Importance Of Vitamin C During Pregnancy

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

vitamin C during Pregnancy
Staying healthy is of the utmost importance during pregnancy and the best way to ensure good health is through a well-charted balanced diet. Vitamin C  during pregnancy is important because it is water-soluble and hence your body cannot store it. You need to have a fresh supply of this nutrient every day through the food you consume.

It is true that during pregnancy our diet is the most important factor that contributes to our health and ensures a safe delivery, but it is necessary that the diet is balanced and includes the right amount of daily nutritional needs. This is just a word of caution and not meant to overwhelm a mum-to-be.

In This Article

Sources Of Vitamin C

vitamin C

Not only citrus fruits, but also some leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin C. Some of the well-known sources of Vitamin C are:

  • Fruits like oranges, lemons, apricots, apples, peaches, grapes, kiwis, plums, and berries.
  • Vegetables like tomato, beet-root, bell pepper, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and potato.
  • Green leaves like parsley and sorrel.
  • All kinds of meat and fish.

As already mentioned, it is always best to opt for natural sources to get your daily requirement of Vitamin C during pregnancy. Many women want to opt for supplements to meet their daily requirements, but it is quite risky as it could lead to preterm delivery. Many women turn to Vitamin C as a treatment for pregnancy-induced high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia.

Why Is Vitamin C Important During Pregnancy?

Also referred to as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. Its antioxidant property prevents infections and protects you against toxins. During pregnancy,

  • It helps in tissue repair, heals wounds faster, aids bone development, and contributes to healthy skin.
  • Vitamin C even contributes to healthy hair and nails.
  • It is important for you and your baby because it helps the body make collagen, a structural protein that is the main component of the bones, tendons, and cartilage. Some studies reveal that Vitamin C deficiency can cause mental impairment in newborn babies.
  • Moreover, it helps the body to absorb iron, primarily from vegetarian sources. Iron is essential to maintain hemoglobin levels.
  • Vitamin C prevents gum bleeding
  • It prevents the buildup of cholesterol and removes toxic wastes from the body
  • Vitamin C is essential for the development of your baby’s tissues, strengthening the blood vessels of the placenta so that more oxygen can reach the baby through it
  • It prevents constipation and regularizes the bowel movement during pregnancy
  • It is known to improve your skin’s elasticity which in turn can help eradicate stretch marks post-delivery.

Therefore, it goes without saying that this nutrient is an absolute must during pregnancy. But, as with every other nutrient, you need to be careful not to go on overdrive. What’s the required amount and what’s the flip side of excess intake?

How Much Vitamin C Is Required During Pregnancy?

How Much Vitamin C Is Required During Pregnancy_

Doctors across the globe do not specify a particular dosage of Vitamin C during pregnancy, but they do agree that it should not exceed 2,000 milligrams. The American Pregnancy Association recommends 80 to 85 mg/day, while according to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, it should be 120 mg/day.

However, doctors are unanimous in their opinion that it is best to get your Vitamin C requirement from natural sources like fresh fruits and vegetables rather than from supplements. Many women take multivitamin tablets during pregnancy. However, these are not safe as it may contribute to excess intake of Vitamin C. Therefore, it is necessary to exercise caution and opt for supplements that are specifically designed for pregnant women who have just the right amount of the required vitamins.

Top 6 Benefits Of Adequate Vitamin C Intake During Pregnancy

Vitamin C is essential for the health of both mother and child during pregnancy. It aids in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth and is essential for the repair and healing of tissues. Collagen formation, immunity, and iron absorption are all boosted by vitamin C.

The following are the top six benefits of adequate vitamin C intake during pregnancy:

  1. It acts as an antioxidant, assisting the body’s natural defenses against infections and protecting cells from environmental toxins and free radical damage. Illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis have been linked to elevated levels of free radicals in the body.
  2. Collagen, a protein necessary for bone development, good skin, cartilage, tendons, and tissue repair and healing, is produced in your body and your baby’s body every day with the help of vitamin C.
  3. When taken with iron, vitamin C improves the body’s ability to absorb the mineral. Studies show that iron absorption is enhanced by 67% after ingesting 90 mg of vitamin C. The presence of iron in the body prevents anemia and keeps hemoglobin levels steady. Iron requirements increase in the second and third trimesters. Therefore, adding more vitamin C to your diet will assist you in fulfilling your requirements.
  4. The fetus cannot grow normally without enough ascorbic acid. Improved fetal oxygenation and decreased chance of placental abruption are some of the benefits of a healthy placenta.
  5. Hormonal shifts in the first trimester of pregnancy might cause constipation. Vitamin C supplementation is often recommended during pregnancy for its ability to ease constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
  6. As a diuretic, vitamin C may stimulate the kidneys to flush out extra water and salt. The pressure in your blood vessels is reduced and your overall blood pressure is lowered.

Can You Take Vitamin C Supplements During Pregnancy?

Can You Take Vitamin C Supplements During Pregnancy_

For the most part, further supplementation is not necessary. Vitamin C is abundant in fruits and vegetables, and your prenatal vitamins will provide you with even more.

Large amounts of vitamin C should be avoided during pregnancy. Safe daily dosages are lower for younger women (those 18 and under) than for older women (19 and up) and are 1800 mg and 2000 mg, respectively. More research is required to determine whether or not prenatal vitamin C supplements have any effect on the health of the baby or the mother.

Side Effects Of Excess Vitamin C During Pregnancy

Even though Vitamin C is essential for the healthy progression of pregnancy, excessive intake of this vital nutrient can trigger some side effects:

  1. Excess Vitamin C consumption during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born with Scurvy. In this, your baby can develop intolerance to the vitamin because of your excess consumption during pregnancy. In fact, even after you stop consuming high doses of Vitamin C, your kidneys could still be excreting excess amounts of the vitamin.
  2. High doses of Vitamin C may cause miscarriage.
  3. In some women, even a dosage as low as 500 mg/day can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramping.
  4. In some women, excess intake of Vitamin C could cause nausea, fatigue, gut blockage, insomnia, hot flashes, and rashes
  5. Vitamin C could contribute to an increase in blood pressure and diabetic women may experience a sudden increase in their blood sugar levels.
  6. Continuous consumption of 2 grams of Vitamin C every day can aggravate gout conditions. Again, it is advisable to reduce the dosage gradually rather than abruptly.

However, research shows that Vitamin C supplements taken with Vitamin E supplements do not help in minimizing the effects of pre-eclampsia. If not monitored carefully, it could cause growth restriction in your baby and could cause a heart attack for the mother. Therefore, though Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, one must avoid mega doses. Always make sure to consult your doctor when you plan to include/remove anything from your diet. Stay safe, eat healthily, and enjoy your pregnancy!


1. Does Vitamin C Affect Fetus?

There is a correlation between increased consumption of fruits and vegetables or vitamin C during the middle of pregnancy and enhanced fetal development as well as increased newborn growth up to the age of six months.

2. Can Too Much Vitamin C Hurt A Pregnancy?

A pregnancy cannot be terminated by consuming significant quantities of vitamin C. Nevertheless, it may result in gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, bloating, and overall discomfort in the abdominal region.

3. When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamin C?

In general, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that does not have any impact, either sedating or energizing, on the energy levels that are produced by the body. That being the case, you are free to consume vitamin C at any point throughout the day.  However,  for best results, take your supplement first thing in the morning, 30-45 minutes before eating.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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