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‘Midwives comment on Lancet study that suggests Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy do not improve bone health of babies’

1 March, 2016

‘Midwives comment on Lancet study that suggests Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy do not improve bone health of babies’

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Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy, as recommended for all women under UK guidelines, has no significant effect on the bone density of babies that’s according to the latest Lancet study.

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal today publishes these findings from the first controlled trial of its kind in the UK.

The findings suggest vitamin D supplements ‘may be beneficial for babies born in winter months’, with the authors suggesting this could counteract the seasonal drop in vitamin D levels that occur from lack of sunshine.

Commenting Janet Fyle professional policy advisor at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “This is an interesting study, however our advice remains the same and inline with the most recent NICE guidance*; risk groups such as children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should take Vitamin D supplementation.”

“Midwives come into contact with women from the earliest stages of their pregnancy and are involved with and throughout antenatal care and birth, this makes them key people to talk to women about vitamin supplementation and dietary issues in pregnancy. We would advise women to talk to their midwife or GP for advice on vitamin D supplementation if they are unsure especially if they fall into the ‘at risk’ group.”

"Currently  UK Health Departments recommend that all pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily supplement containing 10µg of vitamin D, to ensure the mother’s requirements for vitamin D are met and to build adequate fetal stores for early infancy.”

“The RCM believes it is far more beneficial to continue to take current government health advice on Vitamin D supplementation and to continue with the approach that currently exists until more evidence becomes available to change policy.”

 

*NICE Guidance on Vitamin D Supplementation:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph56/chapter/6-Related-NICE-guidance

 

Department of Health and CMO advice on Vitamin D supplementation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vitamin-d-advice-on-supplements-for-at-risk-groups

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213703/dh_132508.pdf

 

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