Women with low levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to children who may face difficulties with speech.
The study, the largest of its kind, looked at Vitamin D concentrations during the pregnancies of more than 740 women, whose children were followed up regularly until 17 years.
Andrew Whitehouse, associate professor at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, who led the study, said the finding was significant, as Vitamin D levels among women have decreased steadily over the years, the journal Paediatrics reports.
"The developing baby is completely reliant on the mother for its Vitamin D levels and what we have shown is that this might have an impact on the child's brain development," Whitehouse said, according to a Telethon Institute statement.
Whitehouse said the findings had significant implications in that it could provide an early intervention to prevent some language difficulties.
"We would now like to explore whether Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy could reduce the risk of language problems for children."