Importance of vitamin D during pregnancy
Your body needs vitamin D to maintain the proper level of calcium and phosphorus levels that help shape the teeth and bones of your child. Deficiency of vitamin D during pregnancy can lead to a delay in the growth and deformation of the skeleton of the child, and can also affect the mass of his body at birth.
If you do not have enough vitamin D during pregnancy, then your child can be born with a deficiency of this vitamin. This can lead to the development of rickets (which can lead to fractures and deformity of the bones), bone growth and delayed physical development.
Vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of serious complications of pregnancy, including pre-eclampsia, and makes for a future mother a more likely cesarean section.
Pregnant women are recommended to receive 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D every day, especially if they are less exposed to sunlight (your body produces vitamin D under the influence of the sun).
Nursing mothers are recommended to take about 1200 IU (30 mcg) of vitamin D per day.
Food sources of vitamin D
Fish oil, fatty fish, vitaminized milk, eggs and cereal products are excellent sources of vitamin D in pregnancy :
- 90 grams of cooked catfish – 570 IU (14.25 μg);
- 110 grams of cooked salmon – 360 IU (9 mcg);
- 110 grams of cooked mackerel – 345 IU (8.62 mcg);
- 45 grams of sardine, canned in oil – 250 IU (6.25 μg);
- 110 grams of canned tuna in oil – 200 IU (5 mcg);
- 250 grams of milk – 100 IU (2.5 mcg);
- 250 grams of orange juice – 100 IU (2.5 mcg);
- 250 grams of low-fat milk – 98 IU (2.45 mg);
- 1 tablespoon of margarine – 60 IU (1.5 mcg);
- 1 egg yolk – 20 IU (0.5 mcg).
The amount of vitamin D that you get from food is negligible, so while you are pregnant, you need to take this vitamin additionally in the form of vitamin supplements.
In addition, pregnant women are not in a position to satisfy their vitamin D needs during pregnancy with the help of the sun. During pregnancy, exposure to ultraviolet solar (UV) rays strengthens pigment changes that cause skin darkening in expectant mothers. Therefore, most doctors recommend that pregnant women maximally protect themselves from the sun and refuse to visit the solarium.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency
The presence of excess weight makes you more prone to vitamin D deficiency because the fat deposits under the skin do not allow your body to absorb this vitamin (cholecalciferol) from the sunlight. Vitamin D, which you get with food and vitamin supplements (ergocalciferol), is more accessible to the body, so vitamins for pregnant women are more reliable sources of this vitamin.
Some drugs (steroids, anticonvulsants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, some diuretics) reduce the absorption (absorption) of vitamin D from the intestine.
Talk with your doctor about taking additional vitamin D during pregnancy. When choosing a vitamin supplement, pay attention to those that contain a lot of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the most effective form of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is less powerful.
Deficiency of Vitamin D during pregnancy
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include muscle and general weakness, bone pain, softening of the bones, which can lead to fractures. You can also have vitamin D deficiency without any symptoms. And if you suffer from a lack of vitamin D during pregnancy, your child may also suffer from its deficiency.