Because vitamin D is important for your own body’s calcium and phosphorus levels, you can guarantee it is essential to your baby. If you are pregnant or nursing, having adequate levels of vitamin D is essential. Having low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy can result in skeletal deformities, growth retardation and have a negative effect on birth weight.
Decreased levels of vitamin D during pregnancy can put an unborn child at an increased risk for abnormal bone growth, decreased physical development and rickets. Rickets is a disease that often leads to deformities and multiple fractures. All conditions caused by a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy tend to be long lasting.
Research has shown that having inadequate levels of vitamin D during pregnancy can also have a negative impact on the baby’s immune system and bone development at the time they are born, and continuing through adulthood. Further a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. This can include the need for the mother to have a cesarean section – C-section – as well as preeclampsia.
When it comes to knowing how much vitamin D you should be ingesting, the number is unknown. The debate as to how much is enough and how much is too much still continues. Some experts recommend that pregnant women get about 600 IUs of vitamin D per day, while others recommend considerably more. In fact, a pediatrics professor from the Medical University of South Carolina, by the name of Bruce Hollis recommends 4,000 IU per day for pregnant women and 6,000 IU per day for nursing mothers. You should definitely discuss your personal health concerns and situation with your physician before taking any vitamin D supplements, or stuffing your face with foods enriched with vitamin D. the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.