Vitamin D & Pregnancy

Sunscreen, sunburn, SPF 1000…we have all been told to protect ourselves from the deadly sun since we were kids.

“Wear a hat, stay in the shade!”

Sunblocks, our fear of skin cancer, and processed food diets all contribute to a deficiency of Vitamin D.

We recently saw a comedian who was an ex-Marine (really!) who was telling us how he broke his ankle and found out he was Vitamin D deficient; he was 27!!

Vitamin D used to be believed to be important for bones and bone health only.  Now we know that Vitamin D really works like a hormone, and it has wide reaching effects all over the body.

Vitamin D is associated with:  bone health, helps prevent against diabetes, prevents against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,  helps prevent depression, helps prevent against colds and viruses, and  may help protect against certain cancers….

What about pregnancy? 

The list is impressive, Low Vitamin D in pregnancy is associated with:  autism, behavioral problems, schizophrenia, low birth weight, poor motor skills, possible low IQ.  In terms of the pregnancy itself, low Vitamin D is associated with gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and premature delivery.

What about the prenatal vitamin?                                                                

The standard amount of Vitamin D in prenatal vitamins is 400IU.  This amount is used in every standard regular vitamin, and is probably insufficient for pregnancy.  Some studies suggest 10X this level is probably the correct dose.  Your dose should be individualized to your Vitamin D level.

What should I do?

Talk to your doctor, get your Vitamin D level checked (Vitamin 25-OH level) checked, and if low, start supplementation.  And remember Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means you need to take it with food to be absorbed.

As always make sure you check with your physician before making any changes to your health care during pregnancy.