If you’re pregnant, you obviously want your baby to get as much nourishment as possible — that’s why so many women take prenatal vitamins and consider taking other supplements when they’re expecting. In fact, most obstetricians prescribe prenatal vitamins. However, there are some vitamins that actually can harm your unborn child if you take too much of them, and others that you should avoid entirely during your pregnancy. Your obstetrician should have the final say on what vitamins you should be taking. However, here are vitamins you should use with caution while you’re pregnant.
- Vitamin A
So-called “preformed” vitamin A also known as retinol, can cause birth defects if you take it in large enough quantities. The U.S government recommends a daily upper limit of 10 000 international units (IU) for vitamin A from all sources, including foods, for women who are pregnant. However, other pregnancy experts advise against taking any preformed vitamin A at all. Generally, the foods you eat should contain all the vitamin A you need, even during pregnancy; the vitamin is abundant in salmon, green leafy vegetables and other green and yellow vegetables, such as broccoli, meat and eggs, along with fortified cereal products.
Instead of vitamin A, some prenatal vitamins will contain beta-carotene, which your body then can convert to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is considered safe in pregnancy, although again, it’s best to get most of it from fruits and vegetables, not from supplements. Avoid carob because it increases the amount of vitamin A available in your body. AVOID ACCUTANE WHILE PREGNANT.
- Vitamin E
This antioxidant, which your body uses to help prevent cell damage and enable your cells to communicate with each other effectively, has been linked to heart defects in babies whose mothers consumed too much of it in early pregnancy. Babies whose moms who ate large quantities of foods high in vitamin E, such as almonds and sunflower seeds, had an increased risk of heart defects, while babies whose mothers had high dietary vitamin E intake and also took vitamin E supplements had a very high risk of defects. Vitamin E supplements by women in combination with other supplements in pregnancy can cause an increased risk of term prelabour rupture of fetal membranes. There was no increase in preterm prelabour rupture of membranes in women who used vitamin E and other agents. It’s not clear whether there’s any benefit or not. Therefore, to be safe, talk to your doctor about whether to take any at all.
3 Vitamin C.
Although this vitamin is generally regarded as safe during pregnancy, much larger doses — above the recommended 85 milligrams for pregnant women — have been linked to premature labor and preterm birth in several medical studies. Taking too much vitamin C also can cause stomach upset or aggravate an indigestion problem in moms-to-be.
When you’re pregnant, some vitamins can represent a double-edged sword —they can both protect against certain conditions, while raising your risk of other problems. To improve your odds of having a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery, you should try to get as much as possible of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins from food sources, and keep your use of supplements to a minimum.
When you are pregnant, you obviously want to do the right thing for yourself and for your baby … and that probably includes taking your vitamins. However, taking large doses of certain vitamins can do more harm than good.