Vitamin C Benefits During PregnancyPublished:
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO
In This Article:
Vitamin C is a well-known potent antioxidant and an essential vitamin whether or not you’re pregnant. Vitamin C is considered an immunity booster, and may even reduce your risk of developing certain cancers and heart disease. In pregnancy it plays a vital role in baby’s healthy growth and development.
Even though many prenatal vitamins contain vitamin C, adding vitamin C foods like citrus fruits, regular fruits, and vegetables into your diet is necessary. You may wonder how much vitamin C should I take, or are vitamin C packets safe during pregnancy — especially if you’re feeling under the weather. We will be covering the health benefits of vitamin C during pregnancy and providing you with a list of foods high in vitamin C.
★ WHY IS VITAMIN C IMPORTANT DURING PREGNANCY?
During pregnancy, vitamin C is vital for both mom and developing baby. It helps mom maintain a healthy immune system and is required for your body to make collagen to help your baby’s skin, cartilage, tendons, and bone growth. It also acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping your body fight against infections and protecting cells from the damages caused by free radicals.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning the body can’t store it. So you’ll need to replenish yourself and you can’t overdose on vitamin C. Both you and your baby's bodies require vitamin C daily to make collagen, a protein that’s a crucial component for tissue repair, wound healing, healthy skin, cartilage, tendons, and bone growth.
Vitamin C is good for enhancing how your body absorbs iron. Studies have found that iron absorption increases by 67% when taken with 90 mg of vitamin C with a meal.
Check out our blog on everything you need to know about Iron During Pregnancy.
Research suggests, vitamin C deficiency appears to harm vascular function and elasticity, a crucial symptom of the pregnancy complication preeclampsia. This is why consuming enough vitamin C while you're pregnant is extremely important.
Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include fatigue, dry skin, slow-healing cuts, and bruises.
★ HOW MUCH VITAMIN C SHOULD YOU TAKE DAILY DURING PREGNANCY?
Vitamin C is safe during pregnancy, matter of fact you need more vitamin C than a non-pregnant woman, and a lactating mother needs even more. Pregnant women should aim for about 85 milligrams (mg) daily of vitamin C. Breastfeeding women should aim for 120 mg daily of vitamin C.
To reach your daily dietary reference, try incorporating three servings of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. To put this into perspective, 1 cup of strawberries and a 6 oz glass of orange juice will deliver more than double your daily dose of vitamin C.
★ HOW MUCH VITAMIN C IS TOO MUCH?
Even though vitamin C is water-soluble, it’s not a good idea to consume large doses while pregnant. The maximum daily vitamin C intake shouldn’t exceed 2000 mg. It’s pretty difficult to consume too much vitamin C during pregnancy due to your body excreting any excess amounts within a few hours of consumption.
Vitamin C is generally considered safe; however, high doses of vitamin C can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea and nausea. To understand how high doses can affect pregnancy outcomes, more studies need to be conducted.
★ BEST VITAMIN C RICH FOODS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN:
- Citrus Fruits, such as Oranges, Grapefruits, Pineapples, Lemons, and there juices.
- Other Fruits, such as Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Guava, Papaya, and Kiwi.
- Vegetables, such as Broccoli, Red, Yellow, and Green Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Brussel Sprouts
For more Nutrient Rich Meals For Pregnancy, check out our Feel Good Food for a Healthy Pregnancy.
★DO YOU NEED A VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENT DURING PREGNANCY?
Usually, there is no need to take a separate chewable vitamin C supplement. You can easily receive your daily recommended amount from different sources of vitamin C, like fruits and vegetables, and your prenatal vitamins.
The risk of consuming excess vitamin C is higher for people that take supplements. Even though you can’t overdose, research suggests one of the excess vitamin C side effects may be kidney stones. Your body excretes excess vitamin C as oxalate, which typically exits the body via urine. Oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals that can form kidney stones.
During the winter season, flu season, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, many overdo vitamin C and Zinc, thinking they can prevent and fight off illnesses. Recent studies suggest vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds and only slightly reduces their severity and length.
★ BEST PRENATAL VITAMINS WITH VITAMIN C
One of the best over-the-counter prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is Feed Mom & Me Complete Prenatal with DHA. It contains 60 mg of vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid.
This prenatal is formulated by an OBGYN & Registered Dietitian, containing all the nutrients needed to conceive and during pregnancy. Each small and easy-to-swallow pill is packed with 22 key natural nutrients to provide nutritional support for you and your growing baby. It contains Folate (methyl folate form), DHA, Iron, Calcium, Choline, Biotin, Zinc, Magnesium, and Selenium.
The vegetarian formula is free of artificial colors or flavors, chemicals, preservatives, non-GMO, dairy, soy, or gluten-free. Each of their capsules contains B6, Organic Ginger, and Peppermint Powder, which can help alleviate morning sickness and nausea.
Adding to that, it is a women-owned company. Who better than a female would understand pregnancy!