Ensuring you have the right levels of vitamin D in pregnancy is essential for yours and your baby’s health. This vital vitamin is important at every stage of life as it supports bones, muscle, and heart health. Discover everything you need to know about vitamin D in pregnancy and breastfeeding with our guide.
Why Do I Need Vitamin D in Pregnancy?
Every nutrient your growing bundle of joy gets during pregnancy is from you, including vitamin D. Due to this, it’s very important to consider whether you are receiving enough of the correct vitamins and minerals. If you believe you are not getting enough of these vital nutrients, you should consult your doctor, and potentially take a pregnancy supplement. A vitamin D supplement can be a simple way to increase both yours and your baby’s levels.
During pregnancy, vitamin D works to strengthen your child’s bones, encouraging the maintenance of calcium and phosphate in the bones and teeth. Once you’ve given birth, the importance of vitamin D remains high - especially if you are breastfeeding. This is due to you still being your child’s main, or only source, of vitamins. Vitamin D in pregnancy is also just as important for you, as having the right levels can reduce your risk of pre-eclampsia.
5 Vitamin D Pregnancy Essentials to Know
We’ve put together the top 5 things you need to know about vitamin D and pregnancy to make your journey to parenthood that little bit easier. Here are things you might wish to consider with vitamin D whilst breastfeeding and pregnant:
1. How Can I Get Vitamin D During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding?
Sunshine and diet are the most common sources of vitamin D during pregnancy. However, just 10% of vitamin D comes from our diet. Foods rich in Vitamin D to eat during pregnancy include:
- Oily fish (tuna, salmon, etc)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, etc)
- Fortified foods (cereals, breads, & juices)
The other 90% of our essential vitamin D should come from our skin's exposure to the sun. Despite this, skin cancer fears have also led to frequent sunscreen use. In fact, creams higher than factor 15 block vitamin D absorption. It's believed that this sunscreen use has caused vitamin D deficiency to soar to new heights. Indoor lifestyles may also mean you should be looking for other ways to increase your vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
2. At What Stages of Parenthood Should I Take Vitamin D?
The NHS recommends all pregnant and breastfeeding women use a vitamin D supplement all year round. Vitamin D supplements for pregnancy are an effortless way to boost your levels.
Low Vitamin D levels can have a major impact on expectant mothers and the foetus. Research now shows that pregnant women with low levels of Vitamin D may have higher rates of pregnancy related health conditions. These conditions include preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, birth by caesarean section and a lowering of the immune system. Whilst, babies born with insufficient vitamin d levels may suffer from conditions such as rickets.
Dr Benjamin Jacobs says: “Vitamin D is especially important for mums-to-be and new mums. During pregnancy, or when breastfeeding, mothers need extra Vitamin D to maintain their own bone health, as well as providing nutrients to their baby.”
3. Checking Your Vitamin D Levels
If you're concerned about your vitamin D pregnancy levels, you can take an easy at home health check. Our vitamin deficiency tests allow you to easily check your health within your own home, using a simple pin prick. Testing is carried out using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to measure the Vitamin D in the blood. A clear interpretation of the nutrient level is then sent to the customer around five days later, with a complimentary supplement. However, we do recommend talking to your doctor if you are worried about vitamin d in pregnancy.
4. Recommended Vitamin D Pregnancy Dosage
A recent Maternal Vitamin D Osteoporosis study found that the health of babies' bones could be improved by giving mothers a daily dose of 1000iu of Vitamin D whilst pregnant.
Dr Benjamin Jacobs says
"That was one of the most important pieces of scientific research ever performed in this field. Until now authorities in the UK only recommended 400 units of Vitamin D daily in pregnancy, but this study showed that 1000 units is safe, and probably more beneficial.”
5. Increasing Vitamin D in Pregnancy with Supplements
Both vitamin D and folic acid supplements are recommended by health professionals to be taken during the first trimester, though it is advisable to supplement vitamin D throughout pregnancy, due to its impact on bone health and the immune system.
Our Pregnancy Oral Spray delivers 3000IU of vitamin D, along with the recommended 400mcg of Folic Acid. It also contains iron, iodine, K2 and B12 to support maternal tissue growth and normal function of the immune system, whilst contributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue by stimulating natural energy production. As an oral spray does not require food or water to be taken, it is easy to use on the go. It’s also a great option for women experiencing morning sickness, as it does not rely on primary absorption through the digestive system.
How Do I Ensure My Child Has Enough Vitamin D?
Once your little one arrives you still need to keep their vitamin D levels up as you did in pregnancy. During your baby’s first months, if you breastfeed your intake of vitamin D will still directly impact your child’s levels. Therefore, if your levels are low you should consider taking a supplement or giving your baby one. If you are bottle feeding, our children’s vitamin range features an Infant Vitamin D oral spray that is suitable for newborns and kids up to the age of 3, providing they are not consuming more than 500ml of fortified infant formula daily.
What Makes BetterYou Special?
We are an innovative supplementation brand, pioneering vitamin oral sprays and transdermal magnesium. Transdermal magnesium supplements are ideal for relaxing your muscles after a long day, whilst our multivitamins will support your overall wellbeing. For those with specific diets, our vegan supplements and vegetarian supplement ranges will boost your nutrient levels.