Vitamin C - Essential during Pregnancy

Vitamin C, pregnancy and child birth are interlinked in some or the other ways. Vitamin C promises carefree delivery and healthy child birth. The vitamin is mainly responsible for forming collagen that holds the body cells and tissues together.

Researches have indicated that 10-20% of all pregnancies are affected by premature rupture of fetal membrane or placenta. The principle cause of this premature rupture is deficiency of Vitamin C that forms the structure of collagen in the fetal membrane. If adequate amount of Vitamin C is not consumed then pregnancies are at a higher risk to fail or result in premature rupture of the placental membrane. Vitamin C plays a key in the synthesis of collagen, which hold the fetal membrane and maintains the mechanical strength of the chorioamniotic membranes.

Studies have also revealed that only 28% of the pregnant women are found taking extra of vitamin C even before pregnancy, 80% are found taking a an extra dose by the 30th week of pregnancy and the remaining percentage take additional Vitamin C after pregnancy. Unfortunately, consumption of Vitamin C after pregnancy is not enough to ward off the risk of premature rupture.

Vitamin C and pregnancy together have proved to be beneficial for the fetus. Both you and your baby require sufficient amount of Vitamin C as it helps in providing essential nutrients to your baby and build strong teeth and bones. It also helps in the absorption of iron that is beneficial for forming hemoglobin. So, inculcate the habit of eating extra doses of Vitamin C during pregnancy.

Additional doses should start from nearly 20th week of gestation period and continue till the baby is delivered and even after that. After pregnancy extra doses are required to cope up with the challenge of breastfeeding and providing required nutrients to your baby through breast milk.

You should at least consume 85-90gm of Vitamin C per day to meet the nutritional requirement of the body during pregnancy and about 120-125gm per day during lactation. The best food sources include citrus fruits like orange and lemon, potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, tomato juice, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach.

Vitamin C during pregnancy is like signing a health insurance policy for your baby.