Pregnancy is a magical time — it truly shows what the human body is capable of. But, nine months of supporting a growing baby can take its toll on your body as a mum-to-be.
Evaluating your diet and ensuring you are getting the right dose of vitamins is one of the best ways to keep both you and your baby happy and healthy before, during and after birth.
While good nutrition is super important during pregnancy, supplements can offer additional support where there might be gaps in your diet. Kin's Prenatal Vitamins are formulated with clinically-backed ingredients to meet your nutritional needs during crucial developmental stages.
But, there are some additional vitamins you should consider during pregnancy, including a vitamin C supplement. Why is vitamin C important during pregnancy?
We've done the hard yards to bring you the facts and figures, and explain exactly why, and how, you should be tracking your vitamin C intake during pregnancy. Let's dive in!
Why is vitamin C important during pregnancy?
Vitamin C is important for both pregnant people and their babies. In fact, this vitamin is somewhat of a miracle worker. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, boosts your antioxidant levels, aids the natural production of collagen and even assists with tissue repair and wound healing.
However, since your body can't store vitamin C, it's important to gain a good supply each day to ensure a healthy pregnancy . The World Health Organisation agrees that keeping your vitamin C levels in check during your antenatal phase is super important too .
Studies show that vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, which in turn, boosts energy by transporting oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C has also been shown to support a baby's bones and teeth development, making it an incredibly important prenatal vitamin to consider.
While vitamin C supplementation isn't required during pregnancy, it may help reduce the risk of pregnancy-related complications like pre-eclampsia and maternal anaemia .
Is it safe to take vitamin C while pregnant?
The short answer is yes. But it is important to take the right dose. When it comes to nutrients in your diet (as well as dietary supplements), more is not always better.
Highly concentrated doses of vitamin C, A or E can be dangerous, particularly during pregnancy . It's important to be cautious when consuming large volumes of foods that contain these vitamins (or taking supplements) to avoid any adverse effects.
As always, you should check with your doctor before taking any supplements or other medicines during pregnancy.
Because they understand your medical history, a healthcare professional will be able to offer more advice, which can be tailored to your needs.
How much vitamin C do pregnant people need?
The recommended dose of vitamin C for pregnant people who are at least 19 years old is 85 milligrams (mg) per day, with an upper limit of 2,000 mg per day .
To calculate your daily intake, make sure you consider any foods, drinks and supplements you consume. In general, most people can get enough vitamin C from a balanced diet.
And, it's unlikely you'll get too much vitamin C if your only source is foods and drinks. Stomach pain, diarrhoea and flatulence can be symptoms of consuming too much vitamin C.
While unpleasant, these are common if you consume more than 1,000 mg per day but should subside once you stop taking vitamin C supplementation.
We know pregnancy can be a little overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. Kin's Pregnancy Checklist consists of bite-sized checklist items personalised to your pregnancy journey. Approved by fertility specialists and OBYGN approved, you'll feel prepared to tackle each day as it comes and enjoy the process, rather than get lost in it.
What are the risks of low intake of vitamin C while pregnant?
Your body goes through a stack of major changes during pregnancy.
From hormonal shifts to supporting the growth and development of your baby, it's so important to ensure your diet is rich in vitamins and nutrients both before and during your pregnancy.
Vitamin C deficiency in pregnant people could lead to serious health effects on the foetus' brain, specifically the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory . But it's not just vitamin C that pregnant women should pay attention to.
Folate, iodine, iron and vitamins B12 and D each play a part in keeping mum and bub in good health. They also reduce the chance of a low-weight birth or birth defects.
If you're unsure if you need to take vitamin C during pregnancy (or any other supplements), you should speak to your doctor and look for formulas that are specifically designed for antenatal mothers.
A great place to start is a prenatal vitamin that has been specifically formulated to give you all the nutrients you need to support your health and wellbeing.
Kin's Prenatal Vitamins have been designed with 12 highly bioavailable ingredients to help you meet your nutritional needs during those crucial development stages.
What foods contain vitamin C?
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of foods and drinks.
If you incorporate three servings of vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies in your diet each day, your body should receive enough nutrients to bolster your immune system, as well as support the development stages of your baby.
Citrus fruits (a glass of OJ is a good way to get your fix) offer a good dose of vitamin C when consumed as part of your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. For example, a medium-sized orange offers approximately 70mg of vitamin C, while half a cup of sliced strawberries or cooked broccoli is equal to around 50mg.
Other Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables to consider include:
- Red or green capsicum
- Brussels sprouts
- White potatoes .
Can you use a vitamin C serum when pregnant?
If you're a skincare fan, you'll know that vitamin C is also a potent topical ingredient . Promising to brighten skin tone, promote collagen production and even protect against UV damage (by fighting free radicals), a vitamin C serum is a worthy addition to your skincare lineup.
While there are some products you should avoid during pregnancy (we're looking at you, retinoids and retinol), vitamin C serums are safe to use while pregnant .
It's super hard to apply too much vitamin C topically to your skin. In order for you to use enough vitamin C to be considered harmful in any way, you’d have to apply up to 200 times the recommended daily dose on the label!
Why should you use vitamin C serum when pregnant?
A powerful active ingredient that is found in many skincare products, vitamin C is particularly effective at fighting off hyperpigmentation and dark spots. These can commonly occur in mums-to-be, with pregnant women reporting darkened skin or patches of discolouration, particularly on their areola or stomach .
Melasma (colloquially called the mask of pregnancy) is also common in pregnant people due to the increased production of estrogen .
Irregular dark patches on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin can be a result of exposure to UV when there is a greater level of pigment-producing cells due to hormonal changes.
Made with a 15 per cent dose of ascorbic acid, Software's Vitamin C and Ferulic Serum works to quickly fade dark spots, fight dullness and combat environmental aggressors and is safe to use while pregnant.
Is vitamin C cream safe during pregnancy?
Like serums, vitamin C creams are safe to use during pregnancy. You should keep an eye out for formulas that are suited to sensitive skin, and always use an SPF.
When introducing new products to your skincare routine, remember to patch test to make sure it's suitable for your skin type. It's also worth gradually working a new vitamin C serum or cream into your week, and waiting up to a month to add any other new products.
This gives skin the chance to adjust, and will also help you determine the efficacy of a product in isolation.
Vitamin C plays an important role in overall immune health. As well as supporting your baby's skin, hair and bone development, it's an essential vitamin for good pregnancy outcomes.
Whether you need to take vitamin C supplements during pregnancy will come down to each individual. Chat to a healthcare provider about what you might need. Breastfeeding women should look to increase their intake of vitamin C to 120 mg per day due to the changing needs of their own health, and their baby's growth.
While all the advice given during pregnancy can sometimes be overwhelming, it's important to remember that a well-balanced diet and good lifestyle choices are the best ways to meet the needs of your baby's development and your own health.