Low levels of vitamin D may result in delivery complications

Many women are aware that they need to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. In particular, new research continues to hone in on nutrients that are especially necessary to ensure healthy fetal development. One of these is vitamin D, which may help expecting moms have a smoother delivery.

A study from the University of Calgary in Canada now shows that low levels of vitamin D can contribute to low birth weight and complications during labor. The experts looked at a series of studies released between 1980 and 2012 in order to draw their conclusions. While they can't say if a lack of vitamin D is primarily responsible for issues, such as low birth weight, they believe that sustaining normal levels of the nutrient may be able to help reduce this risk and others.

"This result is very concerning," Fariba Aghajafari, M.D., one of the study's researchers, told a local Calgary news source. "We know that all over the world, including Canada, the vitamin D insufficiency is common during pregnancy. Our team was wondering what's happening if you have low levels? What is the effect on complication of pregnancy?" 

While vitamin D is most notably obtained through sunlight, it can also be consumed through eating dairy items, such as milk and cheese.

Consuming nutrients while pregnant
In order to ensure healthy baby development, there are a few precautionary measures expectant mothers need to take into account. First, a prenatal vitamin may be necessary to make sure the body receives nutrients that are critical to pregnancy, such as folic acid.

Next, it's critical for women to maintain a healthy diet while pregnant to boost their intake of necessary vitamins and minerals. The most obvious sources are fruits and vegetables. However, certain foods, such as milk, fish and beans, can also give expectant moms a boost of nutrients, like protein and omega-3.

Medical experts can help pregnant women understand which foods and supplements are safe to take during their nine months. This information can ensure individuals always get their fill of nutrients before and after pregnancy. Furthermore, doctors can alert women to which items should be avoided during pregnancy, such as raw fish and certain uncooked vegetables. Education can effectively reduce the amount of complications stemming from malnutrition prior to delivery.

How have you kept up with your intake of vitamin D while pregnant? Do you know how to eat healthy while expecting? Leave your tips in the comments section!