Vitamin D Deficiency during Pregnancy
Vitamin D is an extremely essential fat soluble vitamin for the body which helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from foods and other available sources such as sunlight. It is known to be vital for building bone and muscle strength. It is also known to offer effective protection against some variants of cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can cause potentially serious repercussions as well. This condition can sometimes assume epidemic proportions and is known to persist even after administering adequate doses of vitamin supplements.
Sometimes acute deficiency can lead to a condition called rickets in babies and young children. Therefore, it is very important to maintain optimum levels of this essential vitamin in your body, especially when you happen to be pregnant. Insufficiency can seriously hamper the bone and muscle development of your baby. Recent research facts have also unravelled that deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnant women can also lead to stunted growth of the child when he attains adulthood.
Vitamin D Deficiency during Pregnancy—Cures
In order to deal with pregnancy complications stemming from the deficiencies of this particular vitamin, some effective cures can come in handy.
- It is important to expose yourself to sunlight as much as possible throughout your pregnancy. Most of the calciferol is made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. This helps in strengthening bones during pregnancy. However, you should be careful never to overdo it, as extended exposure to sunlight can actually cause serious ailments such as skin cancer, and pigmentation. If you are fair skinned, it is important to avoid the sunlight between 11am and 3 pm, without sun protection. It is better to expose yourself to sunlight casually during your normal daily activities.
- Although your diet can contribute to only as little as 10% of your requirement for calciferol, it is important to consume calcium rich foods in order to avoid dietary insufficiencies. It is a great idea to consume oily fish such as mackerel and sardines. Other suitable alternatives lie in eggs, milk and milk products such as yoghurt, cheese, butter, and soy milk. Although cod liver oil is considered to be a rich source of calcium, its intake is not recommended during pregnancy.
- If you have been calciferol deficient during the course of pregnancy, your breast milk may not be the suitable source of calcium for your newborn. In such cases you need to administer supplements to make up for this. Similarly, lactating mothers are always advised to continue with their vitamin supplements well after pregnancy.
There are several available options which can effectively manage conditions pertaining to vitamin D insufficiencies during pregnancy. However, it is always important to monitor your own condition as you plan to get pregnant and even during the course of the vital nine months of pregnancy. You need to go for suitable blood tests which can detect calciferol deficient conditions and continue to repeat them, post the adoption of corrective measures.
Read more articles on Pregnancy Diet
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Aug 25, 2011
All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.