British Journal of Midwifery
MA Healthcare Ltd
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research
Vitamin D deficiency is widely recognised as a major public health issue around the world; and is essential for optimal development and strengthening of the musculoskeletal system including the prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis, osteopenia and rickets. The association between vitamin D and childhood rickets has led to the fortification of food sources and consequently the eradication of the rickets disease. Vitamin D levels are of particular importance for pregnant women, especially for the development of the bone and muscle development of the fetus. In the last decade there has been a substantial increase in the incidence of vitamin D deficiency and the re-emergence of the childhood rickets disease. It is vital that vitamin D levels are at optimal levels during pregnancy as maternal calcium demands increase significantly to meet the demands of the developing fetus, especially in the third trimester.