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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Increased C-Section Rate

Saturday, April 11, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling
Tags: C-sections, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A study indicates women who are short on vitamin D are more likely to have a cesarean section delivery. The findings can be attributed to the work of a larger study which looked at the vitamin D levels in women within 72 hours of delivery. None of the women in the study had previous c-sections, and the rate of cesarean deliveries during the study was 17 percent. Researchers found 36 percent of women who had delivered babies to be vitamin D deficient, and 23 percent were found to be severely deficient. The findings indicate that a woman with low vitamin D levels is four times more likely to deliver by cesarean than a woman with higher levels.

Anne Merewood, an assistant pediatrics professor at Boston University School of Medicine and co-author of the study from the Boston Medical Center, says the theory behind these study results involves the connection between vitamin D deficiency and muscle weakness. The uterus, which is made of muscle, may possibly lose some amount of strength if a woman is significantly low on vitamin D. If a woman's muscles are weak due to a lack of vitamin D, this may hinder her ability to deliver the baby vaginally.

But Merewood adds, "That is really just a theory at this point. We definitely haven't identified a causal pathway."

Daniel Hirsch, an assistant pediatrics professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, says it is too soon to tell if these findings indicate that pregnant women need extra vitamin D in supplement form. There are too many variables, he says, and larger studies are needed to confirm these results.

However, the study certainly reveals a large percentage of women are very deficient in vitamin D. Women in general are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Those with darker skin or in northern climates are at an increased risk.

With research linking c-section deliveries with problems such as respiratory difficulties and longer hospitalization in newborns, natural prevention of c-sections is beneficial whenever possible. Obtaining enough vitamin D during pregnancy may prove to be very helpful.

It is not difficult to naturally increase your intake of vitamin D. The body actually manufactures it in the presence of sunlight, so a few minutes (not hours) in the sun each day is highly beneficial. Eggs and tuna are good natural sources of this vitamin, although tuna consumption should be limited during pregnancy because of the risk of high mercury content. You can also drink milk that has been fortified with vitamin D.

If you are pregnant and believe you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, it would be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor. A blood test can determine if you are deficient. If you are, a few simple lifestyle changes and a daily supplement might be in order to keep you and your baby in optimum health.





About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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