Vitamin D3 Supplementation During Pregnancy and Lactation Improves Vitamin D Status of the Mother–Infant Dyad

Doria Thiele, Jody Ralph, Maher El-Masri, Cindy M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Objective To identify the combined effect of prenatal and postnatal vitamin D3 supplementation on the vitamin D status of pregnant and lactating women and their exclusively breastfed infants. Design Double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Setting Upper Midwestern U.S., hospital-based obstetric practice. Participants Pregnant women (N = 13) planning to exclusively breastfeed were randomized at 24 to 28 weeks gestation to receive vitamin D3 at a dosage of 400 IU (control group, n = 6) or 3,800 IU (intervention group, n = 7) daily through 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. Vitamin D status was determined at enrollment and in mother–infant dyads at 24 to 72 hours after birth and 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. Methods Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured to determine the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on the vitamin D status of mothers and infants. Analysis of covariance was used to compare differences in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels between the control and intervention groups. Results The mothers’ vitamin D levels were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group at birth (p =.044) and at 4 to 6 weeks postpartum (p =.002). Infants in the intervention group had significantly higher vitamin D levels at birth (p =.021) and nonsignificant, clinically relevant increases at 4 to 6 weeks of age (p =.256). No differences were found between maternal groups in serum calcium or parathyroid hormone levels. Conclusion Prenatal to postpartum vitamin D3 supplementation is an effective intervention to increase a mother's vitamin D status and to promote optimal vitamin D status in newborns and exclusively breastfed infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • breastfeeding
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • vitamin D3 supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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