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The Importance of Vitamin D During Pregnancy

The female body needs an increased amount of vitamins, trace elements, and other useful components during pregnancy. This is because the fetus is not yet able to synthesize the necessary substances on its own and takes them from the mother’s body. Vitamin deficiency negatively affects the condition of a woman and a child.

Important elements in the perinatal period include vitamin D. It is indispensable for the absorption of calcium in the intestines and maintains its concentration in the blood. The substance ensures normal bone mineralization and muscle function. Acute vitamin D deficiency is fraught with the development of rickets in children.

Vitamin D is found in high concentrations in animal products. The body also receives the element under the influence of sunlight. Natural sunlight becomes less in winter. It is worth discussing with your doctor the use of a synthetic supplement if there is a shortage of the substance.

Why do you need vitamin D?

Vitamin D refers to fat-soluble substances that accumulate in human adipose tissue. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the human body can independently synthesize the element. This process is possible due to the action of ultraviolet rays on the skin.

The main function of the element is the absorption of calcium and fluorine. Bone and muscle tissues, the cardiovascular system, and ligaments will not be able to function properly without a sufficient concentration of vitamin D. women need to receive the daily norm of the substance because it has a positive effect on the functioning of the reproductive system.

Vitamin D regulates the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It is one of the factors that prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. A deficiency of the element can provoke an increase in adipose tissue. Vitamin D protects the body from infections and tumor formation. The substance supports the normal operation of metabolic processes.

How much vitamin D is needed per day?

The US National Institutes of Health considers 15-25 micrograms of vitamin D per day to be the norm. It is important to consider additional factors when determining the exact amount of a substance in the body: age, ethnicity, place of residence, and health status.

Doctors recommend a daily intake of 10 micrograms of vitamin D for infants based on these factors. Children under 18 should consume 15-25 mcg of the substance per day. Adults (especially in old age) should increase the dose of the element to 50 mcg per day.

Vitamin D requirements are highest in pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding. The rapid development of the fetus in the third trimester provokes an increased need for calcium and phosphorus. You should receive 50 micrograms of vitamin D per day for their sufficient synthesis. It is necessary to use the same norm of the substance during breastfeeding.

Foods That contain Vitamin D

People who follow a balanced diet get the necessary concentration of vitamins. The easiest way to consume a daily dose of the substance is for lovers of fish and seafood. A high concentration of vitamin D is found in cod liver, mackerel, herring, red caviar, and pollock. A serving of oily fish provides up to 65% of the daily vitamin requirement.

People who do not eat fish can get vitamin D from dairy products. Whole milk, butter, and hard cheese contain 15-22% of the daily requirement of the substance. The amount of vitamins depends on the manufacturer of dairy products.

Mushrooms are a valuable source of vitamin D. They synthesize a substance under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. One egg yolk contains about 5% of the daily value of the vitamin. Higher nutrient content in bright yolks.

Vitamin D in Common Foods per 1 LB:

Cod Liver5500 mcg
Herring4500 mcg
Mackerel3500 mcg
Salmon2400 mcg
Black Caviar1760 mcg
Chicken Egg Yolk1650 mcg
Mushrooms1200 mcg
Butter1000 mcg
Milk1000 mcg

How to get vitamin D from sunlight

Vitamin D is called sunshine. The body starts several processes for the production of this substance due to the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays act on cholesterol, which acts as energy for the synthesis of the element. The kidneys and liver are involved in the process.

The inert form of vitamin D is converted into biologically active forms necessary for the absorption of calcium and fluoride. The amount of time spent outdoors depends on the region where the person lives. Doctors recommend sun exposure between 9:00 am and 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.

It is necessary to be outside for 10-20 minutes on a sunny day. Too long exposure to ultraviolet radiation threatens the formation of skin burns. It is recommended to spend 40-60 minutes outside in cloudy weather. 10% of bare skin is enough for vitamin synthesis.

Deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnancy

There is a sufficient amount of foods rich in vitamin D. It can be synthesized from the sun, but the deficiency of the element is one of the most common in the world. Up to 42% of US adults have low levels of vitamin D, which can cause health problems.

This is because many people spend their days in offices and travel by car. Vitamin D deficiency is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The substance takes part in the secretion of various placental hormones and is responsible for the formation of bones and teeth in a child.

There is a risk of pregnancy with complications in acute vitamin deficiency. Placental insufficiency and abortion may occur. Insufficient contractility of the uterus is associated with vitamin deficiency of the substance, which leads to the use of a cesarean section. Vitamin D deficiency causes bone mineralization in newborns.

Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy

It is important for women who are planning a pregnancy to receive the required dose of the element. Women in the third trimester of pregnancy are in dire need of increased intake of the substance when the baby’s bones are growing rapidly. Deficiency can be replenished by taking multivitamins if the expectant mother receives the vitamin in insufficient quantities.

You cannot prescribe vitamin complexes on your own. The intake of a synthetic substance is prescribed by a gynecologist based on the analysis of a pregnant woman. Vitamin D levels in the body can be determined with a blood test. It is carried out in all laboratories. Blood sampling should be done on an empty stomach for accuracy.

The systematic intake of the norm of vitamin D has a beneficial effect on the health and emotional state of a pregnant woman. The expectant mother complains less about fatigue and bad mood. Vitamin intake should be extended for the duration of lactation if a woman is breastfeeding.

Vitamin D Overdose

It is impossible to get too high a dose of vitamin D with sunlight: the body synthesizes the required amount of the substance. Excessive intake of vitamin D with food is also impossible: the excess is quickly excreted from the body. Overdose is possible when taking synthetic supplements.

Taking an element above the norm for several months can provoke hypercalcemia: the accumulation of calcium in the blood. Symptoms of hypervitaminosis include muscle weakness, vomiting, anxiety, sleep disturbance, loss of appetite, and kidney failure.

Systematic excess of the dosage of vitamin D in the perinatal period threatens health problems in the fetus. Hypervitaminosis can provoke the development of deformity in a newborn. You should consult a doctor to adjust the dose of the vitamin if the pregnant woman has symptoms of substance poisoning.

Consider Going on Vacation

Vacation near the sea has a beneficial effect on the health and emotional state of a pregnant woman. It is especially important to go on a trip in the cold season. A lot of hiking in the sun can replenish the deficiency of an important element in a natural way.

If a pregnant woman goes on a seaside vacation in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, she can get her full vitamin D from her diet (lots of fresh seafood) and UV exposure. Sea air is saturated with ions with a negative charge, which has a positive effect on the human condition.

It is important to take precautions: stay in the open sun for no more than 20-30 minutes, and use UV protection. The maritime climate and relaxed atmosphere allow the expectant mother to have a good rest before childbirth and the first months of caring for the baby.

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