Vitamin E During Pregnancy

5 min read

Written by Suma R P

Suma R P

Vitamin E During Pregnancy

The human body needs an adequate amount of micro and macronutrients to stay healthy. Vitamins are one of the vital requirements for a properly functioning body. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are the most required fat or lipid-soluble vitamins for the human body. The liver is the storage place for such lipid-soluble antioxidants and releases them when the body needs them. Vitamin E during pregnancy is one of the vital nutrients that contribute greatly to the health of the would-be mother.

Vitamin E plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and eye health, it also helps in boosting the immune system of the body. A normal healthy human can acquire adequate amounts of vitamin E through the diet. Pregnancy is different, and the body might require supplements for proper nourishment. However, not all vitamins can be taken as a supplement during pregnancy. This article gives a brief about the requirement of Vitamin E during pregnancy.

In This Article

What is Vitamin E?

Tocopherol, which is also called Vitamin E, is one of the most required nutrients for the human body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is lipid-soluble and can be stored in the liver. It helps to keep the cell membranes intact and aids in healthy cell functioning.

Since Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it inhibits a process called oxidation and helps the cells stay away from free radicals.

Vitamin E also boosts the immune system to fight against various infections. It is a vital nutrient that promotes better skin and eye health.

Why is Vitamin E Necessary During Pregnancy?

Vitamin E Necessary During Pregnancy

Vitamin E is necessary during pregnancy because adequate amounts of Vitamin E aid in a healthy pregnancy and timely childbirth. It also helps in:

  • Reducing the risk of birth defects in babies.
  • Preventing infections by boosting immunity during pregnancy.
  • Complete and healthy development of the fetal nervous system.
  • Producing an adequate number of red blood cells and preventing anaemia.
  • Healthy cell functioning through which the body can stay healthy during pregnancy.
  • The eyes and head of the baby are integral parts of the nervous system, and Vitamin E aids in their proper development.
  • Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant. It retains the functioning of Omega 3 fatty acids required for the healthy brain development of a baby.
  • A viable pregnancy requires a healthy placenta. Alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) is a proven requirement that provides a healthy placenta.

[Read : Know Everything About Your Baby’s Brain and Nervous System]

How Much Vitamin E is Optimal During Pregnancy?

Anything in excess is dangerous for the human body. Vitamin E deficiency is very rare, yet an antioxidant like Vitamin E can become excess if you consume it more than required, and it can claim to be harmful to both the mother and the baby during pregnancy.

The optimal amount of Vitamin E during pregnancy is 15 mg per day. One can easily obtain the required amount of Vitamin E through a normal healthy diet.

An excess amount of vitamin E may lead to

  • Increased risk of birth defects in babies.
  • Increased risks of internal bleeding. This can be because the excess amount of Vitamin E can interfere with Vitamin K, which helps in keeping the blood vessels intact.
  • Heart defects in babies like vulnerable heart muscles or cardiomyopathy (hardened muscles interfering with the pumping of the heart).

Supplements are vital and are necessary while expecting and during pregnancy, but unnecessary and excess intake of vitamin supplements can deprive the body of its normal functioning. This is why it is quite important to consult your doctor before intaking any supplements during pregnancy.

[Read : Understanding Birth Defects and their Symptoms]

What Foods Are Rich in Vitamin E?

Foods rich in Vitamin E for pregnant woman

There are a lot of foods that are rich in Vitamin E. By consuming these daily or by including them in your diet in your ways can help you gain an adequate amount of Vitamin E.

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cabbage are a rich source of vitamin E.
  • Vegetables like pumpkin, red bell pepper contain sufficient amounts of vitamin E.
  • Nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are again a rich source of Vitamin E.
  • Sunflower oil, safflower oil, wheat germ oil, and soya bean oil contain an adequate amount of Vitamin E.
  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E.

Are Vitamin E Supplements Required During Pregnancy?

Vitamin E is a vital nutrient for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Consumption of Vitamin E supplements during the preconception period may help in good placental health. An adequate amount of Vitamin E aids in healthy pregnancy and can prevent the risk of infections by boosting the immune system of an expectant mother. But Vitamin E can be mostly acquired through diet as the deficiencies are very rare during pregnancy.

There are a lot of foods available that are rich in Vitamin E and can be consumed daily. Appropriate addition through diet should be enough for both the baby and the mother. But the supplementary intake of Vitamin E might be harmful to both the mother and the baby after conception. Excess intake of Vitamin E can interfere with the amniotic sac and lead to premature births. It can also lead to low birth weight in babies. Hence, it is vital to consult your doctor before going for any supplements.

You may have to go through a very long journey of ups and downs during pregnancy. Everything you consume goes to the baby. It is vital to take proper care and nourish your body with all the required nutrients. It can aid in a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Vitamin E is one such nutrient that is necessary during pregnancy and is rich in antioxidant properties.

Pregnant women are vulnerable to infections, Vitamin E can help in boosting their immunity. But, it is crucial to understand and intake the right amount of vitamin supplements during pregnancy. Hence it is always better to keep in touch with your doctor. They can help you know what your body needs for a healthy pregnancy.

[Read : 10 Most Common Infections During Pregnancy]


1. Can we Take Vitamin E During Pregnancy?

Vitamin E is necessary for aiding a healthy pregnancy. But, consuming it as a supplement may not be required. One can obtain an adequate amount of Vitamin E through a normal and healthy diet. Excess consumption of Vitamin E can be harmful to you and your baby.

2. What Are The Benefits of Vitamin E When Pregnancy?

Vitamin E helps in better immunity and aids in the healthy development of the fetal nervous system. It also helps avoid anemia and oxidative stress during pregnancy.

3. Can Vitamin E Cause Birth Defects?

Excessive intake of Vitamin E can lead to birth defects in babies. Studies show that excess Vitamin E intake during pregnancy can lead to Congenital heart defects in babies. A pregnant woman can acquire Vitamin E through a normal and healthy diet, and it can be enough for both the mother and the baby.

Read Also: Importance Of Vitamin C During Pregnancy

Suma R P,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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