Vitamin D. We all know we need it, especially avec bump. But is it really as simple as a stroll in the sunshine? How much do you need? What are the best ways to get it? We’re here to shed some light on the happiest vitamin out there and what it will do for you and the babe.
The benefits of Vitamin D are widely proven, but when it comes to pregnancy, they’re boundless. Getting the right dose throughout your pregnancy can go as far as reducing the risk of of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia, and other potential complications not to mention enhancing your immune function, and bone growth.
“Vitamin D is one of those mystery vitamins. 80% of the population is deficient and doesn’t know it,” says New York-based nutritionist, Stephanie Middleberg.
“Supplementing your prenatal vitamin with outside sources is never a bad idea. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, regulates thyroid function, keeps your immune system in check and can enhance mood in some cases. Benefits are basically endless.” Cool! Great! So. What’s the healthiest way to get it?
HERE COMES THE SUN
Middleberg says a 20 minute stroll in the sunshine every day can help give you the boost you need. “It’s definitely the quickest and most efficient source of Vitamin D, plus gives you a great excuse to be outside if you’re pregnant during summer months.” Sun exposure to the skin makes thousands of units of vitamin D naturally in a relatively short period of time.
Your body makes most of its vitamin D through exposure to sunlight in the months between April and October, in the hours between 11am and 3pm. Since SPF blocks Vitamin D production, plan your sunbathing for a time when the sun isn’t at it’s strongest and make sure you set your timer to avoid getting a sunburn. Don’t forget your sunnies! Go ahead and embrace your inner sun worshipper, mama.
CHEW ON THIS
Vitamin D can be a little harder to come by in food, as it would take a LOT of a D-packed foods to fulfill your need every day.
“You’d have eat about 40 ounces of wild salmon to reach your necessary Vitamin D intake,” says Middleberg. However, eating Vitamin D rich foods can help fulfill an outstanding deficit and help you achieve your daily intake. “I was eating a lot of wild canned salmon during my pregnancy. Also ricotta cheese smeared on a high fiber cracker with some pomegranate seeds or pistachios are unbeatable.” Leafy greens, eggs, and (you heard it here first) CHEESE.
When it comes to calculating your daily intake and understanding what your body needs, Middleberg recommends getting blood work done to get all the facts and start from there. “I had my blood work taken twice during my pregnancy and it was so helpful to see where I was lacking and where I was on track.”
“Speak with your doctor. Check and make sure your daily prenatal has at least 400 IUs as you should be reaching anywhere between 1000-2000 per day. Start small. Take a walk. Speak with your OBGYN. Remember more isn’t always better so consult your doctor and talk about what’s right for you. Listen to your body.”
SHORT LIST SOLUTIONS
1/Why don’t you spend some time in the sun?
2/Why don’t you eat some green stuff?
3/Why don’t you take your vitamins?
4/Why don’t you outfit your outdoor time? This won’t help you with your vitamin D intake, but it will ensure you look good in the sun 😉