Pregnant women who maintain optimal vitamin D status have healthier, less risky pregnancies, according to two studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In the first study, researchers found that pregnant women with blood vitamin D values greater than 50nmol/L had a 40% lower risk of developing preeclampsia, a severe form of high blood pressure. In the second study, second trimester maternal vitamin D levels in 792 pregnant women were compared to risk of small for gestational age (SGA) babies. Results showed that women with vitamin D levels of 50nmol/L or greater compared with women whose levels were below that amount had a 68% reduction in SGA risk. Interestingly, there was no association between vitamin D levels and SGA risk in obese mothers.
A study from the University of Iowa in Iowa City found that vitamin D levels were low in a significant amount of newborns and recommend that babies be supplemented with vitamin D at a daily dose of 400IU starting at birth.
Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Norway found that expectant mothers who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of premature delivery.
Bodnar L, Simhan H, Catov J, et al: Maternal vitamin D status and the risk of mild and severe preeclampsia. Epidemiology 2014;25:207-214.
Gernand A, Simhan H, Caritis S, et al: Maternal vitamin D status and small for gestational age offspring in women at high risk for preeclampsia. Obstetrics & Gynecology 2014;123:40-48.
Ziegler E, Nelson S, Jeter J: Vitamin D supplementation of breastfed infants. Pediatric Research 2014;May 23rd.
Englund-Ogge L, Brantsaeter A, Sengpiel V, et al: Maternal dietary patterns and preterm delivery. British Medical Journal 2014;348:g1446.