Pregnant? Get some sun!
Sun-shy mothers may raise the risk of multiple sclerosis in their babies.
Children whose mothers had low exposure to sunlight during their first three months of pregnancy may have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life, a study in Australia has found.

Low vitamin D levels have long been linked to a higher risk of MS. Experts suspect a lack of exposure to sunlight may affect the foetus's central nervous system or immune system, and predispose it to developing MS later in life.

In the Australian study, researchers combed birth records of 1524 MS patients born between 1920 and 1950, and found there were more of them born in the months of November and December.

This means their first trimester occurred during the winter months of April to June, a time when expectant mothers in the southern hemisphere may prefer to be indoors to escape the cold.

Conversely, there were far fewer MS patients who were born in May and June - meaning their first trimesters were in the early summer months of September to November.

"The risk of multiple sclerosis was around 30% higher for those born in the early summer months of November and December compared to the months of May and June," the researchers wrote in a statement.

Vitamin D may be particularly important for the development of the foetus's central nervous system, the investigators wrote.

"Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of multiple sclerosis might also need to be considered during in utero development," Judith Staples and Lynette Lim wrote in the paper.

Do you or did you shy away from the sun while pregnant?

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




Play creatively

Don’t let your little one’s frustration with wanting to ‘get things just right’ stop them from playing creatively.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.