It is important for women to have high levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. The European Society of Endocrinology reported on May 18, 2015, that sunshine alone does not help provide enough vitamin D during the time when a woman is pregnant. It was found that among Mediterranean women who are exposed to high levels of sunshine, low levels of vitamin D are commonly seen during pregnancy.
An awareness of the need for more vitamin D than sunshine alone can offer pregnant women should help decrease the prevalence of early childhood diseases which are associated with vitamin D deficiency such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, disorders in the formation of bone, increased risk of emergency caesarean delivery and premature birth.
It has commonly been thought that exposure to the sun is vital to maintaining normal levels of vitamin D and it has been therefore assumed that Mediterranean women are at decreased risk of hypovitaminosis than those women who are from Northern Europe. However it has been found that in countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey, vitamin D deficiency is seen in up to 90 percent of pregnant populations.
The World Health Organization reports vitamin D deficiency is considered to be common among pregnant women. Vitamin D supplementation has positive effects on adverse maternal and infant outcomes which are associated with vitamin D deficiency. In view of the finding that sunshine alone does not offer as much vitamin D as pregnant women need in order to do well supplements should be considered.