Conceiving in Winter -- Bad News for Baby?

winter scene

Photo by AshBayGrammy

Researchers in England have found that mothers who are pregnant during fall and winter are more likely to have babies that suffer from multiple sclerosis. The reason?


Vitamin D, which we mostly get from sunlight, is critical to a baby's development. One of the things it does it to regulate a gene that predisposes people to MS. If the gene is passed on to an unborn child, without being regulated by enough vitamin D, the infant could develop the disease later in life.

Scientists found that babies born in March, April, and May had higher incidences of MS than babies born in other months. November babies had the lowest incidence of the disease. Researchers speculate the discrepancy is due to the amount of sunlight moms are getting during critical phases of their pregnancy.

Professor George Ebers, from Oxford University's department of clinical neurology, said: "The difference between being born in April versus November [and getting MS] is an astounding 50 percent. There's no doubt of a seasonal link. There are different theories, but I think the April excess could be linked to a sunlight deficiency."

What can you do if you're pregnant during the winter months? Ask your doctor about vitamin D supplements.

If you're trying to get pregnant and your family has a history of neurological disorders, researchers think it may be wise to try to conceive at times that avoid winter pregnancies.

Are you taking vitamin D supplements?

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