Even taking prenatal vitamins may not be enough to provide pregnant women with sufficient vitamin D.
Even taking prenatal vitamins may not be enough to provide pregnant women with sufficient vitamin D, experts say. A fetus is entirely dependent on its mother for vitamin D, and deficiency can cause rickets, or "soft bones," in infancy, as well as increase the risk for type 1 diabetes, asthma and schizophrenia. A study found that 80 percent of expectant black women and 50 percent of pregnant white women had vitamin D levels that were too low, even though more than 90 percent of them took prenatal vitamins. At higher risk were those in northern climates, where lack of sunlight limits the vitamin D made in the body through sun exposure.