Pregnancy is a very delicate phase for the mother and the baby. A pregnant woman has to be very careful about what to eat and avoid for proper development of the unborn child. It is recommended to consume a healthy diet to fulfill the nutritional requirement of the baby. Vitamin D also plays an important role for the unborn child's proper health. Pregnant women should include enough amount of vitamin D to their diet. Studies have also highlighted the link between vitamin D deficiency and complications in pregnancy.
Ms. Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Hospital explains, "Vitamin D is produced by the body during exposure to sunlight. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and prohormone plays an important role in bone metabolism through regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D helps in baby's bone development.
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may be associated with increased risk of pre-eclampsia, blood sugar balance(GDM), preterm birth, low birth weight, impacted fetal skeletal formation (softening of bone leading to deformation and fractured) and reduced bone mass. Vitamin D is found in fish (Salmon), egg yolk, cod liver oil and fortified products."
Ms. Pavithra N Raj recommends 4000IU as the daily requirement of vitamin D during pregnancy.
Risks associated with vitamin D deficiency for pregnant ladies
According to researchers, prenatal factors such as vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can influence the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The findings, published in the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, demonstrated an association between low maternal vitamin D level in early to mid-pregnancy and an elevated risk for diagnosed ADHD in the offspring.
If you are pregnant you should ensure enough intake foods sources rich in vitamin D. You can also get your vitamin D levels checked and seek expert advice. Your doctor may advise the intake of vitamin D supplements if levels are too low. A pregnant woman has to very careful during the nine months, always seek medical advice before consuming any supplement or medicine.