Study shows winter pregnancies may yield to weak bones in babies

It's no secret that pregnancy comes with a slew of changes for expectant mothers. In addition to eating healthy and incorporating prenatal vitamins into their diets, women need to be mindful of environmental factors that may impact their unborn children. A recent study showed that a lack of sun may be the newest problem for moms-to-be in their quest to give birth to healthy babies.

The research, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, shows that pregnant women tend to receive less sun between October and March. This cuts the amount of vitamin D they take into their bodies on a regular basis during these months, causing babies to be born with weak bones. 

Vitamin D is known to promote bone growth and normal calcium levels throughout the body. While this nutrient can be found in certain foods, the easiest way to get it is through sun exposure, which causes the body to produce it. During the winter, pregnant women are less likely to be exposed to adequate amounts of natural sunlight, especially as they spend more time indoors due to the cold weather.

Getting nutrients while pregnant
One of the key components of ensuring baby health is consuming beneficial nutrients from the first trimester onward. While vitamin D is a crucial nutrient to baby development, there are several others worth noting as you move forward in your own pregnancy. First, folic acid is a must for all expectant mothers. This can reduce the risk of neural tube defects and help the infant develop correctly throughout the nine months. Next, calcium intake should be high to ensure healthy bones and teeth once the baby is born. Approximately 1,000 milligrams of the nutrient is suitable for pregnant women, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Finally, protein shouldn't be overlooked, especially as the second and third trimesters inch closer. This nutrient is necessary to keep the infant strong and growing right up until the due date. Lean meat, eggs and soy are all viable sources of proteins. If you have any questions as to what you should be eating, don't hesitate to speak to your doctor. He or she will have all of the information you need on how to make sure you're getting crucial nutrients into your pregnancy diet.

How have you made sure you're getting the right vitamins while pregnant? Do you take a prenatal vitamin to cover the basics? Leave your feedback in the comments section!