Vitamin D - Pregnancy and Childbirth

by Surela Chakraborty | 05 JAN 2018

vitamin d pregnancy and childbirth
 Image used for representational purpose only

Vitamin D or Sunshine Vitamin can be produced by the exposure of the skin to UV rays of the sun and through diet. Though diet plays a minor role in the production of vitamin D but consuming supplements can definitely increase the levels of the sunshine vitamin. Now many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Physiologically the need for vitamin D is very high for both pregnant and lactating mothers. Recently, the medical and research fraternity is showing a lot of interest in the study of how vitamin D is directly linked with pregnancy.



There is definitely a link between vitamin D and perinatal health outcome. Rachitic pelvis is a very common obstetric problem in the recent years and it has given rise to caesarian section birth proccedures. In the 1930s studies revealed that Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to uterine inertia, underlining the importance of vitamin D in maintaining a healthy reproductive system. Association between childhood rickets, risk of respiratory troubles, pneumonia and TB was proved long back.



But now the connection between vitamin D and immunity has been established clearly.



How Vitamin D is Produced and Utilised by the Body



After Vitamin D3 is produced by the body it is transported to the liver for hydroxylation to 25(OH)D, the form in which vitamin D is circulated in the body and measured. Then 25(OH)D reaches the kidney where it is again transformed into active hormonal form of vitamin D- 1,25(OH)2D.



The maternal 25(OH)D crosses the placenta easily. There are Vitamin D receptors or VDR in the placenta which produces enzyme CYP27B1 that converts 25(OH)D in its active form.



The reason why vitamin D is vital for pregnant mothers are



Levels of 1,25(OH) 2D levels don't correlate with 25 hydroxy vitamin D concentrations. The increased rate of intestinal calcium absorption, the rise in the demand of foetal calcium by

250mg/day in the third trimester and the rise in the count of active metabolite.



Why Vitamin D is Essential for Pregnant Mothers



Vitamin D helps to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphate that aids in bone mineralization, muscle contraction and proper functioning of the nervous system and cells. Vitamin D deficiency can result in neonatal hypocalcemia and rickets in newborns so adequate vitamin D levels in pregnant mothers is essential. In places where vitamin D deficiency is bound to happen, children are often born with rickets.


Since breast milk is a poor source of vitamin D, so both expecting and lactating mothers should make it a point to maintain a proper vitamin D status during their pregnancy to avoid rickets during early infancy.



Speaking biologically, or scientifically there are several ways through which vitamin D can influence placental, foetal and maternal health during pregnancy. For instance-



Vitamin D has immune-modulating properties which help to develop maternal immune- response to placenta.



Vitamin D regulates the main genes that help in proper implantation of the placenta



Vitamin D directly help in the production of anti-microbial peptides like cathelicidin The peptides are produced when 'up- regulated' Vitamin D receptors are activated. The active form of Vitamin D or 25(OH)D is used as a substrate for the production of the peptides in the placenta. The anti-microbial peptide helps to prevent infection during pregnancy and early infancy.



Vitamin D in its active form regulates the effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in syncytiotrophoblasts and stimulates the production of sex steroids.



Vitamin D also plays a vital role in glucose and insulin metabolism that regulate the amount of energy the foetus recieves.



Vitamin D helps in musculoskeletal growth.



Intake of vitamin D supplements regularly during pregnancy not only improves the maternal 25(OH)D levels, but also reduces the risk of low birthwieght by 60%.



Vitamin D deficiency can also influence infant mortality and prevent infections that can lead to premature delivery.



It is important to maintain Vitamin D status during pregnancy so that the infant is born with a healthy birthweight. Proper vitamin D levels also ensures healthy growth in infants.

 Disclaimer: Welthi.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here, and the results may vary from person to person. Read more
Essential Tips To Manage Liver Disorders

Essential Tips To Manage Liver Disorders

about liver related diseases and the ailments aff...
North India has higher number of undetected cases of liver disease

North India has higher number of undetected ...

On the occasion of World Liver day, SRL Diagnostic...
Working out more than recommendations can hamper your fertility.

Working out more than recommendations can hamper ...

Exercise is one of the best gifts that you can pre...
ICMR releases fresh guidelines on biomedical and health research

ICMR releases fresh guidelines on biomedical and ...

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has ...
For a healthy liver, early diagnosis is crucial

For a healthy liver, early diagnosis is crucial

The liver is the largest as well as one of the mos...
International Conference on Spine and Orthopedics Biomechanics by ISIC

International Conference on Spine and ...

International conference organized at Indian Spina...
Itermittent Fasting: The How s and Why's

Itermittent Fasting: The How s and Why's

Intermittent Fasting is the latest global fitness ...
Our responsibility to our emotions

Our responsibility to our emotions

In this world, there are all kinds of people. Some...
Stop drowsing while driving

Stop drowsing while driving

A long spell of work or drive can lead to physical...
Eyes show you the world

Eyes show you the world

With increasing rate of air pollution, the ways it...
Obesity A Realty Check

Obesity A Realty Check

Dr. Ravi Sankar Erukulapati,Senior Endocrinologist...