Vitamin C: The Vital Vitamin for Safe Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a critical period in every woman’s life. This is a phase where everything you eat matters. Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient that plays a pivotal role in the health of both mother and baby. Our blog looks into the significance of Vitamin C during pregnancy. What is it all about? Let’s get the details!
Generally, Vitamin C is the go-to vitamin for many things. It’s a cold buster, an effective antioxidant, an immunity booster, and a skin rejuvenator. Nature has gifted us with abundant sources of Vitamin C. They are found in all citrus and other regular fruits and vegetables.
Pregnant women require increased amounts of Folate, Magnesium, Iron, Iodine, and Zinc. Nutrients like Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E remain essential in the exact quantities. During pregnancy, women must consume higher doses of Vitamin C, which plays a remarkable role in this crucial phase of life.
6 Ways Vitamin C Contributes to a Safe Pregnancy
1. Preeclampsia is a severe blood pressure disorder that can develop during pregnancy and cause life-threatening complications. Vitamin C is a much-needed nutrient that improves vascular function and elasticity, which are crucial for preventing preeclampsia.
2. Vitamin C is crucial for the proper development of a baby's bones and teeth. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to include it as a key prenatal vitamin.
3. As a major immune booster, Vitamin C helps ward off infectious diseases, coughs, and colds during pregnancy.
4. It enhances iron and folic acid absorption from plant-based sources and effectively prevents anemia, a common complaint in pregnant women.
5. It supports the production and synthesis of collagen, a primary building block that helps in the development of the fetus’s bones, cartilage, and blood vessels.
6. Vitamin C is linked to the successful attainment of full-term pregnancy by mitigating numerous factors contributing to preterm birth.
To ensure a healthy pregnancy, it is crucial to consume an ample amount of Vitamin C every day. Since this water-soluble vitamin cannot be stored in the body, a daily intake is of utmost importance. What happens if you do not meet this requirement?
Essentially, pregnancy is not a phase to take such risks because your body changes every day. Here’s a list of how the lack of Vitamin C can affect your pregnancy and your baby.
How Vitamin C Deficiency Affects Your Child During Pregnancy
Inadequate Vitamin C intake can result in:
- Poor wound healing, skin rashes, bruises, bleeding, and general weakness in babies.
- Inadequate fetal brain development in the hippocampus region, resulting in poor memory.
- Bleeding in the connective tissue and bones, slow bone development, poor appetite, and weight loss.
With so many health factors involved, it is crucial to ensure that Vitamin C is a part of your daily diet. If you are unsure about the dosage, you can seek guidance from your doctor or a nutritionist and get a tailored diet chart created specifically for you.
You can also refer to our following guidelines.
Vitamin C Dosage For Pregnant Women: How Much Do You Require?
Generally, pregnant women need more Vitamin C than non-pregnant women, and lactating mothers require even more to help nourish their babies and replenish their systems.
In order to meet your daily dietary needs, it is recommended that you include three servings of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your daily diet. This would translate to:
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 6-ounce glass of orange juice
This intake is more than enough to double your daily dose of Vitamin C.
Here’s a chart to help you understand and follow the recommended Vitamin C dosage:
|Per Day Dosage in Milligrams
|Pregnant women under 18
|Pregnant women above 19
|Lactating women under 18
|Lactating women over 19
The Best Dietary Sources of Vitamin C
Without doubt, citrus fruits are some of the richest sources of Vitamin C. An orange a day can indeed keep all the coughs and colds away. However, there’s a wider array of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C.
What’s important is that cooked foods lose their Vitamin C content. So it is best to consume C-rich foods in their raw form.
Here’s a list of fruits abundant in Vitamin C:
- All citrus fruits ( Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruits, etc.)
Vegetable sources of Vitamin C:
- Red, green, and yellow capsicum
- White potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
Despite the abundant natural sources available, pregnant women sometimes opt for Vitamin C supplements, which are totally unnecessary and harmful. The amount of Vitamin C available from fruits and vegetables is adequate enough to ensure your health and your baby’s well-being. Hence, SUPPLEMENTS ARE NOT NEEDED.
These fruits and vegetables are not only rich in Vitamin C but also give you the necessary dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and other vital minerals. Your Vitamin C intake should NOT exceed its daily allowance (especially if you are pregnant), for it can cause complications.
5 Common Side Effects of Excess Vitamin C Intake During Pregnancy
High dosages of Vitamin C ( above 2 grams per day) can lead to complications such as:
- Kidney stones
- Abdominal pain
- Body rashes
- Hot flashes
- Gut blockage
If the complications are more advanced, it may result in:
- Esophageal inflammation
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thickening of cardiac blood vessels
- Skin irritation
- Urinary & digestive tract complications
- Discomfort at injection sites
Furthermore, if women who rely heavily on a large amount of vitamin C suddenly cease their intake; they may experience symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. Hence, it is best to gradually reduce the intake rather than stop it abruptly. Also, excessive vitamin C consumption during pregnancy can lead to newborn scurvy.
So, how will you know if your Vitamin C intake is well within the limits? Here’s where REAN’s HealthGuru Assistant makes a difference.
Staying Healthy With REAN HealthGuru
REAN Foundation’s HealthGuru is an AI-powered healthcare app that enhances your overall well-being and guides you through your pregnancy journey. Our HealthGuru App allows you to collaborate with your doctor or healthcare counselor to enhance your knowledge of which foods are essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It also provides the necessary guidance to modify your diet, stick to recommended dosages and learn about the right food sources for your nutrient intake- all this from the comfort of your home. Download the HealthGuru app today and make your pregnancy journey healthier, safer, and more enjoyable!