The Amazing Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group of fat‑soluble secosteroids found in egg yolks, liver, and fish oils. Vitamin D has amazing health benefits. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function. Although it’s consumption is important throughout one’s entire life, it is particularly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 
During pregnancy, sufficient vitamin D concentrations are needed to address the growing demand for calcium on the part of the baby. Vitamin D is important for your baby’s normal growth, the formation of his or her bones and teeth; and the development of his or her nervous system, lungs, and immune system function. 
Studies suggest vitamin D may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. But unfortunately, an estimated 40-75% of people are deficient in Vitamin D.  Vitamin D deficiency has been related to pre-eclampsia, fetal neurological disorder, rickets, and osteomalacia. Symptoms of deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, and more subtle symptoms, like fatigue. 

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, calcium from the mother’s bones is mobilized. This causes a rise in bone turnover and a reduction in bone mass. 

Your body produces vitamin D naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. Just 10 minutes a day of mid-day sun exposure can go a long way. If you’re staying longer under the sun, I recommend you protect your skin with a natural sunscreen, like Shea butter. 

Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can get it through food sources (like egg-yolks and fish) and/or supplements. Since I breastfeed, in addition to my prenatals, I take two capsules of Calcium with Vitamin D by Nature’s Sunshine at bedtime, as prescribed by my naturopath.

If we are intentional about nourishing our bodies during these demanding times not only will we will be healthy now but we will remain healthy later in life.

My upcoming book THE SECRETS TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY has more information on nutrients to consume during pregnancy and in preparation to breastfeed. You can preorder your autographed copy for a 20% discount ($15.95) at mariawizel.com/preorder or get the first chapter free atmariawizel.com/free.
To your health!
Love,
Maria
Sources:

My breast-friend

I nursed Bella until I gave birth to Mila and then tandem nursed for three months. So, these are three years of nursing–no break.

My nursing cover (right) has been so good to me over the last three years. It’s been my favorite 4-in-1: giant bib (for me and baby), napkin (mostly for baby), changing pad, and–of course–a breastfeeding cover. Although it appears to be a cape for all of us nursing mommas, I’m not counting that as a use.

After two babies, hundreds of washes, and two holes I decided to get a new one (left). I went with the “bebé au lait” brand once again because after comparing a couple other ones, I find it to have the most coverage, have greatest space for mom and baby eye contact, and durable fabric. You can get mine on Amazon.com ($28) or at Babies r’ us or Buy buy baby ($34).

Breastfeeding is tough in the beginning, but it is worth it! My upcoming book THE SECRETS TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY has a chapter on “How to Prepare to Breastfeed Successfully.” You can get the first chapter free at mariawizel.com/free or preorder the book at mariawizel.com/preorder.

Hope you have an awesome week!

Love,

Maria

SECRETS TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY: About the Author

Maria Andrea Wizel is a health blogger in sunny Miami, Florida. She owns mariawizel.com and is dedicated to educating people about true health. Maria has been married to her high school sweetheart, JC, for ten years. They became parents in 2009 when they adopted their two older kids. Since then she has had two healthy pregnancies and natural childbirths. Maria enjoys coaching women in all stages of pregnancy including those preparing to conceive.

Maria also serves as the Director of Human Resources at her church, Calvary Fellowship, and does consulting for companies seeking to improve their human resources and marketing practices.

Maria has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Puerto Rico where she graduated with honors. She also has a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Miami where she earned an Academic Excellence Award, and completed the Executive Leadership studies program at Harvard University.

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This evening practice can make your days brighter

I am always encouraging women to drink enough water during pregnancy. Now more than ever, it is important to be intentional about hydrating our body. Dehydration can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, and even premature contractions, among other symptoms.

When I was pregnant with Bella and Mila I would get extremely thirsty, specially during night time. This is why I carried a 64oz water jug everywhere. My thirst became more extreme in the middle of the night. I would wake up to take a sip of water because my mouth and throat would get very dry. Perhaps it was being so aware of my need for water that helped me be healthy, happy, and full of energy during my pregnancies.

A dear friend is 7 weeks pregnant with her third baby. She had been struggling with tiredness and nausea until she tried something new. What worked Samantha was waking up at night to drink water and have a healthy snack, like a banana. A hydrated body can function adequately, properly flush out toxins, and results in glowing and elastic skin that is less prone to stretch marks.

So, make sure you remain hydrated even during night time. It may your days so much better. Something like drinking enough water seems so simple but many times we need to go back to the basics.

Sometimes water by itself isn’t easy to drink. It can even make nausea worse. Adding lemon is helpful, plus citric fruits are good remedies for nausea.

I recommend using a large water jug to monitor your water in take. Check out my post on how to prevent premature contractions and 5 reasons to own a big water jug.

There are tons of healthy tips in my book “The Secrets to a Healthy Pregnancy.” You can get the first chapter for FREE here. 

Hope you have a great weekend!

A hug,

Maria

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