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Mother’s Vitamin D Level Linked to Birth Weight

Mothers’ vitamin D levels at a gestation of 26 weeks or less are positively related to birth weight and head circumference, and, in the first trimester are negatively associated with risk of a baby being born small for gestational age, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Previous studies have shown inconsistent associations between maternal vitamin D status and fetal size. In this study, researchers examined 2146 women delivering term, live births with vitamin D levels measured at a gestation of 26 weeks or less. Birth weight was measured just after birth and infant head circumference and placental weight were measured within 24 hours of birth. The study found that if a mother was vitamin D deficient, the birth weight of her baby was 46 g lower after accounting for other maternal characteristics. Further, mothers who were vitamin D deficient in the first trimester, had twice the risk of delivering a baby that suffered from growth restriction during the pregnancy.

Gernand A D et al. Maternal Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Measures of Newborn and Placental Weight in a U.S. Multicenter Cohort Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2012; DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-3275

Categories: Nutritional News, Children's Health