An interesting new study has found that low Vitamin D levels are associated with more pain in childbirth! We find this very interesting at Sweet Beats as low vitamin D levels are common amongst Australian women (yes, despite all the sun, we still do have a problem with Vitamin D deficiency amongst our population). Here’s a rundown on the study and why, as well as hiring a TENS machine for your labour, you should also make sure your Vitamin D levels are AOK!
Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnancy, especially amongst those with darker skin, vegetarians and those with very little sun exposure. This is a known problem with some studies linking low Vitamin D to problems like diabetes and pre-eclampsia, as well as making it harder for babies to grow healthy bones. The idea that low Vitamin D might also impact on labour pain is definitely an extra twist, though.
The new study monitored 93 pregnant women whose Vitamin D levels were checked before childbirth. The women all received an epidural during labour, and then they researchers measured how much pain medication the women required.
Interestingly, women with lower Vitamin D levels actually required more pain levels than those with higher Vitamin D, indicating that a higher amount of pain meds was required in order to enable the women feel like they’d had enough pain relief.
“Women often experience lower than normal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. We found that patients with low levels of vitamin D experienced an increase in pain during childbirth,” senior author Dr. Andrew Geller, an anesthesiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a society news release.
“Given the research results, prevention and treatment of low vitamin D levels in pregnant women may have a significant impact on decreasing labor pain in millions of women every year,” he added.
“This topic needs to be revisited and additional research should be conducted to determine how we can improve the labor experience for women everywhere,” Geller concluded.
In Australia, many doctors & obstetricians don’t check Vitamin D, as the knowledge is not necessarily widespread about the many different ways that low Vitamin D can impact on your pregnancy. If you’re a pregnant mum planning your birth, then you just got a whole new reason to make sure your Vitamin D levels are topped up and optimal!