Most Women Taking Prenatal Vitamins are Still Short on Vitamin D

The importance of prenatal vitamins for mom and baby is settled science. Key nutrients—think choline and folate, magnesium, iodine, and vitamin D—are non-negotiable during pregnancy. But like prenatal vitamins, the quality and bioavailability of these nutrients can vary. So while you’ll likely see these all-important nutrients on the label of just about any prenatal vitamin, they may not actually doing you—or your baby—much good. That’s particularly true with vitamin D.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “It is unlikely your prenatal vitamin provides enough vitamin D. A recent study found women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor/births and infections.” While the results of that study are available to anyone with an internet connection and an inquiring mind, it’s still true that most pregnant women dutifully taking their prenatal vitamin are coming up short on vitamin D. Here’s why that’s so problematic, and how Beli is making all of this a no brainer.

The Sunshine Vitamin

You probably know that we get vitamin D in the foods we eat, and that our bodies can also produce vitamin D all by themselves, but only after sun exposure to the skin. And you may also know that vitamin D deficiencies are rampant, and even more so in pregnant women. That’s a big problem, whether you’re having a baby or not. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for calcium absorption and the promotion of bone growth. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, you’re at risk of soft bones as a child and fragile, misshapen bones as an adult.

Interestingly, while vitamin D is available in a few forms, you’re better off supplementing with D3. Studies suggest it’s a more effective way of raising vitamin D levels.

There is also evidence that vitamin D may also help treat or prevent any number of conditions, including autism, autoimmune diseases, certain kinds of cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and more. And we know that this powerhouse nutrient helps regulate both the immune and neuromuscular systems.

In pregnancy specifically, both you and your baby need vitamin D in appropriate levels. For mamas-to-be, low levels of vitamin D are strongly associated with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, postpartum depression, and higher incidences of miscarriage. For growing babies, insufficient vitamin D has equally concerning risks. Your baby needs this key nutrient for healthy bone development and long-term health after birth.

For those navigating IVF, adequate levels of vitamin D may be even more important. Research finds that women with higher levels are far more likely to achieve pregnancy following IVF—it’s an impressive four-fold difference in pregnancy rates.

And then there’s the other half of the equation—the dad to be. Studies suggest vitamin D has a positive effect on men’s fertility, particularly through improved sperm motility. Luckily, Beli for Men has you covered (and we aren't just talking about vitamin D).

Meeting Recommended Levels of Vitamin D

You’d think that any manufacturer of prenatal vitamins would have a burning desire to stay on top of all the current research and recommendations. A prenatal vitamin’s job, after all, is to deliver the right nutrients in the right amounts to support mom and baby. That’s literally it. And yet, the vast majority of prenatals on the market are failing on one or both counts. It’s rampant enough that the American Pregnancy Association makes that blanket statement about prenatals lacking vitamin D, which tells you everything you need to know.

Beli Does Vitamin D Right

Beli isn’t any old prenatal company. We got our start by filling the enormous gap in the market for a high-quality, science-aligned men’s prenatal that would ensure optimal sperm health, and we didn’t stop there. Our women’s prenatal vitamin is formulated to deliver the nutrients proven by research to be critical for mom and baby, and we followed the latest guidelines and recommendations for the right amounts of each and every one. That APA recommendation of 4,000 IU based on current research? We read the same studies and data, and then we upped our amounts to 100mcg—the equivalent of the recommended 4,000 IU—to ensure Beli is doing its job. The average prenatal vitamin has 400 IU of vitamin D, which means you need additional supplementation. And to us, that defeats the purpose of your prenatal vitamin in the first place.

That’s not the only difference. Our research-based blend is made with vitamin D3 instead of D2. And unlike most forms of vitamin D3, ours is vegan and sourced from lichen instead of the more common sources (sheep’s wool and fish liver oil).

Vitamin D is just one of many nutrients that are important for a healthy conception, pregnancy, and baby. The last thing you need to worry about is whether you’re getting all of these nutrients in their appropriate amounts from the prenatal vitamin you make a point of taking every day. And with Beli, that’s not an issue at all.