Vitamin D during pregnancy can increase the chances of a natural birth

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Pregnancy – The effect of antenatal cholecalciferol supplementation on the incidence of preterm birth, mode of delivery, and postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) was evaluated.

Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is common. In a study of predominantly white women from the south of the UK, 31% had a serum 25(OH)D concentration < 50nmol/l (usually considered “insufficient”1) and 18% < 25nmol/l (usually considered ” deficient “1) at the end of pregnancy. Similarly, high prevalences of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy have also been reported in other European countries, although in the Nordic countries, where ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure is limited, the reported prevalence is lower than in some countries. from southern Europe. This reflects the increased use of supplements and food fortification practices, highlighting the importance of dietary intake in maintaining vitamin D status.

Research from the University of Southampton looked at the results of the MAVIDOS trial, a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy. 965 women were randomly assigned to take an additional 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily during child birth or a placebo. 

Analyzes showed that 65.6% of those taking extra vitamin D had a spontaneous vaginal delivery, or “natural” delivery, compared with 57.9% of the placebo group. Fewer women in the vitamin D group had assisted delivery in comparison (13.2% vs. 19.4%). However, the number of women in each group who required a cesarean section to give birth was similar (vitamin D 21.3%, placebo 22.7%).

Women who took extra vitamin D also had less postpartum blood loss, underscoring its importance. More evidence is now needed to better inform public health policy and clinical practice.

MAVIDOS involved researchers from the University of Southampton and the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHSFT) and is a large project studying the benefits of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.

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