"Take your vitamins" is probably one of the most heard words a pregnant woman hears. We really need to listen. A new study has suggested a link between being deficient in vitamin D and gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, various infections, fetal growth restriction, and c-sections. The bad stuff. The stuff we don't want to happen.
I read some studies and get very skeptical about these supposed links, but this one makes sense to me. My son was fetal growth restricted. I ended up having a c-section from late onset preeclampsia. I'm deficient in vitamin D.
The researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada do admit there isn't a lot of information on why, but after looking at around 1,000 pregnancy and birth outcomes they saw that women with low levels of vitamin D had increased risk of these complications. It was enough of a risk to be concerned.
Many of us are vitamin D deficient, particularly when we are pregnant, and especially during a high risk pregnancy. I wish I knew this info when I was pregnant! And if you were already deficient in D prior to getting pregnant (like me), that could also be an issue. I guess I could be called proof of this. This vitamin deficiency is also common in vegetarians, those with limited sun exposure, and women with darker skin.
Right now the researchers are looking into more trials to figure out if "strategies to optimize vitamin D concentration are effective in improving pregnancy and neonatal outcomes." That's good. More details are needed. We need to know more about prevention for preeclampsia because far too many women get it and it's life-threatening for mom and baby. In the meantime, I think moms-to-be should be getting their sunshine on, making sure they are taking their vitamins, and eating foods with vitamin D. Fish, eggs, and mushrooms anyone?
What do you think of this study?
Image via karendalziel/Flickr