Importance Of Vitamin C During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


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

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.

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.

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 orange, lemon, apricots, apples, peaches, grapes, kiwi, plums, and berries.
  • Vegetables like tomato, beet-root, bell pepper, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, 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.

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!


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