Vitamin D in pregnancy

It's recommended that pregnant women take a Vitamin D supplement every day. Here's how much you should take, and why it's important that you take it...

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Did you know that pregnant women are officially recommended to take 400 IU / 10mg (micrograms) of Vitamin D a day?

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Yep, the NHS and Department of Health says that’s the exact amount to take for the duration of your pregnancy.

But why do you need to take it? And is it safe to keep taking once your baby’s been born, if you’re breastfeeding?

Here’s everything you need to know about taking Vitamin D for pregnancy…

Is it safe to take Vitamin D while pregnant?

Yes, it’s totally safe to have a daily Vitamin D supplement while you are pregnant. In fact, you definitely should be taking one.

Don’t worry if you haven’t been taking one, though. Just be sure to add it to your daily folic acid routine 😊

Why do I need to take Vitamin D during pregnancy?

Vitamin D is what helps our bodies regulate calcium and phosphate – 2 essentials for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

Taking Vitamin D in pregnancy not only promotes this in you (woo!), but also helps your unborn baby’s bones and teeth grow strong.

Generally, we’re supposed to get our Vitamin D from being out and about in the sun, but as it’s rarely gloriously sunny here in the United Kingdom, it’s best to take a supplement to ensure you’re getting what you need.

In fact, Dr Philippa Kaye once told us that everyone in the UK (preg or not preg) needs to be taking Vit D supplements for this very reason.

“Vitamin D insufficiency is really common in the UK,” she says, “to the extent that everyone is recommended to take a supplement of 400 IU (10 micrograms) of Vitamin D per day from approximately the end of September to April.”

“Pregnant women are also advised to take this dose throughout the whole of pregnancy.”

Where can I get my Vitamin D supplement?

Your GP should be able to prescribe you a Vitamin D supplement, and this may be your preferred option.

However, you can actually get this dosage over the counter from your local Boots or pharmacy. And to be perfectly honest, it’ll probably be a fair bit cheaper this way. 

If you qualify for the NHS-run Healthy Start scheme, you’ll be able to get your Vitamin D supplements for free.

Should I keep taking Vitamin D after my pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

If you are planning to breastfeeding after your baby’s been born, then it’s recommended that you continue to take your daily 10mg dose of Vitamin D.

What other supplements do I need during pregnancy?

The only NHS-recommended supplements are Vitamin D, and a 400mg daily dose of folic acid (read all about folic acid).

There are, however, lots of multivitamins and supplements designed for pregnant women, and it’s totally up to you if you want to take them.

Make sure you read our guide to multivitamins in pregnancy before you buy, though, so you know what’s safe and what’s not.

Images: Getty Images

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