Vitamin D could make childbirth less painful

Abuja – Low vitamin D levels could make
childbirth more painful, according to a new study.
Vitamin D deficiency is common during
pregnancy, especially among high-risk women,
including vegetarians, those with little sun
exposure, and members of ethnic minorities, the
American College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists says.
The new study included 93 pregnant women
whose vitamin D levels were checked before
childbirth and who received an epidural for pain
during labour. The researchers measured how
much pain medication each of the women
required during delivery.
Women with lower vitamin D levels required more
pain medication than those with higher vitamin D
levels, according to the study scheduled for
presentation at the annual meeting of the
American Society of Anaesthesiologists in New
Orleans.
“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 anaesthesiologist at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre 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 labour 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 labour experience for women
everywhere,” Geller concluded.
Studies presented at meetings are usually
considered preliminary until published in a peer-
reviewed medical journal.

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