Vitamin D, Postpartum Depression, Mental Health, Maternal Health


Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Mental and Social Health


Vitamin D (specifically vitamin D3) is a lipid soluble essential nutrient. It is found in few foods naturally but can be synthesized upon skin exposure to sunlight. Its intermediate structure in the blood is serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol, and is formed in the liver. Vitamin D receptors have been found in numerous areas of the brain that are involved in mood-related hormone production. It has also been found to be protective against the brain degradation of Alzheimer’s. Numerous studies have found a significant relationship between vitamin D and major depressive disorder. This review summarizes research on the connection between vitamin D and postpartum depression. Research indicates that vitamin D is likely to be an influential factor in the development and/or severity of postpartum depression. However, more studies are needed to confirm the findings. Preventative screening for deficiencies and encouraging prenatal supplementation could be simple and effective ways to possibly protect from postpartum depression.