Vitamin D3 for Pregnancy
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
The benefits of vitamin D3 for pregnancy are an emerging field of research nowadays. The effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on pregnant women before, during, and after pregnancy are significantly researched. Though the research is fairly new, the outcome evidence of its benefits is quite strong. Vitamin D3 can do wonders for both expecting moms as well as babies.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits of taking vitamin D3 for pregnancy along with recommended daily intake and precautions. But, before we get into the in-depth discussion of how vitamin D3 can help with pregnancy, it’s important to know the basics of vitamin D3 and why it is so important for pregnancy. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is vitamin D3?
- The importance of vitamin D3 for pregnancy
- Benefits of taking vitamin D3 for pregnancy
- How much vitamin D3 do pregnant women need?
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3 is a type of vitamin D that is considered the most usable form for the human body. The human skin is able to produce this vital nutrient when exposed to strong sunlight which is why it is often called “the sunshine vitamin”. Small amounts of vitamin D3 are also found in a few animal foods such as chicken liver and fatty fish.
But most people find it impossible to meet the required amount through diet and sun exposure alone. For this reason, many health organizations advise taking vitamin D3 supplements, particularly during pregnancy.
The importance of vitamin D3 for pregnancy
Modern lifestyle choices have led the deficiency of vitamin D to an epidemic level, especially among those who are expectant or breastfeeding. Studies suggest that around 33% of pregnant women are on vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. And this is a fact not just for Northern counties such as Canada, Europe, and the United States that do not get enough sunlight but also for sun-drenched regions like India, Brazil, and the Middle East.
Moreover, nearly all prenatal vitamins available on the market do not contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D. They usually contain between 400 IU to 800 IU of vitamin D, which is only a fraction of what pregnant women actually need.
While vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to a whole variety of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and underweight baby, vitamin D3 supplementation has been found an effective intervention to prevent them naturally.
Benefits of taking vitamin D3 for pregnancy
Vitamin D3 may play a significant role in promoting a healthy pregnancy. It can benefit the pregnant mother as well as the little baby in many different ways.
Vitamin D3 enables the body to better absorb and hold onto the calcium and other minerals that the mom and baby need during pregnancy. Sufficient levels of calcium and phosphorus are vital for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Vitamin D3 can also help in developing healthy skin and eyesight.
Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may lead to abnormal bone growth, rickets (softening of bones), fractures, seizures, and muscle disease in newborns. Taking vitamin D3 during pregnancy may help lower the risk of various pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and low birth weight, as well as others.
Here are some ways how vitamin D3 can help lower the risk of pregnancy complications:
Preeclampsia - This is a potentially dangerous complication of pregnancy mainly characterized by high blood pressure and is considered one of the dominant causes of maternal death.
A 2017 study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology International concluded that vitamin D supplementation can help in reducing the incidence of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension.
Gestational diabetes - A 2018 study published in the BJOG (an international journal of obstetrics and gynecology) revealed that low vitamin D levels in the blood may increase the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and vitamin D supplementation may help ameliorate GDM condition.
Preterm birth - A recent 2017 study conveyed by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) showed that supplementing with vitamin D has a significant positive effect on the reduction of preterm birth risk.
Size at birth - A 2013 multicenter review published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that higher levels of vitamin D resulted in higher birth weight and larger head circumference compared to lower levels.
How much vitamin D3 do pregnant women need?
According to the latest research, each and every pregnant woman should consume at least 2000 IU of vitamin D3 per day to ensure the required amount. It’s typically more than double the amounts of vitamin D most prenatal vitamins usually contain. This is the main reason why pregnant women need to pay attention to high-quality vitamin D3 supplements.
Precautions and side effects
Recent studies suggest that up to 4000 IU of vitamin D3 per day can be safely consumed by pregnant women without showing any adverse effects. But it’s important to be aware of this upper limit and keep an eye on all food sources and supplements that contain vitamin D.
It’s always optimal to consider consulting with a qualified healthcare provider prior to starting vitamin D3 supplements so that he or she can determine your best dose and safely.
Taking high doses of vitamin D3 for pregnancy has been found to be hugely beneficial in reducing the risk of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and low birth weight, as well as others. Vitamin D3 is also beneficial for breastfeeding mothers and babies after birth since breast milk does not contain enough of it.
Studies suggest pregnant women can take up to 4000 IU of vitamin D3 per day safely without any side effects to reduce various complications. It’s best to consult with a healthcare provider prior to starting vitamin D3 for pregnancy to determine the safety and best doses.
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Vitamin D3 25 mcg (1000 IU) Capsules
Here you can see Vorst’s high-quality Prenatal Vitamins