Pregnant? Make Sure You're Getting Enough Vitamin D

If you are pregnant, you likely know that this is a crucial time for your baby's growth. It is also your best chance to provide all the nutrients your baby needs for healthy physical and mental development. A balanced, nutritious diet is a great way to receive a broad spectrum of nutrients for you and your baby. Yet there is one important nutrient that you cannot get from food alone.

Vitamin D is called the 'sunshine vitamin' because your body makes it when sunlight hits the skin. In a perfect world, we would all be able to soak up the sunshine vitamin on a tropical beach for 9 months. But the reality is that most of us only get to spend a limited amount of time in the sun while we're pregnant. When we are outside, most of us wear sunscreen, which also blocks vitamin D absorption.

This is why you might want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Studies found that vitamin D deficiency is common among women, including pregnant and lactating mothers1. Pregnancy can also contribute to vitamin D deficiency due to increased nutritional demand from your growing child.

Why Should I Take Vitamin D During Pregnancy?

Vitamin D helps your body grow bones, absorb calcium, boost immunity, balance your hormones, and more. But while you are pregnant, it is more important than ever to increase your vitamin D intake. When you don't get enough vitamin D, your are at higher risk for certain negative pregnancy outcomes, including:

Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a condition that causes high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Unchecked gestational diabetes leads to pregnancy complications. Several studies link vitamin D deficiency to gestational diabetes. Studies suggest that improving vitamin D levels via supplements can help lower the risk of gestational diabetes2. It also shows that vitamin D helps normalize blood sugar levels in diabetic pregnant women.

Postpartum Depression: Several studies link vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women lead to postpartum depression after childbirth4. Data from several studies suggest that optimal vitamin D levels during pregnancy prevent depression both during and after pregnancy. Low vitamin D levels can also lead to conditions like pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, preterm delivery, pregnancy loss, and C-section delivery1.

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Studies have found that mothers with low vitamin D levels give birth to babies with low birth weight and poor bone calcium. Low vitamin D levels are linked with conditions like pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, preterm delivery, pregnancy losses, and C-section delivery5.

How to Get Enough Vitamin D Daily

Most prenatal vitamins contain vitamin D, but this is only a fraction of what you need if you are mostly indoors and wear sunscreen outdoors. Make sure to eat vitamin D fortified foods, get sensible sun exposure, and talk to your OB-GYN about starting a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D supplements are a safe and effective way to increase maternal vitamin D reserves in your body.

The NATURELO Prenatal Multivitamin includes 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 from organic Lichen. If you live in an area where you don't have enough sunshine, you may also add a separate supplement with 2500 IU plant-based Vitamin D3. 

References:
1. Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy, 2014 Sep-Oct; 18(5): 593–596
3. Does vitamin D during pregnancy impact offspring growth and bone?, 2012 Feb;71(1):38-45. doi: 10.1017/S0029665111003053. Epub 2011 Aug 24
4. Vitamin D Deficiency and Antenatal and Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review, 2018 Apr 12;10(4). pii: E478. doi: 10.3390/nu10040478
5. Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy, 2014 Sep-Oct; 18(5): 593–596