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Routine screening for vitamin D deficiencies in pregnancy is not necessary, said the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a statement. Vitamin D, which is created in the skin in response to sunlight as well as being present in some foods, helps form health bones and supports future dental health prenatally. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D.

The ACOG made their statement in response to questions from many women if they ought to have their vit D levels checked, or whether they should supplement. An ACOG committee received evidence regarding the benefit of screening and supplementing vitamin D, and found no significant advantages. Dr Macone of the ACOG committee on obstetric practice said: "If there isn't a reason to do it, you're just wasting money and time." The committee added that the only pregnant women who might benefit from such screening would be those who are already at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, because of individual circumstances or certain diseases. But they were not sure even about that category of women needing to be tested. So, screening vitamin D will not become a part of normal prenatal care.

Macones told Reuters Health: "I have no problem with women deciding to drink some extra fortified milk, or fortified juices." He also added that he would be OK with individual women taking supplements if they wanted to do so, but "I just wouldn't routinely recommend it." The ACOG was worried about the safety of supplements and high levels of vitamin D in pregnancy as well. Macones said: "We think it's safe, but sometimes unexpected things turn up." Indeed that's true, and it's happened over and over again. Mind you, unexpected things can also turn up when there is a shortage of vitamin D. And a study from last year suggested that pregnant women should greatly increase their vitamin D levels, taking as much as 4000 IUs per day. What do you think? Do you take vit D supplements in pregnancy, and why or why not?

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