Why does my vitamin D level affect my baby?

Vitamin D is an important regulator of calcium levels in the blood and is important for bone and muscle development. A vitamin D deficiency may not result in any obvious symptoms, but may have significant long term effects in children and adults.1

The vitamin D status of pregnant and breastfeeding women is important for the health of the growing baby. This is because vitamin D is necessary for the development of the baby’s skeleton. If you are deficient in vitamin D, it can affect the amount of calcium that is absorbed into the baby’s bones.2 Vitamin D is transferred from the mother to the foetus through the placenta. While there is no requirement for an increase in the mother’s daily vitamin D intake, a deficiency may affect the proper development of the baby.3

A foetus stores vitamin D while in the womb. After the birth the baby uses these stores until enough of its own is obtained through diet and from sunshine. Breast milk is not a good source of vitamin D for a newborn, particularly if the mother has low vitamin D levels. In this case, it may be necessary for mothers to use a vitamin D supplement, such as Ostelin. If you are concerned that either you or your baby may not be getting enough vitamin D, speak to your healthcare professional for advice.4