How important is Vitamin C during pregnancy?

Vitamin C Infographic

It is very important for you and your baby to have vitamin C in your diet during pregnancy to make collagen. Collagen is a structural protein which is an important component of cartilage, tendons, bones & skin. Researchers believe that vitamin C deficiency may result in improper mental development.

Vitamin C also known as Ascorbic Acid is very essential for healing wounds, tissue repair, bone growth & healthy skin. It also helps your body fight infections and acts as an antioxidant which protects the cells from damage.

It is important for absorption of Iron, especially from vegetarian sources.

Sources of Vitamin C

Citrus fruits are very rich source of vitamin C. Many fruits and vegetables also are an excellent source of vitamin C.  It is advisable to choose fresh foods as heat can destroy the source of vitamin.  There are also some juices and cereals fortified with vitamin C.

Foods that provide vitamin C include:

  • 200 ml orange juice
  • 200 ml grapefruit juice
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 cup raw, sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, cooked
  • 1/2 medium grapefruit
  • 1 medium baked potato
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 cup raw spinach

Signs of vitamin C deficiency includes: fatigue, gum inflammation, slow-healing of wounds, bruises, rough and dry skin.

Nothing can be as safe as getting your daily requirement of vitamin C from fresh foods. Supplements should only be taken based on your doctor’s recommendation. A glass of orange juice with the breakfast is all you need. If you are having packaged orange juice, go for the fortified ones.

Excessive intake of vitamin C during pregnancy may expose you to risk of preterm labour. It can also cause stomach upsets and that’s the last thing you would want during the pregnancy.

The recommended daily limits:

  • For pregnant women aged above 19 years is 85 mg (milligrams) per day
  • 80 mg per day for pregnant girls between 14 to 18 years
  • Breastfeeding girls between 14 and 18 115 mg per day
  • Breastfeeding women 19 years and above 120 mg per day

If you’re still concerned about your vitamin C intake, consult your healthcare provider.