Why is it important
Vit D enhances calcium and phosphate absorption and promotes bone mineralisation. In the foetus, baby and child, Vit D deficiency leads to low calcium seizures, rickets (soft and bendy bones) in the foetus, low birth weight, limb pain and factures in the new born, 6X risk to RSV lung infection in 1 year olds, 11% reduction in total bone content in 9 year olds born to mothers with Vit D deficiency. In the pregnant mum, there is a 2X increase risk of preeclampsia, hypertension, increased risk of Gestational Diabetes and preterm delivery
Ideal level in pregnancy
It is Ideal for Vit D level to be between >78nmol/L and under <120nmol/l. Having too high a Vit D level in pregnancy is associated with renal (kidney) toxicity.
Any pregnant woman with levels <75nmol/l should be on a supplement.
Who is at Risk
Increased BMI (weight), winter seasons, ethnic tanned skin or sun avoidance in fair skinned and shift workers. People with malabsorption symptoms are also at risk.
How Much to Take
In pregnant and lactating mum's:
For levels <75nmol/l: take 1000 units Vit D3/day(1 Ostelin tablet a day)
For levels <50nmol/l: take 5000 units Vit D3/day(5 ostelin tablets) AND 1000mg Calcium tablet per day and repeat levels of Vit D in 6-8 weeks, then maintain dose of 1000units until breastfeeding finishes.
For the Baby
If baby is breastfeeding(Breast Milk only contains 25unit/l Vit D) : Give baby 400 units/day of Vit D as 0.45ml of Pentavite up to 12 months of age in a breastfeeding baby
If baby is bottle feeding, artificial formula already has 400units/l of Vit D.