Pregnancy and Vitamin D

Did you know that 80% of pregnant women are Vitamin D deficient? And why is that so important? Vitamin D is important at every stage of life but particularly important in pregnancy for two reasons. First it helps the mother-to-be do the best job she can of providing a healthy environment for her baby. Having adequate Vitamin D during pregnancy reduces the risk of premature birth (, low birth weight babies and Cesarean sections to name a few.

Second, Vitamin D helps the unborn baby program it’s own body to help reduce the risk of disorders that may not appear until many years after birth from type 1 diabetes to asthma, dental cavities, cardiovascular disease, cancer and even autism. All are potentially affected by getting their serum levels to a minimum of 40 ng/ml.

So what is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a natural chemical compound that all the tissues in our bodies use to access the instructions in their genetic blueprints. It is normally made in the skin on exposure to sunlight, but with modern indoor lifestyles and the use of sun screen, few of us make enough Vitamin D to meet our body’s needs, and we are therefore dependent upon supplements.

The only way that you will know what your Vitamin D levels are is by testing. Most scientists conclude that a woman’s 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D level during pregnancy should be at least 40-50 ng/mil. The amount of Vitamin D in a prenatal vitamin is not enough to produce a blood level of 40 ng/ml. So, Unique Ultrasound has partnered with Grassroots Health to offer testing that can be done at home! You will need to come into the Unique Ultrasound office at 28410 Old Town Front Street, #111, Temecula to pick up a test kit, but it’s a pretty simple process. I’ve done it myself and it’s a quick and easy and I was also surprised to see how low my levels were, even though I spend a lot of time outdoors.

Is Vitamin D safe?

It’s helpful to know that with summer sun exposure at mid-day and wearing a bathing suit, your body makes about 15,000 IU in just 15-20 minutes. Vitamin D comes in two chemically distinct forms, Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is the form that our bodies make naturally on exposure to the sun. Vitamin D2 is synthesized from plant product precursors. Evidence shows that Vitamin D3 is substantially more potent than Vitamin D2 and is what is recommended. 4000 IU per day was demonstrated to be safe in a randomized trail to help pregnant women achieve a serum level of approximately 40 ng/ml. There are no reported cases of Vitamin D poisoning at daily oral doses below 30,000 IU.

Do I need to give my newborn Vitamin D?

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend that all babies, whether breastfed or bottle fed, need supplemental Vitamin D. The average dose will range from 400 – 800 IU/d during the first year. Many nursing moms take Vitamin D to ensure that baby is getting an adequate amount in the breast milk that first year, but testing is the only way to know.

Promoting improved health for all moms and babies is part of our mission. If you feel you would like to get a FREE Vitamin D test kit, please contact us for more information at 760-519-0038.