Vitamin D in Pregnancy

By Tommy’s Midwife, Kate

Vitamin D in Pregnancy

Everybody needs vitamin D – it helps us to absorb the right amount of calcium and phosphate. It’s especially important in pregnancy as it helps your baby’s bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system to develop.

Vitamin D is really important for our health. Our bodies can make it when our skin gets sunlight, and it's also in some foods.

Getting enough vitamin D during pregnancy is critical for the development of the baby’s immune system, brain and their bone strength! Pregnant or breastfeeding women should take extra vitamin D – about 10 micrograms (or 400 IU) a day is advisable. It's really important for the baby, especially in autumn and winter, as most of the vitamin D we make happens in summer when there's more sunlight (if we're lucky!).

Some people are more likely not to have enough vitamin D so taking it during pregnancy is really important. This includes people who don't go outside much, or often cover their skin, have dark skin or are overweight.

If you're eligible for Healthy Start vitamins, luckily these include vitamin D, and you can find them at some children’s centres and pharmacies. Thankfully, you can also buy affordable vitamin D supplements in pharmacies or supermarkets. Jst be careful, because you also don't take too much vitamin D! Any more than 100 micrograms (or 4,000 IU) a day can be bad for you.

It's not easy to get extra vitamin D just from food, but some foods have it! Eggs, oily fish (like salmon and sardines), red meat and some products like breakfast cereals, spreads and non-dairy milk are a great source of vitamin D. The amount can be different depending on which option you choose and the qualtity you're consuming, so it's always helpful to check labels.

Read more and find references at Vitamin D in pregnancy | Tommy's (

Vitamin D in Pregnancy