Every mother-to-be wants to ensure they do all they can to give their baby the best start in life.
Most of us are aware of the recommendation to take folic acid (or folate) during pregnancy, but vitamin D is another important nutrient for pregnant and breastfeeding women need to consider.
Your vitamin D status during pregnancy largely determines your newborn baby’s vitamin D level.
Why is Vitamin D Important for Pregnant Women?
Optimal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy helps ensure adequate absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for building and maintaining bones in both you and your baby.
As well as maintaining normal bones, teeth and muscles, vitamin D also helps to support healthy immune function.
Pregnancy and D-ficiency
Pregnant women are at risk of having lower vitamin D levels as the foetal needs increase during the latter half of pregnancy.
Low vitamin D during pregnancy has also been shown to have negative effects on the development of young children. A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that vitamin D deficiency in mothers during pregnancy had a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of their pre-school children.
Many of the symptoms associated with low vitamin D levels can overlap with common symptoms of pregnancy.
Difficulty thinking clearly, muscle weakness, fatigue and getting sick often are all signs of vitamin D deficiency. However, it is possible to be deficient and experience no symptoms at all.
One of the simplest ways to check your vitamin D levels is with a home test kit, such as the one distributed by BetterYou in association with the NHS.
BetterYou can help you to determine your vitamin D levels and provide tailored advice on how best to optimise your levels, based on your results. They also offer a complimentary vitamin D daily oral spray product to everyone who uses the home test kit.
Optimising Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy
As pregnancy reaches its final stages you may feel increasingly lethargic, but getting outside for a short walk can provide numerous health benefits, including vitamin D-boosting sun exposure.
However, due to the unpredictable UK weather it is now widely accepted that we cannot rely on the sun alone, year round, to provide us with adequate vitamin D.
For this reason, it is wise to consider a Vitamin D supplement, such as BetterYou DLuxPregnancy oral spray, specially formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
DLuxPregnancy contains six essential nutrients including:
1000iu of vitamin D – Important for maintaining normal bones, teeth and muscles and supporting a healthy immune system.
400mcg folic acid – Essential for the healthy development of your baby’s spinal cord. (Dosage recommended by The Department of Health and The Royal Society of Midwives)
Vitamin K – Supports healthy bones and maintains healthy blood clotting.
B vitamins (B1, B6, B12) – Important for red blood cell formation, brain function and contributes to normal psychological functions. B vitamins allow the body to release, use and store energy and help to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
To summarise: optimising your vitamin D level is important to help ensure the optimal health and wellbeing of both you and your baby during pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond.