Is Vitamin D3 Safe During Pregnancy?

Vitamin D-3 is a form of vitamin D that is readily available as an over-the-counter supplement. This nutrient helps your body perform a variety of functions, including absorb calcium, develop healthy bones and protect itself against infections. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before beginning treatment with a vitamin B-3 supplement.

Recommended Dosage

When used appropriately, vitamin D-3 supplements are usually safe during pregnancy. When a woman is expecting or breast-feeding, her daily recommended intake of vitamin D is 600 international units or IU. At daily doses in excess of 4000 IU, vitamin D-3 supplements may cause vitamin D toxicity in anyone age 9 or older, including pregnant or nursing women.

Side Effects

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Vitamin D-3 is usually well tolerated when used as directed. However, taking a high daily dose of vitamin D-3 may cause an unhealthy increase in your blood levels of this nutrient. Though vitamin D toxicity occurs infrequently, symptoms of this condition include:

  • nausea
  • appetite loss
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • increased urination
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • bone pain
  • itchy skin

You can avoid such complications by consulting your doctor to ensure you take the correct dosage of vitamin D-3.

Medication Interactions

Treatment with vitamin D-3 supplements may not be appropriate for pregnant women who take certain medications. Vitamin D-3 supplements may reduce the effectiveness of atorvastatin. Pregnant women should also be aware that certain medications may lower their vitamin D levels. These medications include mineral oil, orlistat, anti-seizure medications, antacids and bile acid sequestrants.

Vitamin D Deficiency

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Pregnant women who don't get enough vitamin D daily may be at an increased risk of experiencing pregnancy complications, including preeclamsia, gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis, a type of vaginal infection. These pregnancy complications may also result in preterm labor or low infant birth weight. In addition, women with low vitamin D levels may be more likely to need a Caesarean section, or c-section, at the time of delivery.