Many nutrient deficiencies affect the unborn child. For example, a deficiency of folic acid can cause cleft palate in a newborn, and the surgical repair of this situation could take years to completely reverse it. More importantly, the cleft palate affects how the baby eats and is nourished.
What about vitamin D? How does vitamin D deficiency affect pregnancy?
New answers are emerging because we are in the age of vitamin D research. More articles have been published in the scientific world on vitamin D than any other topic in a very long time. This information has generated a complete new body of knowledge that affects the health of everyone living on the planet. We’re discovering that vitamin D is important for our survival in new ways never thought of before.
A few of the studies on vitamin D and pregnancy are very interesting in that the new knowledge gives us insight into old problems. Two problems associated with pregnancy are low birth weight babies and gestational diabetes.
For example, researchers in Beijing, China found that 55% of pregnant women and 47% of their babies were at risk for developing a vitamin D deficiency.
The vitamin D status of the mother was exactly the same level found in the cord blood. Babies born of moms with a severe deficiency had lower birth weight and were shorter than other babies, too.
And the researchers found that the newborns who had a vitamin D deficiency had lower birth weight and smaller heads than those who didn’t have a deficiency.
In a study from Iran, doctors found that one single 300,000 IM dose of vitamin D effectively and safely improved vitamin D status of women with gestational diabetes.
One of the first things they did was check to see who had symptoms that could indicate a vitamin D deficiency. A full 79% of the women who received the vitamin D in the experimental group and 82% of the control group suffered from symptoms of a deficiency at the start of the study. By the end of the study, these numbers fell to 4% and 71% respectively.
A baby who is deficient in vitamin D may not show signs of a deficiency. This is why a blood test must be done as soon as the baby is born. Babies can develop changes in their developing bones that will impact them negatively if a vitamin D deficiency is left to continue. Bone changes such as the bones of the legs bowing outward in rickets may take 12 to 47 months to show up in children.
So get your baby tested! There are now liquid forms of vitamin D that can be easily rubbed on the breast so that your baby can get a good dosage while breastfeeding. Of course, you could also put the liquid directly on his or her lips or also add it to the milk bottle. There are ways to make this work!
NOTE: There are a few very rare contradictions to taking vitamin D. Those with high blood calcium levels should not take vitamin D. Conditions causing high blood calcium can be caused by:
- primary hyperparathyroidism (most common cause)
- granulomatous TB
- some cancers
Please consult your physician prior to taking Vitamin D.