Vitamin D And Your Pregnancy

Vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to bacterial vaginosis, is again in the spotlight for negative health effects. This time, researchers investigated the relationship between insufficient vitamin D and fetal growth in women with severe early-onset preeclampsia — a dangerous condition in pregnancy marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, among other problems.

newborn baby

While no one knows for sure what causes preeclampsia, recent research supported by the Medical University of South Carolina and the Greenlee Preeclampsia Research Fund may provide some insight into the vitamin's role in women who have the condition. The study involved 56 women with early-onset severe preeclampsia and found that those who delivered babies small for their gestational ages tended to have lower vitamin D levels than the women who delivered babies of normal gestational age. The study was published in the June 2011 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

While the study doesn't prove that lower vitamin D levels contribute to early-onset severe preeclampsia, they do suggest that, the lower a preeclamptic woman's vitamin D levels, the more likely she is to deliver a baby who isn't as well-developed as he should be for his gestational age.

VItamin D sources

This important vitamin doesn't occur naturally in very many foods, but many — such as dairy products, orange juice and ready-to-eat cereals — are fortified with it. Your body also manufactures vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Bottom line: Taking your vitamins, eating a healthy diet and getting outside for a daily walk can help give your baby and yourself the best chances for optimum health — at any stage of life. 

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Tags: preeclampsia

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