent study indicates that children born to mothers with inadequate vitamin D levels had a greater chance of developing early childhood tooth decay.

During the study, the vitamin D levels of 206 pregnant women were analyzed during their second trimester. Only 10.5 percent of the women had adequate levels of vitamin D. Of the children born to women with lower levels of vitamin D, 21.6 percent of them had enamel defects, which leave teeth more susceptible to dental cavities. Tooth decay was found in 33.6 percent of the children born to women with the lowest levels of vitamin D.

Although most pregnancy multivitamins contain 10 micrograms (400 international units), for women at high risk of vitamin D deficiency this may not be enough and they might benefit from a higher dose supplement.

A Cochrane review update (Palacios et al., 2019) summarises the evidence base for Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy; it includes 30 research studies and over 3700 pregnant women were included. Before this review, we knew that babies from mothers who lacked vitamin D have poorer outcomes, but it had not been convincingly demonstrated that supplementation improved outcomes for those at risk.

It showed that taking vitamin D supplements in pregnancy:

  • Probably reduces the risk of getting pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes

  • May reduce the risk of having a low-birthweight baby.

  • May reduce the risk of severe bleeding after birth.

  • May make no difference to the risk of preterm birth before 37 weeks



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