Are you getting enough Vitamin D in pregnancy?

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A recent study entitled the Southampton Women’s survey involving more than 600 mothers and children looked at the effect of levels of vitamin D in late pregnancy on the muscle strength of children by age 4.

The researchers used blood samples from the mother to assess levels of vitamin D in late pregnancy and at age four their child’s hand grip strength was assessed.  The researchers did take account of possible other factors which may influence the results such as child gender, height, milk intake, age of mother at delivery and social class among others and still came to the conclusion that higher levels of vitamin D in pregnancy influence muscle development at age 4 and that those with higher vitamin D levels had children with stronger hand grips.

In the UK the Department of Health recommend that those who are pregnant and breastfeeding take a daily supplement which contains 10 micrograms of Vitamin D but the research found that less than 10% of participants were taking the required amount with averages only around the 3.4 micrograms a day.

Photo credit: Keerati - Freedigitalimages.net

Photo credit: Keerati / Freedigitalimages.net

 

As the study did not continue beyond age it is not known if the effects found continue long-term and the researchers require their results to be confirmed in an intervention before any recommendations are made but based on the evidence so far it at the very least alerts pregnant women to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D during their pregnancy and beyond if they are breastfeeding.

Getting enough sunlight during summer should give you most of your required Vitamin D but over the winter months this can be more difficult and you may need to ensure you get extra from food sources such as salmon, eggs, fortified milk and mushrooms to name but a few.  The recommended daily supplement in addition will ensure you and your baby have enough vitamin D.

4 Comments

  1. Naomi Lavelle

    March 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Great post, vitamin D levels are a problem for children too, particularly in Ireland (no surprise with the amount of sunlight we get ;( )
    Naomi Lavelle recently posted…Mum, marigolds and memoriesMy Profile

    • Lucy - Learner Mama

      March 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Naomi! Hopefully we get a great summer like last year so we can all stock up on vitamin D! We are kind doomed in Ireland otherwise! 🙂

  2. Stacie

    September 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    All throughout my pregnancy I used to spend a lot of time reading, or just napping sometimes, in the sunroom my husband and I had built onto our house when I got pregnant. Ireland doesn’t get a lot of sun so I tried to take advantage of every ray, even when I wasn’t feeling very well. I always felt so refreshed, and Dylan was born perfectly healthy and delightfully good-natured. Now we take naps there togther all the time, or sometimes he sleeps like a baby, and I do a little work on my laptop or something. He’s gotten a little pink on a few occasions, but never anything to be worried about. I think he enjoys it as much as mum.
    Stacie recently posted…Conservatories, How To Avoid The Pitfalls & Get It Right First TimeMy Profile

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