During pregnancy, expecting moms need to ensure they get enough nutrients.
One of the nutrient is vitamin D, which is very important in absorbing calcium, building bones and keeping bones strong and healthy.
In a recent study conducted by University of Southern California, researchers find that low vitamin D level in pregnant women is linked to preterm birth and low birth weight in infants.
The vitamin D levels were tested on maternal plasma samples collected and stored near the time of delivery.
The study found that 13.7% of newborn were delivered preterm (e.g., less than 37 weeks), and 10.4% had low birth weight (e.g., less than 2.5 kg). Higher vitamin D levels were protective against both situations.
The researchers suggest that lower vitamin D levels are associated with HIV disease severity in pregnant women.
How to get enough vitamin D in pregnancy:
Doctors suggest expecting moms to get vitamin D in two ways: exposure to sunlight and consume vitamin D rich food.
For food, you can choose fish liver oil, fatty fish, and eggs. Many other foods contain vitamin D naturally, but a lot are fortified with this important vitamin. For example, cheeses, yogurts, and cereals.
You can also take vitamin D supplement every day, for instance, supplement that contains 1000 IU.
Since the skin uses the sun’s rays to produce vitamin D, some experts recommend limited sun exposure, while others caution against it without the protection of sunblock and clothing.
Previous research has shown that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays intensifies the pigment changes that cause irregular skin darkening in pregnant women.
So maybe the best way to get vitamin D is from food or supplements.
In addition, some people may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including obese people, people with dark skin, people taking certain medications such as steroids, antiseizure medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and people having celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.