Herbal Supplements Can Help With Ailments With Caution
In addition to micronutrients, herbal supplements are popular.
One 2019 study found that 15.4 percent of pregnant women in the United States use herbal supplements. However not all disclose to their physicians theyre taking them.
While some herbal supplements may be safe to take during pregnancy, there are far more that might not be.
Although some herbs can help with common pregnancy ailments like nausea and upset stomach, some may be harmful to both you and baby.
Unfortunately, there isnt much research regarding the use of herbal supplements by pregnant people, and much is unknown about how the supplements can affect you.
The safest bet? Keep your doctor in the know about any and all changes to your eating plan and supplements.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take During Pregnancy
If you keep up with health and nutrition, chances are youve heard of the various benefits that vitamin D supplementation can offer. OBGYN Dr. Gleaton evaluates vitamin D as it relates to pregnancyhow much, how often, and can there ever be too much?
If you keep up with health and nutrition, chances are youve heard of the various benefits that vitamin D supplementation can offer. With so many sources and conflicting information, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction. There are many vitamins and supplements that can increase your chances of pregnancy, from folate to CoQ10, though few people are aware of the importance of Vitamin D. Lets evaluate vitamin D as it relates to pregnancyhow much, how often, and can there ever be too much?!
Vitamin D And Pregnancy
Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin from a group of fat-soluble prohormones. Vitamin D and pregnancy are important together. Expecting mothers need to make sure they get the recommended amounts of vitamin D during pregnancy for both their own well being and the healthy development of their baby. The most significant compounds for human development are D2 and D3.
Does My Prenatal Vitamin Have Enough Vitamin D
It is unlikely your prenatal vitamin provides enough vitamin D. A recent study found women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor/births and infections.
The study confirmed vitamin D at this level is not only safe for you, but for your baby, and the researchers from this study now recommend this daily dosage of vitamin D for all pregnant women. The average prenatal vitamin only contains 400 IU of vitamin D, so additional supplementation should be taken daily.
Taking Vitamin D During Pregnancy Could Lower The Risk Of Eczema In Babies
- University of Southampton
- Taking Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy could substantially reduce the chances of babies up to a year old suffering from atopic eczema, according to a new study.
Taking Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy could substantially reduce the chances of babies up to a year old suffering from atopic eczema, according to a new study by University of Southampton researchers.
The research, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, revealed that babies had a lower risk of developing atopic eczema in their first year if their mothers took 1000 international units of Vitamin D a day from when they were 14 weeks pregnant until they delivered. The effect was particularly seen in babies who were later breastfed for more than a month.
Atopic eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition that can have a large impact on sufferers, their families, and healthcare. It is estimated that one in six children aged one to five has atopic eczema, and there has been a global rise over recent decades.
The eczema research was part of the UK Maternal Vitamin D Osteoporosis Study and was led by Professor Keith Godfrey, working with Dr Sarah El-Heis, who was first author of the paper.
Dr El-Heis said: “Our aim was to see whether taking 1000IU of Vitamin D as a supplement during pregnancy would decrease the risk of atopic eczema in babies. We also wanted to establish whether breastfeeding had any effect on this.
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Taking Vitamin D And Calcium Supplements Together In Pregnancy: What Does The Evidence Say
The review also shows that women who take vitamin D and calcium together in pregnancy probably have a reduced risk of developing pre-eclampsia. However, there may be an increased risk of preterm birth less than 37 weeks. These results warrant further research.
Whilst there are potential harms of taking combined calcium and vitamin D supplementation, the benefits for those at risk of pre-eclampsia may outweigh these harms. Women considering this should discuss with their midwife and obstetrician in early pregnancy.
Taking Vitamin D During Pregnancy May Lower Your Babys Risk Of Eczema
A randomized controlled trial found that babies born to mothers who took vitamin D daily from the second trimester until delivery had a lower risk for eczema at 12 months.
ByKristen Fischer August 30, 2022
Popping a prenatal vitamin? Double-check that it contains vitamin D, because taking vitamin D during pregnancy could lower your babys risk for eczema through their first year, according to a recent study.
The report was published in the “British Journal of Dermatology.”
The researchers examined data from more than 700 pregnant women. Of them, 352 took 1,000 international units ofvitamin D from 14 weeks until they gave birth and 351 took a placebo.
Researchers found that babies born to mothers who took vitamin D daily from 14 weeks until delivery had a lower risk for atopic eczema. The result was particularly seen in babies who were later breastfed for more than a month .
Atopic eczema is chronic. About 13% of American children have the condition, the National Eczema Association reports. Eczema symptoms can include redness and rash, itching, dry and scaly skin, or open and crusty sores. About 50% of children with moderate to severe cases later develop allergic asthma. Eczema has been linked to food allergies.
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Essential Vitamins And Minerals In Pregnancy
Good nutrition in pregnancy is vital for the healthy growth and development of your baby. You need to consume enough nutrients to meet your baby’s needs, as well as your own.
- folate helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida when taken at least 1 month before conception and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy
- iodine is needed for brain and nervous system development
- iron helps prevent anaemia in the mother, as well as low birth weight in the baby
Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also particularly important since they support the development of the baby’s nervous system and skeleton . Adequate vitamin C intake also helps improve the adsorption of iron from your diet.
Low Levels Of Vitamin D And Preeclampsia
Adequate vitamin D during pregnancy may reduce risk of preeclampsia, which is a condition that only occurs during pregnancy. Symptoms can begin after week 20 of pregnancy and may include protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and water retention. In cases of severe preeclampsia, you may experience headaches, blurred vision, inability to tolerate bright light, fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting, pain in your upper right abdomen, shortness of breath, and a tendency to bruise. Preeclampsia affects roughly 5-8% of pregnanciesâthough keep in mind that these symptoms can be caused by other health issues and vitamin D supplementation has not been proven to independently prevent preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia can also affect the arteries that carry blood to your placenta. When the placenta doesnât carry enough blood, your baby may not get enough nutrients, oxygen, or blood, which can lead to low birth weight or preterm birth.
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When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
The best time to start taking prenatal vitamins is before conception. Folic acid is especially important. You should begin taking a folic acid supplement at least 1 month before you try to get pregnant to prevent birth defects.
Some doctors recommend that all women who could have a baby take prenatal vitamins, even if they donât plan a pregnancy.
Vegetarian Vegan And Special Diets In Pregnancy
A varied and balanced vegetarian diet should provide enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy.
But you might find it more difficult to get enough iron and vitamin B12.
Talk to a midwife or doctor about how to make sure you’re getting enough of these important nutrients.
If you’re vegan or you follow a restricted diet because of a food intolerance or for religious reasons, talk to a midwife or GP.
Ask to be referred to a dietitian for advice on how to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.
Find out more about healthy eating if you’re pregnant and vegetarian or vegan.
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How Much Vitamin D Should Be In Your Prenatal Vitamin
Most prenatal vitamins contain 400 IUs of vitamin D however, given the widespread incidence of vitamin D deficiency, most experts now agree that levels should likely be higher. Pregnancy represents a nutritionally vulnerable period where demands are greatest for both mom and baby. Moreso, Black women and women with rich darker pigment are even more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency and often require higher doses of vitamin D due to decreased absorption through the skin. This difference is important to note since Black women share a higher burden of preterm birth, low birth weight, and pre-eclampsiaconditions that have all been studied in association with vitamin D supplementation.
Black Women And Women With Rich Darker Pigment Are Even More Susceptible To Vitamin D Deficiency
When selecting a prenatal vitamin, consider one that provides doses sufficient to prevent deficiency throughout pregnancy as well as the breastfeeding period, such as the Natalist prenatal vitamin routine. If you have been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, your provider may suggest taking a vitamin D supplement in addition to your prenatal.
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Vitamin D During Pregnancy: Key Points To Know
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on September 21, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Getting enough of the right nutrients is vital for good health during pregnancyâfor both yourself and your baby. One key nutrient to keep in mind is vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin.” Read on to find answers to questions you might have about vitamin D during pregnancyâincluding how you can get vitamin D, recommended vitamin D intake levels, symptoms of deficiency, and more.
Is Vitamin D Safe During Pregnancy
Vitamin D is safe and recommended during pregnancy. And while multiple studies conclude that vitamin D is safe in pregnancy, the ideal dosage, however, is a little less clear. Studies have reported that vitamin D is not only safe, but beneficialespecially for those with vitamin D deficiency and those with higher risks for pregnancy complications.
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Best Foods With Vitamin D During Pregnancy
Fish liver oil, fatty fish, and eggs all contain vitamin D. But not many other foods contain it naturally, so a lot are fortified with vitamin D. To get more of this important vitamin, check labels: Some cheeses, yogurts, and cereals are fortified, while others aren’t. Milk is a good source, because all processed milk in the U.S. is fortified with vitamin D.
Here are some of the best food sources of vitamin D:
1 tablespoon cod liver oil: 1,360 IU
3 ounces cooked rainbow trout : 654 IU
3 ounces cooked salmon : 570 IU
8 ounces 2-percent milk, fortified with vitamin D: 120 IU
8 ounces cereal, fortified with 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin D: 80 IU
1 large scrambled egg: 44 IU
Is Vitamin D Safe In The First Trimester
Theres a long list of things that pregnant women are told to avoid during their first trimester but vitamin D supplements are not one of them! In fact, youll probably be encouraged to take vitamin D supplements in your first trimester, especially if youve become pregnant during the autumn or winter.
Vitamin D is safe for women throughout pregnancy provided its not taken at too high a dose. Make sure you dont take more than 100 micrograms each day.
Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, certain plants and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, avoid these plants and herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding:
Vitamin Terms To Know:
- Recommended Daily Allowance : the recommended vitamin dosage for 97-98% of healthy individuals
- Tolerable upper intake level : the greatest amount of a vitamin that can be taken daily without risk of negative health effects
- Adequate Intake : when available data is inadequate to determine RDA, estimates are defined experimentally or through observation
- Vitamin Toxicity: occurs when taking megadoses of vitamin A, B6, C, D, or niacin
Adapted from Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
RecommendationsVitamins and supplements are not one of those things where more is better. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you follow your healthcare providers prescription or the directions on your prenatal vitamin bottle. Although taking vitamins can be healthy, too much can be a bad thing.
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Current Recommendation For Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy
At this time, based on RCT data as well as substantial observational and interventional data, we suggest that all pregnant women maintain a circulating 25D concentration of at least 40ng·mL1 during the earliest time points of pregnancy. This will insure maximum protection from pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia in the mother and asthma formation in the infant. To achieve this, intakes of at least 4000IU·d1 vitamin D3 will be required because of variable individual abilities to convert vitamin D to 25D. These supplements have proven to be safe in thousands of patients over the past 15 years, as not a single adverse event due to supplementation has been observed. Further, this level of supplementation lies within the safe intake level as defined by The Endocrine Society. Finally, does vitamin D qualify as a substance as described by the Barker Hypothesis? The clear answer is yes it does because its absence during pregnancy imparts detrimental genetic alterations on both mother and fetus.
Supplements During Pregnancy: Whats Safe And Whats Not
If youre pregnant, you may think that feeling overwhelmed and confused comes with the territory. But it doesnt have to be so confusing when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
If you did your extra credit work, we bet you already know that high mercury seafood, alcohol, and cigarettes are off-limits during pregnancy. What may surprise you is that some vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements should be avoided as well.
Information on which supplements are safe and which arent varies and can make things feel even more complicated. Weve got you, though.
This article breaks down which supplements are believed to be safe to take during pregnancy and why some supplements should be avoided.
Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but its especially critical during pregnancy, as youll need to nourish both yourself and your growing babe.
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What To Know About Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy
Although the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, some women struggle to get enough, particularly moms-to-be who live in less-sunny climates or have darker skin.
While the fat-soluble vitamin can be tricky to find in food sources, taking your daily prenatal vitamin throughout pregnancy can help cover your vitamin D needs.
Unless you have a very severe vitamin D deficiency, youre unlikely to experience symptoms if your levels are low. But if you think you might not be getting enough, the best way to assess your vitamin D status is to get a blood test. Based on those results, your doctor will determine if it makes sense for you to take a supplement.
If you do have a vitamin D deficiency, your practitioner may recommend upping your intake with a daily dose of 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D, either in a supercharged prenatal or as another supplement.
As with all vitamins and supplements in pregnancy, you should never take anything without first discussing it with your practitioner. Some nutrients, including vitamin D, can be dangerous in very high doses.
Best Foods High In Vitamin D For Pregnant Women
Although not found in large amounts in food, it is possible to get your fix of this nutrient in food form in addition to your prenatal .
Here are some of the best vitamin D-rich foods and beverages to put on your plate:
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- Eating Well When You’re Expecting, 2nd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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