Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Expectant Moms Need Milk's Vitamin D

Lower-Birth-Weight Babies Linked to Too Little Milk During Pregnancy

Avoiding Milk: Bad Advice for Pregnant Women

When asking pregnant women about their diets, Koski kept hearing the same strange thing, over and over again. Women kept telling her they were avoiding milk and milk products during their pregnancy. Most of the women in the study cited bowel discomfort from milk as a major reason for avoidance. But in this well-educated group, reading material also reinforced this behavior.

"We found that a large number of the books pregnant women read advise them not to drink milk," Koski says.

These books alarmed pregnant women. They told them that by drinking milk, they put themselves -- and their yet-to-be-born children -- at risk of allergies, diabetes, and lactose intolerance.

"None of these reasons is strong enough to make the recommendation that pregnant women should avoid milk, except for the small number of women clearly diagnosed with problems," Koski says.

But is there a good reason for pregnant women to drink milk? Koski led a research team that explored the issue.

Only 72 of 307 women who said they were avoiding milk agreed to be studied. These women drank less than one cup of milk per day. The researchers also studied 207 women who drank a cup of milk or more each day.

Drink More Milk, Have Bigger Babies

The babies born to women who avoided milk averaged 7.5 pounds at birth. Those born to milk-drinking moms gave birth to babies averaging 7.8 pounds.

And it's not that the milk-drinking women were consuming vitamin D by the gallon. Hollis says even these women may have been deficient in vitamin D. There are two reasons for this.

One is that the women lived in western Canada where, most of the year, there is little sunshine. And it's only when sun shines on the skin that a human body makes vitamin D, which is actually a hormone.

"In Canada we have an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. From October through May, we are not getting enough sun on our skin, and if you don't take in sun you don't get enough vitamin D," Koski says. "In the U.S., you probably are not going to see so much of a problem in the South. But you would see it in Chicago, New York, Boston, and other cities at northern latitudes."

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy