Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency occurs in 27-91% of all pregnant women depending on the country they live in. Vitamin D has many important functions in the human body and can have a huge effect on pregnant mums, developing foetus’ and newborns if mothers are deficient during pregnancy.
Studies have now found links between vitamin D deficiency and poor immune system function. Low maternal vitamin D predisposes the fetus/newborn to low vitamin D stores which can lead to rickets, wheezing, upper respiratory tract infections and mental health issues. Maternal vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has also been associated with the increased development of allergies and eczema in children. ,
Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy can also increase the risk of pregnancy complications and is associated with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, pre-term births, and small for gestational age babies.
While some foods like salmon, sardines, tuna, cod-liver oil, egg yolk and shiitake mushrooms provide some Vitamin D, diet alone only provides 100 to 200 IU of vitamin D per day. However exposure to sunlight produces 10,000 to 20,000 IU when 30% of the body surface area is exposed to sunlight 15-30 minutes a day.
It is really important to ensure you are meeting your daily vitamin D needs especially if you planning to conceive or are currently pregnant. Having your vitamin D levels assessed for deficiency and supplementing when necessary, can help improve pregnancy and child health outcomes.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Vitamin D needs and intake, please give us a call and we can help you get the support you need during your pregnancy and beyond.
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Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health