Vitamin D3 when pregnant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 25 weeks pregnant and currently I take prenatal gummies and an iron supplement. I am declining the flu shot, so I really would like to know if it's safe to take extra D3 while pregnant to boost my immunity? If anyone knows, what dosage is good? Thanks


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#2 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh currently my prenatal has 400 IU


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#3 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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There are some recent studies showing that pregnant women should be taking more like 4000 IU of Vitamin D/day.  I don't have the link off hand, but I am sure you can google it.  There was a thread several months ago on MDC about it too which you can search.  Supposedly it also cuts risk of preterm birth dramatically.  I'm 33 weeks pregnant and have been taking that much the whole pregnancy except for days when I got a lot of sun.

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#4 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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4000!? Wow that is a big difference. I'm waiting to hear what my doc says, I hope he knows this new information you spoke of.


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#5 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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#6 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my doc called and doesn't recommend more than 400 IU....


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#7 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really was to boost my immunities..


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#8 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I also take 4000 iu daily, based on the new recommendations for pregnancy.  I don't have an ob, but my holistic family practitioner says that's good.


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#9 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixielane View Post

So my doc called and doesn't recommend more than 400 IU....


My OTC prenatal has 1000 IU.  I doubt it would be that high if it wasn't completely acceptable.  I am in the "never *just* take my doctor's word for it, always research myself" camp, but you may want to look up medical journal articles on it through google-scholar and see what conclusions you come to yourself. 
 

 

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#10 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone taken citrical? I called my OB back and he said I could take this.. It has an extra 500 IU of vit d 3


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#11 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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I take at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 all of the time (even when not pregnant).  The recommendation I've heard is 35 IU per pound of body weight and at least 5,000 IU for pregnant women.  I guess, with my prenatal vitamin, I get more like 5,800 IU.  Personally, I don't think that 400 IU is enough to make a difference.

 

Check this out:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/22/pregnant-women-advised-to-get-more-vitamin-d.aspx


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#12 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SO confusing lol I asked my OB but he said don't take more than 400 IU because too much can make you deficient in other vitamins...... I am not getting a flu shot and 400 IU seems so small compared to what everyone else is taking ... I want extra flu protection. 


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#13 of 33 Old 10-19-2011, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And not only am I 25 weeks preg I also am breastfeeding a toddler 3x daily....


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#14 of 33 Old 10-20-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Your doctor has outdated information. It was long believed that higher doses of D3 can cause harm, but no study ever showed such thing. The link to the thread above will take you to the studies conducted, also http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ has compiled them all and has good links.

I took a prenatal that had 1000 IUs (New Chapter, I recommend it as it also has folate instead of the lesser folic acid, is wholefoods based and hence better absorbed), a 5000 IU D3 pill (NOW brand) and fish oil (500mg DHA) daily. We have 8 months of winter here. Also, I did have preterm contractions with DS and he was born 37 weeks, weighing less than 5 pounds, I had somewhat elevated blood pressure back then (though all spontaneous birth). Both preterm labor and PIH and pre-E have been shown to be significantly reduced when high doses of D3 were taken. So I had my 6000 IUs daily and had no complications, a great pregnancy and birth and no flu (I would never get a shot when pregnant). For flu prevention you'd want 5000 daily minimum anyways, and if you do come down with it, take 20,000 daily to combat it.

 

It's a shame most docs don't know much about vitamin D3 and its proper dosage despite the excellent research at hand. And just so you know, the obgyn I first saw before I switched to midwives wanted a minimum of 1000 IUs daily.

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#15 of 33 Old 10-20-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really am not sure how to approach this then. I called my OB back, talked with the nurse.... they are a great office, just not "with" certain things I guess. She said I could take my prenatal gummie (400 IU Vitamin D3) plus Citracal (500 IU D3) so thats = 900 IU of Vitamin D3 daily.

 

Is this enough to be really beneficial? To help with warding off the flu?

I don't know about going off and taking 5,000 IU daily without him being totally onboard, I guess. But I myself after reading many articles feel like I COULD benefit from more Vitamin D3 than what I am taking.

 

So, I just dont know what to do or how much to go against his advice. I normally do my own research with my pregnancies, and my doc considers me more natural than mainstream. But I dont want to take something that could hurt my baby at all......It scares me adding more and more to my diet because several websites say to not surpass the RDA, which by taking over 400 IU thats going over anyway....

 

So to sum it up, I am taking:

 

2 Vitafusion Gummies daily (they lack iron and calcium)
1 Iron supplement daily
2 Citracal


I bought a bottle of Wellesse liquid Vitamin D3. Its got what seems like good ingredients, should I add some of this and cut out the citracal? I go through like a gallon of milk a week by myself, so I really am not worried about calcium.


What to do, what to do!


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#16 of 33 Old 10-20-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, for the record I do NOT know my vit D levels. I plan to ask to have them tested at my next appointment in 3 weeks.

 

So, I guess I am wondering what is a good target range for being pregnant, and NOT knowing my levels. I dont want to overdo it. I live in Tennessee in the mountains and we are going to have a cold, dreary winter I am sure. I dont go outside very much at all.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixielane View Post

 

So, I guess I am wondering what is a good target range for being pregnant, and NOT knowing my levels. I dont want to overdo it.

I think that is something you'll have you to decide yourself.  There are several studies that show 4000 IU/day to be helpful and safe in pregnancy and many on MDC who are going by those studies.  Your doctor is saying to stick with the 400 or 900 IU.  It really is a personal decision and one that nobody can make for you.  You should decide what makes you feel the most comfortable and do that. 

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#18 of 33 Old 10-20-2011, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, what I may do is continue with 900 IU and bring in some print outs of the new research to show my OB when I go back.

 

Does it matter that Id be getting vit d 3 from different sources? (like.. 400 from prenatal, 500 from my calcium supp, and then whatever i used from my pure vit d3 liquid?) I have checked everything carefully to make sure I am not over doing other vitamins..


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#19 of 33 Old 10-21-2011, 03:25 AM
 
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I take 4000 to 5000 IU of D3 a day. I'd easily feel fine with taking up to 8000.

 

Doctors are great resources, & I'm thankful for mine, but they are only human. Many simply don't have the time or inclination to look into newer research (particularly in areas such as vitamins). As a patient, you have a right and a responsibility to think, research, and advocate for yourself (& your baby).

 

Either way, I agree that it's up to you.


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Darned if I can find the link again, but I saw some study that determined that pregnant/breastfeeding women require 6000iu/day in order for their babies to not be deficient. Most people are deficient. I've heard before of people who live in sunny climates getting tested at the end of summer after spending loads of time outside without sunscreen still being deficient. From what I hear, its VERY difficult to OD on vitd, and would take a lot more effort than taking 6000iu or so a day, ESPECIALLY if you're pregnant AND breastfeeding! I know I'm deficient since I've been tested.. heck if I can remember the numbers.. I got tested around a year ago, then again at my first prenatal (march ish?) and it had gone up a little bit, but still deficient. but especially living in Seattle in the fall I'm definitely not getting any vit d unless I EAT it :) So I'm perfectly comfortable taking 10,000iu/day. Though admittedly, I'm not great at remembering to take it every day. Today I started feeling the slightest hint that I might be coming down with a cold, so I took 25,000 iu, plus a good bit of vit c, a few doses of home made elderberry syrup throughout the day, and munched a couple raw garlic cloves. I'm already feeling it leaving :) I give my kids 2000iu/day in the form of rainbow light sunny gummies. they rarely forget a dose ;) They LOVE them.


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#21 of 33 Old 10-22-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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First I would only be taking a whole foods based prenatal vitamin because the synthetic vitamins such as the one you are taking are not easily absorbed by the body, basically you are getting very little if any of the nutrients out of it!  This thread is a good one for more info http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1332315/which-pre-natal-vitamins-are-more-popular-here-x-posted   The cheap synthetic vitamins also often contain harlful ingredients such as antifreeze(honestly), artificial colors, preservatives, etc.  When your supp is whole foods based you get SO much more out of it, and your body absorbs the nutrients because it RECOGNIZES them!  It does not recognize synthetic chemicals.   And yes, sounds like your doc has outdated info, more vitamin D than that is important.  There are also other ways of warding off illness(echinacea, goldenseal, elderberry.  Not sure about during pregnancy, anyone else know?  I am pregnant and I swallow half a large clove of garlic a day plus take New Chapter All Flora probiotics.  DD just got sick and I always get sick when she does, but not this time!  I also take Garden of Life prenatal).  And, even if you do get the flu, it is very unlikely to harm your baby.  I had the flu and was miserable and barely could eat for 3 days at the beginning of this pregnancy before I started with the garlic, whole foods prenatal, and probiotics, but the baby is fine according to ultrasound and I will know for sure here in a week and a half!   Not only that but keep in mind that the flu shot most likely will offer no protection from the flu anyway.

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#22 of 33 Old 10-22-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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Yup, I agree with this.  I take about 4000 IU a day, while I'm pregnant or not.  My whole food multi has 1000 and I take an extra 3000 iu. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMatsumoto View Post

I take at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 all of the time (even when not pregnant).  The recommendation I've heard is 35 IU per pound of body weight and at least 5,000 IU for pregnant women.  I guess, with my prenatal vitamin, I get more like 5,800 IU.  Personally, I don't think that 400 IU is enough to make a difference.

 

Check this out:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/22/pregnant-women-advised-to-get-more-vitamin-d.aspx



 


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#23 of 33 Old 10-23-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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with all the information online (studies published online) it is easy to read and decide for yourself. i am taking 4,000iu daily (well, the days i can keep the vit down ;))   docs dont always have the answer.  

 

my OB told me that 1 year ttc was not that long. and when i told him a had a pattern of a 'luteal phase defect' he said "there is no such thing, a woman ALWAYS mensruates 14 days after she ovulates" duh.gif so obviously his information was outdated. btw: his nurse also told me that my child would "ride the short bus if i didnt get a flu shot while pregnant"   

 

i say this to make the point that you can have a good doc, with outdated information. take control of your medical care that you CAN control. ie:vitamin and mineral intake, birthing options, etc....

 

good luck making your own decision. 

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#24 of 33 Old 10-23-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivica2 View Post

btw: his nurse also told me that my child would "ride the short bus if i didnt get a flu shot while pregnant"   

WOW, that is harsh, I cant believe she would say something like that!  And obviously she has incorrect info as well, your kid would be more likely to be harmed FROM the vaccine, than from the flu itself!

There is an OB Dr where I live (there are only a 2 OBs to choose from if thats the route your going, so everyone knows everything about each of them) who is like 70 years old, and he gives every woman an episiotomy and an enema and he will refuse you as a patient if you tell him you wont have those things done.  I have had several friends who had him and they of course had their epidurals, and he just gave them the episiotomy without even telling them ahead of time, or while he was doing it, or anything, they only knew it happened because he was stitching them up afterwards. 

So, it is absolutely true that a Dr does NOT always know the latest info, or the correct info.  Look at all the Drs that push vaccines?  they couldnt tell you a single ingredient in them!  My Dr told me that circumcision was beneficial!!  What!?  She had very outdated info that has been proven absolutely false.  She also said that EVERY baby born to a GBS positive mom who's not given antibiotics in labor will become infected and likely die.  Yeah, right.  Very rare in a full term healthy mom and baby who's water has not been broken more than 18 hrs.  Do your own research and make your own decision, dont just listen to what a Dr has to say.  They do NOT know everything.

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#25 of 33 Old 10-23-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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FYI if you do want to take more vitamin D, you can get a totally tasteless, odorless drop formulation.

 

The one we take is 2000iu per drop. I take 4000-6000 iu a day plus my prenatal.

 

I did have my levels tested at one point (and they were at the very low end of normal despite, at the time, being a fair skinned person living in southern california, in the middle of summer, who spends time outside and was taking a prenatal vitamin with 1000iu).

 

I also plan to discuss with our new family practitioner (who is actually really into holistic medicine) and perhaps have my own levels tested again when I bring the baby in for first visit (EDD tomorrow so this will be pretty soon!). I will be tandem nursing and heading into northern winter, so I'd like to make sure I am supplementing at a level that keeps my own levels in the "optimal" range. I have read (and been told) that mothers do pass vitamin D through their breastmilk and I'd prefer to supplement myself than a newborn.

 

I agree with others that this is something you need to ultimately decide for yourself. But one place to start would be to have your levels checked (I think you were planning on doing this?) and going from there.


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#26 of 33 Old 10-23-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post

 I will be tandem nursing and heading into northern winter, so I'd like to make sure I am supplementing at a level that keeps my own levels in the "optimal" range. I have read (and been told) that mothers do pass vitamin D through their breastmilk and I'd prefer to supplement myself than a newborn.

Just so you know, a baby has vitamin D stores that last 2 months before supplementation or sun exposure would even be necessary.  I think that even with a mom supplementing heavily, still not enough is ever passed thru breast milk?  I get D drops from vitacost.com.  The NSI drops are 400IU per drop, and the vitacost brand drops are 2000IU per drop.  There are other brands too but they are more expensive.  They can be used as drops for babies or adults, and the only other ingredient is olive oil:)

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I take 4,000 or so i.u. per day with my cod liver oil, whole-food prenatal, and supplements. I need to call and ask if my doctor will order a blood test, though. It has been awhile, but I was pretty deficient at one point and it took months to get back to normal. Btw, my OB knows and has no qualms about the cod liver oil or D3. Recent studies support both for many reasons.

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#28 of 33 Old 10-24-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I have Carlson drops for the kids (they come in 400, 1000 or 2000IUs). I had my levels tested when I had been taking 5000IUs for 3 months and they were borderline low. And that was in summer. I wear no sunscreen before 11am! My SILs obgyn in Menlo Park also recommends 5000IU minimum for pregnant mamas. Some docs actually read the research and decide to act on it :)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

Just so you know, a baby has vitamin D stores that last 2 months before supplementation or sun exposure would even be necessary.  I think that even with a mom supplementing heavily, still not enough is ever passed thru breast milk?  I get D drops from vitacost.com.  The NSI drops are 400IU per drop, and the vitacost brand drops are 2000IU per drop.  There are other brands too but they are more expensive.  They can be used as drops for babies or adults, and the only other ingredient is olive oil:)

 

thanks, I will look into this more, and like I said, we actually have a new doctor who is actually quite well informed about nutrition and holistic medicine as well as being an MD, so I am interested to hear what he's got to say about it. I never supplemented the other babies (first b/c nobody was talking about it then and then the second was born in spring in San Diego... but honestly both of them living in southern california, very fair, and getting lots of outdoor time, I wasn't too concerned). We have some carlson baby drops already, and I take the NSI drops myself so I know that they don't have any gross extra ingredients :)


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#30 of 33 Old 10-24-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nia82 View Post

I have Carlson drops for the kids (they come in 400, 1000 or 2000IUs). I had my levels tested when I had been taking 5000IUs for 3 months and they were borderline low. And that was in summer. I wear no sunscreen before 11am! My SILs obgyn in Menlo Park also recommends 5000IU minimum for pregnant mamas. Some docs actually read the research and decide to act on it :)

Before 11am, the UVB rays that you need to produce vit D are very low even in the middle of summer.  I think it is between 12 and 3pm that they are strongest?  Middle of the day anyway is when you are supposed to expose your skin for vit D production, otherwise it does you little good.  Nov-March in the north the UVB rays are also not strong enough(and its probably too cold outside to wear short sleeves anyway) to allow vit D production.

 

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