Need For Vitamin C During Pregnancy
Vitamin C is vital to the human body because it helps to construct the immune system and connective tissues. Many people have limited intake of this essential vitamin and are therefore suffering from poor health and bleeding gums. Pregnant women are already at risk with hormones suppressing parts of their immune system and needing collagen to grow the baby. Then vitamin C comes as a saving grace that can help boost pregnant women’s immunity.
Why is vitamin C important in pregnancy?
Being a mother is one of the world’s most beautiful emotions and a huge body change. Indeed, it is important to heed these changes and take good care of the woman’s health, which in turn takes care of the baby’s health. It is wonderful that certain vitamins and minerals can be helpful during pregnancy. One such vitamin is vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This water-soluble vitamin is not produced by the body and needs to be consumed in certain quantities. In many vegetables and citrus fruits, it is naturally available to us in abundance.
- Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. Its antioxidant property protects you from toxins and prevents infections.
- It helps to repair tissue, heals wounds more quickly, helps to develop bone and contributes to healthy skin. It even helps to make hair and nails healthy.
- For you and your baby, it’s important because it helps the body to make collagen, which is the principal component of the bones, tendons, and cartilages. Some studies reveal that deficiency of vitamin C in newborn babies may cause mental impairment.
- It also helps the body absorb iron, mainly from vegetarian sources. Iron is essential for maintaining levels of hemoglobin.
- Vitamin C prevents gum bleeding.
- It prevents an increase in cholesterol and removes toxic waste.
- Vitamin C is essential for the development of your baby’s tissue by enhancing the placenta’s blood vessels to increase oxygen levels through which your baby can get through.
- It prevents constipation and regularizes the movement of the bowel during pregnancy.
- It is known to improve the elasticity of your skin, which can in turn help to eradicate stretch marks after delivery.
Therefore, this nutrient, which is an absolute must during pregnancy, goes without saying. But you need to be careful, as with any other nutrient, not to go overdrive. What is the amount required and what is the excess intake flip side?
During Pregnancy, How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?
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 agree that it is best to get your requirement for vitamin C from natural sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables rather than supplements. Many women take multivitamin tablets during pregnancy, but these are considered unsafe as they may contribute to excess vitamin C intake. Therefore, caution should be exercised and supplements should be chosen specifically for pregnant women who have the right amount of the required vitamins.
Deficiency signs of vitamin C:
Signs of deficiency in vitamin C may be vague, but they do exist. Two signs of the inadequacy of vitamin c are slow or delayed wound healing and swollen or bleeding gums. Besides this, symptoms of ascorbic acid deficiency may also be a weak immune system, inflamed joints and increased bruising. Although rare, scurvy is caused by severe vitamin C deficiency.
Side Effects During Pregnancy Of Excess Vitamin C:
- Excess consumption of vitamin C during pregnancy may lead to the birth of your baby with Scurvy. In this, because of your excess consumption during pregnancy, your baby may develop vitamin intolerance. Indeed, even after you stop taking high doses of vitamin C, your kidneys may still excrete excess vitamin amounts.
- It is sometimes known that high doses of vitamin C cause miscarriage and is therefore used as a home remedy for abortion. This is still debatable, but many doctors believe that excessively consumed vitamin C contributes to menstruation and may result in miscarriages.
- Even a dose as low as 500 mg/day may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramping in some women. You need to consult your doctor in a situation like this, which is not too common.
- Excess intake of vitamin C in some women may cause nausea, fatigue, blockage of the gut, insomnia, hot flashes, and rashes.
- Vitamin C may contribute to increased blood pressure, and women with diabetes may experience a sudden increase in blood sugar levels.
- Continuous consumption of 2 grams of vitamin C can worsen the conditions of gout every day. Again, reducing the dosage gradually rather than abruptly is advisable.
Vitamin C Sources:
Not only in citrus fruits, but also in some leafy green vegetables, vitamin C is found in abundance.
Orange, lemon, apricots, apples, peaches, grapes, kiwi, and berries.
Tomato, beetroot, bell pepper, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, potato
all kinds of meat and fish.
Briar (Thorny Bush):
It is a good source of vitamin C, usually brewed and can be used as a tea.
Is It Safe To Consume Vitamin C Supplements During Pregnancy?
Consuming them in a well-balanced diet during daily meals is the safest way and is enough to meet the needs. Some studies have shown that consumption of high vitamin C supplements may increase the risk of premature birth. There are also reports of babies developing scurvy due to vitamin C supplements being taken by mothers. Therefore, before taking any supplements, you should consult a doctor.
Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen formation and is needed for the baby’s healthy development. Including rich fruits and vegetables in the daily diet is the healthiest way to intake vitamin C.