Remember vitamin D during pregnancy – (for you & your baby)

remember vitamin D during pregnancy

Few people realize it, but the recommendation for pregnant women is using d vitamins daily throughout the pregnancy.

In addition, your newborn should also from about 2 years old, have a daily vitamin D supplement which continues until the child turns two years old.

Vitamin D is important for the body to absorb calcium from the diet and thus maintain a healthy bone structure. If the pregnant women don’t enough vitamin D during her pregnancy, it can cause the low calcium levels in the newborn’s bones. So besides the normal healthy pregnancy tips you should remember vitamin D during pregnancy both for you and your baby.

Check out this study regarding vitamin D: screening and supplementation during pregnancy published on ACOG:

ABSTRACT: During pregnancy, severe maternal vitamin D deficiency has been associated with biochemical evidence of disordered skeletal homeostasis, congenital rickets, and fractures in the newborn. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to support a recommendation for screening all pregnant women for vitamin D deficiency. For pregnant women thought to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels can be considered and should be interpreted in the context of the individual clinical circumstance. When vitamin D deficiency is identified during pregnancy, most experts agree that 1,000–2,000 international units per day of vitamin D is safe. Higher dose regimens used for treatment of vitamin D deficiency have not been studied during pregnancy. Recommendations concerning routine vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy beyond that contained in a prenatal vitamin should await the completion of ongoing randomized clinical trials.

 

At this time there is insufficient evidence to support a recommendation for screening all pregnant women for vitamin D deficiency. For pregnant women thought to be at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, maternal serum 25-OH-D levels can be considered and should be interpreted in the context of the individual clinical circumstance. When vitamin D deficiency is identified during pregnancy, most experts agree that 1,000–2,000 international units per day of vitamin D is safe. Higher dose regimens used for the treatment of vitamin D deficiency have not been studied during pregnancy. Recommendations concerning routine vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy beyond that contained in a prenatal vitamin should await the completion of ongoing randomized clinical trials. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to recommend vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of preterm birth or preeclampsia.

 

You will get vitamin D from the sun. When the sun hits the skin, it stimulates namely the natural formation of vitamin D. But unless you live in the sunny part of the world and live in the far north, the number of hours of sunshine is not high enough to cover your needs – and especially in pregnancy.

The guideline for Vitamin D supplement is 400 UI which you can read from the American Family Physician:

In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a guideline recommending that all children older than two months receive 200 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily. This expert consensus statement was supported by studies of breastfed infants in the United States, Norway, and China and suggested that infants who ingest 100 or 200 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily were less likely to develop rickets.Since then, there have been concerns that these dosages may be insufficient. These concerns are supported by studies showing that vitamin D deficiency can occur early in life; that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations tend to be lower in breastfed infants; and that 400 IU of vitamin D supplementation in these infants maintains higher concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. In addition, studies have shown that adolescents consume insufficient levels of dietary vitamin D, and that supplementation increases 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and bone mineral density.

Consequently, the AAP issued an updated recommendation in 2008 that all infants, children, and adolescents receive a minimum of 400 IU of vitamin D daily through diet or supplements. Infants who are formula-fed exclusively will most likely have an adequate level of vitamin D. Infants who are breastfed or partially breastfed, as well as children and adolescents who consume less than 1 L (33.8 fl oz) of vitamin D–fortified milk per day, should receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily.

Since it can be a bit difficult to keep track of the vitamin supplements recommendation during pregnancy, it may be advantageous to choose one product that is specially formulated for pregnant women.

 

When the Baby is Born

When your baby is born, and when it’s 2 weeks old, it should have a daily supplement of vitamin D and approx. 10 micrograms. Your breastmilk have all the good healthy nutrients but it is low on Vitamin D which is mainly because your body doesn’t have enough of the vitamin, and small children are logically less in the sun compared to adults and consequently also need for a supplement and especially because kids just as adults should wear a lot of sunscreen because those uv rays can be hazardous.

The recommendation is that children under the age of 6 months avoid sun exposure from American Academy of Pediatrics:

Babies under 6 months:

The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.

Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.

Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

 

In the child’s first year, you can give the vitamin D in form of drops. Then you can switch the drops with a daily multivitamin tablet for children.

You can take your vitamin D or your multivitamin tablet with a meal which would be the best solution.

To Much Vitamin D?

There is one important question which you also need an answer to, and that is “can you give to much vitamin D?” and the simple answer is yes. Read here why from VitaminCounsil:

Yes you can. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it if you take too much. Here are the upper limits set for babies – the safe maximum amounts of daily supplement:

Upper limit for daily intake for babies
Vitamin D Council 2,000 IU/day
Endocrine Society 2,000 IU/day
Food and Nutrition Board 1,000-1,500 IU/day

Here are the upper limits for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers set by the same organizations:

Upper limit for daily intake for pregnant women
Vitamin D Council 10,000 IU/day
Endocrine Society 10,000 IU/day
Food and Nutrition Board 4,000 IU/day