Many women these days are aware of the positive preventative effects a healthy diet and a good range of vitamins can have, and taking mega doses of Vitamin C is commonly applied to keep away colds. During pregnancy, however, there is need for caution, as the needs of a growing baby are different to an adult, and large doses of Vitamin C can have serious adverse effects.
Recommended Daily Amount
Generally speaking, the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C is 85 milligrams.
The easiest natural sources of the vitamin are to be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are red or orange:
- red capsicum
- yellow capsicum
If you are eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables you are probably getting enough Vitamin C already, as just one orange contains half the recommended amount, and a serving or two of many vegetables will easily make up the remainder.
Why Vitamin C is Important
Adequate Vitamin C is important for optimum health, as it can help fight infection, and has strong antioxident properties, defending cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron from food, so it is important to keep adequate levels in your system. Those who feel they are not getting enough from a balanced diet may want to supplement their intake with a vitamin tablet, but women taking a multivitamin designed especially for pregnancy are most likely getting enough Vitamin C already.
Is there a Maximum Dose?
Caution must be exercised to not exceed the maximum daily dose or 2000 milligrams of Vitamin C. It is unlikely someone would reach this limit by diet alone, but if you are taking a pregnancy multivitamin, it is recommended to avoid additional Vitamin C supplementation. In the case of too much Vitamin C, it will become evident probably through an unpleasant side effects, including a sore stomach and excess stomach acid.
Everyone is Different
For some women, doses as low as 500 milligrams can cause some discomfort, and it is very important that women who suffer diarrhea (which can be caused by excess Vitamin C) evaluate and alter their diet and supplementation. Diarrhea and other causes of dehydration are to be avoided at all costs during pregnancy, as a mother’s fluid levels directly effect the amount of amniotic fluid available for baby. This fluid environment is absolutely vital for baby’s survival.
The major takeaway from this information is that while adequate Vitamin C is important for health, pregnant women must take care not to over-supplement, as doing so can put baby at risk.