Women not receiving enough vitamin D take longer to get pregnant and may even increase their risk of having a miscarriage, a study has found.
There is no doubt that an insufficient supply of any micronutrient can have adverse effects on a pregnancy. While optimum levels of all the various micronutrients are needed at all times in order to ensure good health, in pregnancy the issue becomes even more critical as the mother has to obtain amounts that are sufficient not just for herself but also for the developing child. In this respect, the early days and weeks of pregnancy, when a woman may not even be aware she is expecting, are particularly important.
The development of the placenta provides an especially good illustration of this. A highly vascular organ essential for the exchange of nutrients and waste products between the mother and the developing fetus, the placenta is formed in the first few weeks of pregnancy. The placenta also produces hormones required to maintain the pregnancy to term, as well as to prepare the mother’s breast tissue for nursing the baby. If a woman does not receive adequate amounts of nutrients in the early days of pregnancy, it results in poor placental development. This is difficult to correct later and thus compromises fetal development.