Enroll Now80%+ of Pregnant Woman and Virtually
100% of African American Woman are Vitamin D Deficient
Disease Incidence Prevention – Pregnancy
Vitamin D levels greater than 40 (as compared to the population average of 25 ng/ml) reduce the risk of BOTH mother’s pregnancy outcomes and baby’s health outcomes.
Achieving 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) blood serum levels:
- 59% lower risk of preterm birth
- 60% lower risk of preterm birth in twins
- Virtually eliminates pre-eclampsia
- Supplementing up to 6400 IU/day is safe and effective during pregnancy & lactation
- Reduction in many conditions of pregnancy – Gestational diabetes, bacterial vaginosis, post-partum depression
- Eliminates racial disparity – In the US the preterm birth rate among African American women is 1.5 times that of Caucasian women
Benefits to baby:
- 70% lower prevalence of common cold
- 66% lower prevalence ear infections
- 62% lower prevalence lung inflation
- Improved language development
- Reduction in type 1 diabetes (in adulthood)
A new standard of care for pregnant women should include:
- Vitamin D testing at 3 timepoints during pregnancy
- Maintain vitamin D blood levels of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) 25(OH)D
- Up to 10,000 IU/day is safe
Register to have your vitamin D levels tracked throughout your pregnancy, and be an important part of this project to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic affecting pregnant women and babies.
Enrolling in Protect our Children NOW! will track your vitamin D levels during pregnancy. This free program is available if you are between 12-17 weeks pregnant. If not, please Join D*action to check your vitamin D level.
Why do we believe in this research?
Pregnancy Iceberg Graphic
Vitamin D FAQs for Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Babies
Reduced Risk of Preterm Birth
Carol L. Wagner et al., Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – January 2016
Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy: Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of Safety and Effectiveness
October 2011 – Bruce W. Hollis et al., Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Early pregnancy vitamin D status and risk of preeclampsia – Total elimination of preeclampsia for women who have reached 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) by conception.
Hooman Mirzakhani et al., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Journal of Clinical Investigation – November 14, 2016
Health characteristics and outcomes of two randomized vitamin D supplementation trials during pregnancy: a combined analysis
Carol L. Wagner et al., Medical University of South Carolina, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – July 2013
Post-hoc comparison of vitamin D status at three timepoints during pregnancy demonstrates lower risk of preterm birth with higher vitamin D closer to delivery
Carol L. Wagner et al., Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biolog – April 2015
High-Dose Vitamin D3 Supplementation in a Cohort of Breastfeeding Mothers and Their Infants: A 6-Month Follow-Up Pilot Study
Carol L. Wagner et al., Breastfeeding Medicine – July 2006
The effect of vitamin D level in pregnancy on postpartum depression
Esra B. Gur et al., Sifa University Izmir, Turkey, European Journal of Gynecology and Reproductive Biology – August 2014
Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study
Laara E. Hyponnen et al., Lancet 2001
Effect of Prenatal Supplementation with Vitamin D on Asthma or Recurrent Wheezing in Offspring by Age 3 Years
Augusto A. Litonjua et al., JAMA – January 26, 2016
Cord blood vitamin D deficiency is associated with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis
ME Belderbos et al., Pediatrics 2011
Does vitamin D supplementation in infancy reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia?
Laara E. Hyponnen et al., European Journal of Clinical Nutrition – 2007
Maternal serum vitamin D levels during pregnancy and offspring neurocognitive development
AJ Whitehouse et al., Pediatrics 2012
Association between cord blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and respiratory tract infections in the first 6 months of age in a Korean population: a birth cohort study (COCOA)
Youn Ho Shin et al., CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, Korean Journal of Pediatrics – October 2013
Maternal Vitamin D Status and Small-for-Gestational-Age Offspring in Women at High Risk for Preeclampsia
Alison D. Gernand et al., University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Obstetrics & Gynecology – January 2014
Disease Incidence Prevention Chart – Pregnancy in ng/ml
Disease Incidence Prevention Chart – Pregnancy in nmol/L
Rates of Vitamin D Deficiency in US Women of Childbearing Age
Frequency of Serum Level and Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy
Medical University of South Carolina Leads the Way
Starting last year, September 2015, the Medical University of South Carolina, under the direction of Dr. Roger Newman, has implemented GrassrootsHealth’s Protect our Children NOW! Campaign.
Every mother that comes to one of their clinics for treatment, thousands of mothers per year, has a 25(OH)D test during their first prenatal visit (typically 12-14 weeks gestation). After reviewing the results, their OB may recommend supplementation to increase vitamin D levels, usually starting with 5000 IU vitamin D / day (their average entry vitamin D level is 20 ng/ml or below). Vitamins are free to patients under the program, thanks to the sponsorship of Bio-Tech Pharmacal, Inc. The OBs continue to monitor blood levels to ensure > 40 ng/ml throughout the pregnancy, typically testing again at 24-28 weeks and again at 34 – 36 weeks.
Note: Before the project began, 80% of all their patients and 100% of their African American patients were below 40 ng/ml.
Education of all of their OBs, over 20 doctors and health care providers, has occurred through free online continuing medical education (CME) courses provided by GrassrootsHealth. Educating and bringing the whole staff at MUSC up to speed was an important part of the project, so that all of the staff could buy into the new standard of care.
Educational materials are also provided for the mothers to help them understand the importance of taking their supplements. An onsite project manager assists in the education and follow through of all aspects of the program with staff and patients.
Rickets is on the Rise
Children being taken away from parents by CPS – when vitamin D deficiency is to blame.
Because rickets had been so rare, many doctors practicing just ten years ago had never seen a case in person and today many still don’t recognize it when they do see it. There have been several cases where children have been pulled away from their families by child protective services (CPS) due to undiagnosed rickets. The children are brought into a medical facility for some treatment (sickness, disease) and broken bones or signs of healing bones are found and presumed to be a result of abuse. At this point CPS is contacted and sometimes the children taken away.
Recently Wagner consulted on such a case where twin 6 month old boys (and their 3 older brothers) were removed from their loving home because of a broken rib and threat of child abuse. The mother was severely vitamin D deficient during pregnancy, and after, and solely breast fed the twins. Vitamin D tests for the twins showed their levels to be < 10 ng/ml. After much work by Wagner and their lawyer the children are now back with their family – and hopefully the whole family is getting sun and supplementation.
Dr. John Cannell, of The Vitamin D Council, has also consulted on such cases. He describes two different, yet similar, cases on his web site.
Protect our Children NOW! Member – Mother who Started Vitamin D with her Second Pregnancy
“We have been aware of the vitamtin D deficiency state in the vast majority of our Caucasian patients and almost all our Black patients for far too long. Now the evidence has accumulated of the high price we pay in terms of prematurity and other obstetrical complications from our failure to systemically address these deficiencies in maternal vitamin D levels. It is time to change, to get ahead of the curve.”