Birth month may influence immune system development in babies

Just because the pregnancy calendar has come to an end doesn't mean that you need to put less attention into the health of your child. Even if baby development went smoothly over the course of nine months, it's critical to pay attention to your baby's well-being in the following weeks after your delivery. Specifically, researchers have found that the child's month of birth may be crucial to his or her immune system and ability to fight off certain ailments.

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Oxford have discovered that there might be a link between multiple sclerosis and babies' first month out of the womb when the immune system is still developing. MS can be simply described as when the immune system begins attacking the body's central nervous system. During research, experts found that babies born in May had lower levels of vitamin D and T-cells than those born in November, which may explain their higher risk of MS. 

"The correlation with vitamin D suggests this could be the driver of this effect,' said study co-author Sreeram Ramagopalan. "There is a need for long-term studies to assess the effect of vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women and the subsequent impact on immune system development and risk of MS and other autoimmune diseases."

As the Mayo Clinic states, low levels of vitamin D have been linked to the development of MS in the past.

Is vitamin D important during pregnancy?
As your doctor will tell you, it's critical to get a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients throughout your pregnancy. However, vitamin D is especially important in your diet while you're expecting. HealthDay News recently reported on a study that showed women who received limited amounts of vitamin D while pregnant have a higher chance of developing gestational diabetes, as well as high blood pressure. Their children were also more likely to have a low birth weight. 

That being said, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you're getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals while expecting. Prenatal vitamins can resolve most of your worries, and certain foods contain high levels of nutrients as well. Talk to your doctor about ways you can make sure you're getting the vitamins you need during pregnancy.

How have you maintained your vitamin D levels while pregnant in the past? Are you adamant about taking prenatal vitamins? Leave your feedback in the comments section!