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Vitamin D - Why It’s Important for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mums

Vitamin D - Why It’s Important for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mums

Vitamin D is an important part of your diet, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It provides key nutrients for maintaining strong bones for mum and baby, with government guidelines of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

Awareness of the importance of folic acid during pregnancy is high, with 71% of mums knowing its importance. However, less than 30% of mums are aware of the equal importance of vitamin D. 

Vitamin D deficiency has been highlighted by the government as a serious concern for babies, children and adults of all ages, thanks in part to the lack of sunshine- thus winters do not provide us with enough sunshine to keep suitable vitamin D levels throughout the year. 

A survey shows that mums are also unsure about the influence of other key vitamins and nutrients on their baby’s health and development. Half of respondents were unaware of the role of omega 3 (DHA) in baby’s brain and eye development, and only half of women (51.2%) recognised the need to increase iron intake, which supports normal blood formation and the normal function of the immune system. 

Iodine recognition was extremely low at only 11.75%. Iodine contributes to normal cognitive function, and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it contributes to babies’ brain development.

Almost a third believed that women should take vitamin A during pregnancy - but vitamin A can pose a potential health risk to unborn babies.

We get most of our vitamin D intake from the sunshine on our skin. Vitamin D can be found in some foods, such as: 

  • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Fortified fat spreads
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Some powdered milks

The importance of taking supplements during pregnancy is well documented but if you are a bit forgetful and don’t want to take pills every day, some cereal bars are a handy alternative

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