In continuation of this series, today we shall see the other nutrients that are required during pregnancy…

5. Vitamin D – Vitamin D is highly essential as it enhances the maternal Calcium absorption. Its active form – calcodol an calcitriol cross the maternal placenta with ease and play an important role in the Calcium metabolism of the growing fetus.

When the mother’s diet is deficient in Vitamin D, the baby will be born with a shortage of this Vitamin. It leads to a condition called Rickets. This is a condition that leads to fractures and bone deformities. There are also chances of abnormal bone development as well as delayed physical development.

For the mother whose diet lacks this Vitamin, there are a greater changes of complications like preeclampsia,which is a condition during pregnancy where the blood pressure rises and there is excess protein in the urine.It is also said that the expectant mother is likely to have a C- section if there is Vitamin D deficiency.

However it is cautioned that excessive intake of Vitamin D may result in complications like atherosclerosis, hypercalcemia, calcium deposits in various vital organs and mental retardation in infants. So do not take supplements without consulting your Gynecologist.

Food sources of Vitamin D

  • Oily fishes like Mackerel , sardines
  • Eggs
  • Dairy foods- Milk, cheese yogurt etc. 
  • Fortified food stuffs
  • Liver and cod are good sources of Vitamin D but they are not recommended  during pregnancy as they also contain high levels of Vitamin

6. Vitamin K – This Vitamin is essential for normal blood clotting. If the mother is taking any drug that interferes the normal absorption of Vitamin K, supplements may be recommended by the gynecologist.

Babies born with Vitamin K deficiency are relatively less but when such babies are born,they may bleed on bruising, bleed from nose, mouth, umbilical stump or bottom. Sometimes when bleeding occurs in the intestines, it hard to detect.

When the baby is found to have low levels of Vitamin K, injection / oral doses of this Vitamin is given after birth.

Food sources of Vitamin K

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach , Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, beet greens,scallions, etc
  • Dairy products
  • Asparagus, broccoli , cauliflower, cabbage
  • Green beans, green peas, carrots
  • Smaller amounts in eggs and cereals

To be concluded in the next post……

Disclaimer : This post is written to be a guideline and is not a medical advice. For further doubts and clarification consult your Dietitian / Gynecologist.

Earlier in this series on pregnancy:

Series Introduction
Pregnancy – Signs and Symptoms
Changes in the body during pregnancy – Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3
Gestational diabetes – Part 1 and Part 2
Diet in pregnancy
Nutritional need in Pregnancy – Part I, Part 2,Part 3

Healthy Living….

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