Copper During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

copper during pregnancyCopper is a vital supplement during pregnancy as it helps with forming new blood vessels and improving blood flow by 30-50%. This essential mineral also helps in tissue and nervous system growth during the later stages of fetus development. However, Copper during pregnancy can be toxic and consumed at levels higher than those typically seen in drinking water or other sources such as food additive levels.

Even though the consumption of copper may seem risky, during pregnancy it is essential for your baby’s health and your own. Copper deficiency may lead to many after-birth side effects in infants and even to the mother’s health as well.

In This Article

What is Copper?

Copper is an essential mineral that is located in all main tissues. It plays a vital function in the production of red blood cells and also in preserving nerve cells to strengthen the immune system. It additionally helps the body shape collagen and soak up iron, and performs an efficient function in electricity.

Most of the copper in the human body is in the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and skeletal muscle. In total two-thirds of the body contains copper, and it is mainly present in the skeleton and muscles. The human body can only store 50-120 mg of copper, which is an average adult requirement.

Why is Copper Necessary During Pregnancy?

Why is Copper Necessary During Pregnancy_

As the baby grows in the mother’s womb, it requires more and more copper than its mothers do. There is a risk that the fetus becomes sick due to a deficiency of copper. In a worst-case scenario, the fetus may experience cardiac arrest due to copper deficiency. If the quantity of copper in the body is too low, it may lead to several serious health issues such as bleeding and hemophilia, complications during active labor, delivery, and even mental retardation. Copper is a vital mineral that plays an essential role in producing red blood cells, which mainly carry oxygen in the human body.

Excess copper may also result in side effects in infants. However, pregnant women may observe a decrease in their energy levels and increased starvation with higher amounts of minerals like iron and zinc in their diet routine. Coinciding with the description of morning sickness – symptoms which can indicate not only malnutrition but also potentially dangerous levels of copper in their system.

How Much Copper is Optimal During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the human body requires a copper ability of 30 mg per day. Out of this fetus utilises a minimum of 17 mg. Most of this copper is amassed in late gestation. While the copper reservation is about 0.28 mg/day and the rest will be excreted by the human body. According to various research, there is a requirement of 0.7 mg/day

The requirements of nonpregnant women are predicted to be slightly lower than pregnant females. In accordance with three studies and research, the anticipated copper necessity at some stage in being pregnant could be either 1.5 or 2.0 mg/day

What Are Copper-Rich Foods?

Copper rich Foods

We have listed foods sources that pregnant women can consume and are rich in copper. The human body tends to absorb 75% of total dietary copper. Note that tap water and a few beverages can contain small volumes of copper. In such cases, it is important to monitor the intake of these to ensure the safe health of the pregnant woman and the fetus as well.

Plant sources

Food Micrograms (mcg) per serving  Percent DV
Potatoes, 1 medium  675 75
Mushrooms, shiitake, cooked, ½ cup  650 72
Cashew nuts, roasted, 1 ounce  629 70
Sunflower seed kernels, toasted, ¼ cup  615 68
Chickpeas, mature seeds, ½ cup 289 32
Avocado, raw, ½ cup  219 24
Figs, dried, ½ cup  214 24
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup  157 17
Asparagus, cooked ½ cup  149 17
Tomatoes, raw ½ cup  53 6
Apples, raw, ½ cup slices  17

Are Copper Supplements Required During Pregnancy?

For some pregnant women, the requirement for copper during pregnancy increases. The deficiency of copper may have adverse effects on baby growth, particularly in developing tissues and organ systems, including the lung, skin, bones, and immune system.

Despite the increasing need during pregnancy, copper supplementation is not recommendable. An intake of copper-rich foods, like nuts, fruits, and vegetables, will help with supplying the necessary amount of copper on a daily basis without the requirement of any medication or supplements intake.

Even copper deficiency is rare and found in only 1 in 1 Lakh to 2.5 Lakh live births. The result of poor diet, zinc toxicity, malabsorption of copper, and women who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery, and gastro bypass surgery can be victims of copper deficiency. As mentioned above, monitoring the intake of copper during pregnancy can eliminate the chances of exposure to copper poisoning and the effects of its deficiency on baby growth.


1. What is Copper Poisoning During Pregnancy?

Excess consumption of copper or accidental consumption of copper from water sources, acidic foods cooked in uncoated copper cookware, indigestion of excess copper can lead to toxicity which may affect baby growth and can also cause intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia, and neurological disease.

2. What Happens if You Have Excess Copper During Pregnancy?

To stay healthy your body needs small amounts of copper from food. But the growth of too much copper is serious. It can affect brain damage, liver failure, or death if it is not treated.

3. Can Copper Cause Birth Defects During Pregnancy?

Copper deficiency is rare during pregnancy. However, the findings recommend that suboptimal copper metabolism may make contributions to delivery issues and may lead to other abnormalities in infants after birth.

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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