If you are pregnant, you obviously need as many vitamins and minerals as you can get. Right? Wrong!
When it comes to Vitamin A, your body needs just a limited amount of it. In fact, for years, doctors have warned women of childbearing age to stay away from vitamin A completely. But today, we know that there is a middle ground.
In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about taking vitamin A in pregnancy – the suitable dose, foods rich in vitamin A, signs of overdose, and few tips to consider before taking any supplements.
Why Do You Need Vitamin A?
How many times have you been told to eat your greens to keep your eyes healthy? That is because leafy vegetables are known to be a great source of vitamin A. But that is not all vitamin A do. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, plays several important roles in the human body. Here are a few:
- Improves immunity
- Keeps your vision healthy
- Good for the skin
- Helps fight free radicals
Can you take vitamin a while pregnant? Well, for a pregnant woman, vitamin A takes on a bigger role. Here are a few benefits of taking vitamin a while pregnant:
- Vitamin A aids in the development of your baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and bones in the womb.
- It also strengthens your baby’s circulatory and respiratory systems.
- Vitamin A is especially important during the last stages of a pregnancy. It works to repair tissues and helps the new mother fight infections.
[ Read: Magnesium During Pregnancy ]
Recommended Vitamin A For Pregnant Women:
You don’t need vitamin A every day. Instead, try and get the average dose in the period of a week.
- A pregnant woman needs 750 to 770 micrograms (approximately 2,565 IU) vitamin A every day.
- A breastfeeding woman requires 1200-1300 micrograms (approximately 4,330 IU) vitamin A per day.
Should You Opt For Vitamin A Supplements?
Most experts agree that you should get most of your vitamin A from your pregnancy diet. In fact, most doctors do not prescribe vitamin A supplements. If you feel your diet is not giving you a sufficient amount of this vitamin, talk to your doctor. Better still, try and improve your diet to include more vitamin rich foods.
[ Read: Vitamin B12 During Pregnancy ]
Vitamin A Rich Foods During Pregnancy:
If you want a healthy pregnancy, you need to eat right. To ensure a balanced pregnancy diet, include the following foods. These are good sources of vitamin A as well as other important nutrients.
|1 medium baked sweet potato||1,096 mcg (21,909 IU)|
|1/2 cup cooked carrot slices||665 mcg (13,286 IU)|
|1 slice pumpkin pie||596 mcg (4,567 IU)|
|1/2 cup boiled spinach||573 mcg (11,458 IU)|
|1/2 cup cooked butternut squash||572 mcg (11,434 IU)|
|One medium raw carrot||509 mcg (10,191 IU)|
|1/2 cup boiled kale||443 mcg (8,853 IU)|
|1 cup nonfat fortified milk||338 mcg (1,131 IU)|
|One packet oatmeal, prepared with water||329 (1,099 IU)|
|1 cup cantaloupe cubes||270 mcg (5,411 IU)|
|1 cup raw spinach||141 mcg (2,813 IU)|
|1 large egg, scrambled||87 mcg (321 IU)|
|1/2 cup frozen peas||84 mcg (1,680 IU)|
|1 ounce cheddar cheese:||75 mcg (284 IU)|
[ Read: Vitamin E In Pregnancy ]
How Much Vitamin A Is Too Much?
Yes, you can overdose on vitamin A! Your body needs a limited amount of Retinol. Overdo it, and you can risk a number of health issues, including:
- Abnormal softening of the skull bone in infants
- Blurred vision
- Bone pain or swelling
- Bulging fontanelle in infants
- Changes in consciousness
- Decreased appetite
- Double vision in young children
- Liver damage
- Poor weight gain in infants and children
- Skin and hair changes
- Cracking at corners of the mouth
- Hair loss
- Higher sensitivity to sunlight
- Oily skin and hair
- Spontaneous fracture
This is why pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive are advised to stay off certain acne treatments because they contain high doses of vitamin A.
Many studies have shown that pregnant women who take an overdose of vitamin A during the first seven weeks of their pregnancy can cause serious damage to their unborn child.
A woman who consumes more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily is more likely to give birth to a baby with head, heart, brain and spinal cord malfunctions.
[ Read: Protein Rich Food During Pregnancy ]
Tips On Consumption Of Vitamin A During Pregnancy:
Keep the following points in mind to ensure a healthy dose of vitamin A in your pregnancy diet:
- Avoid taking prenatal vitamins that contain vitamin A.
- Limit your daily intake of vitamin A to 6000 IUs during the first two months of your pregnancy.
- Make sure you are consuming at least 3500 IU of Vitamin A every day.
- Try to get most of your vitamin A from your diet. Eat bright colored fruits and vegetables.
[ Read: Vitamin B During Pregnancy ]
The main thing is not to worry! If in doubt, talk to your doctor. If you stay off supplements, the chances of Vitamin A overdose are negligible. All you need to do is ensure your pregnancy diet is balanced and healthy. Eating right is half the battle won.
Hope you liked our post on Vitamin a during pregnancy. Have a healthy pregnancy! And do write in with your feedback.
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