Pregnant and nursing mothers require adequate amounts of essential nutrients each day in order to nourish healthy growth and development. The following fact sheets explain what you need, how much, and why.
What Does It Do?
- Helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus
- Aids in bone strengthening by helping deposit these minerals into your bones
- Helps maintain blood levels of calcium and phosphorus
- Helps support a healthy immune system
How Much Do We Need?
The dietary reference intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 600 IU (15 µg) of vitamin D per day. Because vitamin D is found in relatively few foods, but has so many important functions, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that pregnant and lactating women consider taking a vitamin D supplement of 2000 IU/day. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about what supplement is appropriate for you.
Where Can I Get It?
Your skin makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight in the summer months. Vitamin D occurs naturally in only a few foods (fish, sun dried shiitake mushrooms) so it's best to look for foods that have been fortified with vitamin D:
- Fortified cow’s milk
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified soy beverages