Pregnant Women Pass on More Than Half of Vitamin D to Babies

Pregnant women supply 56 percent, not 19 percent, of their vitamin D to their babies

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

It’s common knowledge that a baby’s nutrition comes directly from its mother. What’s not so common knowledge is the amount of vitamin D that is supplied to a baby by its mother. Although it’s previously been thought that pregnant women pass about 19 percent of their vitamin D supply on to their babies, researchers recently found that that number is almost three times as high at 56 percent, according to Science Daily.

The study which focused on 120 vitamin D samples taken from 60 Greek mothers and their babies, found that many of the women had low levels of vitamin D despite the fact that they were often in the sun.

Declan Naughton, the professor who lead the study, says that vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women has a much greater impact on babies than previously thought. He says, "Maintaining good supplies during pregnancy is clearly of vital importance for both mothers' and babies' long-term health."

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Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women is linked to diabetes as well as cesarean section births. Babies that lack vitamin D can be smaller than average and can later develop rickets, a soft bone disease.