Quick Health Scoop
- Vitamin C provides multiple health benefits, including playing a key role in supporting a healthy immune system†
- Vitamin C provides additional pregnancy-related benefits, too
- It is safe to take Vitamin C during pregnancy
Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays a critical role in your well-being, but even more so for pregnant women who need to nourish their developing baby. Plus, during pregnancy, women may need more of certain nutrients. For example, pregnant women need a lot more Folate, Iron, Iodine, and Zinc; a little more Magnesium and Vitamin C; and the same amount of Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin E.1 But when it comes to taking Vitamin C while pregnant, is it safe? What are the benefits of Vitamin C during pregnancy, and how much should moms-to-be take?
Benefits Of Vitamin C During Pregnancy
In general, Vitamin C provides multiple health benefits, such as supporting your healthy immune system, working as an antioxidant by helping to neutralize damaging free radicals in your cells, and as an enzyme cofactor, assisting in reactions such as making collagen and carnitine. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of Iron.2,†
But it’s also important to know that additional benefits of Vitamin C during pregnancy exist, too. As mentioned above, the body needs Vitamin C to produce collagen—a part of skin, blood vessels, tendons, and bone. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals before they can damage cells. Finally, pregnant women need significantly more Iron during pregnancy as their blood volume increases.3 Additionally, Vitamin C improves the absorption of Iron from plant-based foods.2, †
Is Vitamin C Safe For Pregnancy?
Typically, women take prenatal vitamins both before and during pregnancy, because they’re specially formulated to support the development of baby’s brain, nervous system, and eyes.† Among the many important nutrients, these prenatal vitamins typically contain the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C for pregnant women. While healthy women need 75 mg of Vitamin C each day, pregnant women require 85 mg of Vitamin C each day, and breastfeeding women need 120 mg per day.2
As a general rule of thumb, pregnant women should avoid taking more than twice the recommended dietary allowances of vitamins and minerals.4
So, Vitamin C during pregnancy is certainly safe and beneficial for both mom and baby, as long the dosage remains within recommended daily levels.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin C delivers a variety of health benefits, such as supporting a healthy immune system, but it also provides additional pregnancy-related benefits, too. It is safe to take Vitamin C while pregnant, and it’s necessary for both mom-to-be and developing baby. If you are pregnant, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take prenatal vitamins, you’re likely getting all the Vitamin C you need each day. As always, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking any medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements during pregnancy.†
Learn More: Can You Take Melatonin While Pregnant?
This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Linus Pauling Institute. “Pregnancy in Brief.” August 2016. Accessed on: October 8, 2020. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/pregnancy-in-brief
2. National Institutes of Health. “Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” 2019. Accessed on: August 27, 2020. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
3. Cardiovascular Journal of Africa. “Physiological changes in pregnancy.” March-April 2016. Accessed on: October 9, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928162/#
4. Mayo Clinic. “Should women take supplements while pregnant?” January 15, 2020. Accessed on: October 9, 2020. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/should-women-take-supplements-while-pregnant