Implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation

Megan L. Mulligan, Shaili K. Felton, Amy E. Riek, Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

208 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vitamin D is an essential fat soluble vitamin and a key modulator of calcium metabolism in children and adults. Because calcium demands increase in the third trimester of pregnancy, vitamin D status becomes crucial for maternal health, fetal skeletal growth, and optimal maternal and fetal outcomes. Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women (5-50%) and in breastfed infants (10-56%), despite the widespread use of prenatal vitamins, because these are inadequate to maintain normal vitamin D levels (≥32 ng/mL). Adverse health outcomes such as preeclampsia, low birthweight, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidence of autoimmune diseases have been linked to low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and infancy. Studies are underway to establish the recommended daily doses of vitamin D in pregnant women. This review discusses vitamin D metabolism and the implications of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429.e1-429.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume202
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • lactation
  • pregnancy
  • vitamin D deficiency

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