How Important Is Vitamin D During Pregnancy?

One of the most vital vitamins in the human body is vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. It helps to keep our bones healthy, provides normal muscle function and boosts the immune system. It is also critical in cell division. The more research that has been done on vitamin D, the more important roles it seems to play in the body.

At least 25% of UK residents have a vitamin D deficiency. This means that the absorption of calcium into the bones is disrupted. As a result, children can experience rickets and adults could experience pain or tenderness in their bones. A lack of Vitamin D has even been linked to Parkinson’s Disease.

Vitamin D is a common deficiency worldwide, especially in pregnant women. A Vitamin D Deficiency Test Kit can quickly ascertain if you are lacking in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D Deficiency Test

How Do Pregnant Women Get Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is naturally occurring in some foods like mushrooms, eggs and oily fish. Vitamin D is difficult to get through just food. The best form of vitamin D is sunlight during summer, but you have to be careful to keep the skin safe during this time. During the winter months, vitamin D is greatly reduced. At this time of year, you will need to work on ways to avoid a Vitamin D deficiency.

It is recommended by the UK department of health that people should take a daily vitamin D supplement, especially pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children. This is especially critical during the winter months from October to March.  Vitamin D3 can be taken in capsule or tablet form. Brands such as Vitabiotics also market an Ultra Vitamin D supplement.

The Importance of Vitamin D During Pregnancy

More and more research is being done on vitamin D during pregnancy and how it impacts the mother and baby. The Wellbeing of Women supports this research. They are a medical research charity focused on women and children.

A University of Birmingham study done by Dr. Jennifer Tamblyn reveals that besides the important role vitamin D plays in maintaining strong bones in a mother and growing baby, it also plays a vital role in the health of the placenta. This is extremely important as the placenta supplies the baby with essential nutrients.

The study showed that when vitamin D is lacking, the placenta malfunctions and when vitamin D is present, it boosts the response of the placenta’s immune cells.

The side effects of the placenta malfunctioning include miscarriage, preclampsia and premature birth. The research seems to show that adding vitamin D during pregnancy is just as critical to the baby’s health as taking folic acid.

Credit: Photo by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

This post has was first published in October 2020.

You May Also Like: