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What Vitamins Should I Take During Pregnancy? What are the consequences of vitamin deficiency in pregnant women?

Pregnancy is a very important time for both baby and mother’s health. Diet plays a big role in helping pregnant women get through this time optimally. With adequate nutrition, the physiological needs of the mother and the normal development of the baby are met. Macro and micronutrients should be included in a balanced and sufficient amount in the mother’s daily diet. Its deficiency poses the risk of many diseases for the baby and mother.

Vitamin A (retinol)

Vitamin A; It is required for fetal growth, visual function, epithelial tissue integrity, and immunity. Pregnant women should take 700 µg of vitamin A daily.

  • In the researches; It was concluded that vitamin A should be increased during pregnancy. An excessive intake of vitamin A leads to a teratogenic effect. Sufficient amounts of vitamin A should be taken at safe intervals after consulting a doctor.

Some foods that contain vitamin A; Dairy products, eggs, carrots and leafy vegetables.

Vitamin D

In the first period of pregnancy, vitamin D helps regulate cytokine metabolism and embryo implantation. It helps in the secretion of various hormones. Low vitamin D content in the mother’s diet in the baby’s first years of life; It can cause low birth weight, impaired skeletal development, respiratory infections, and allergic diseases.

  • In a study carried out; The 9-year-old child of the pregnant women with vitamin D deficiency was found to have decreased bone mass during pregnancy. The risk of osteoporosis has also been reported to be higher in later age.
  • In the research of the last few years; It turns out that the risk of preeclampsia due to a vitamin D deficiency increases 2-fold.

Food and supplements containing vitamin D should be consumed in sufficient quantities under supervision.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C, which helps the body use some nutrients; In particular, it increases the absorption of non-heme iron from the intestines. The need for this vitamin, the most important function of which is to shape and protect the connective and vascular tissue, increases to a certain extent during pregnancy.

Collagen tissue is a structure that allows cells to stick together. Vitamin C is required for the formation of this structure. If it is deficient, the functions of the cell are disturbed and destroyed.

Some Sources of Vitamin C; Tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E.

The risk of preeclampsia also increases with the increase in systemic oxidative, inflammatory and metabolic stress in the last trimester of pregnancy and shortly before birth. pre-eclampsia; It can lead to maternal death, premature birth, an increase in neonatal mortality and morbidity, and stunted growth of the fetus. It is believed that preeclampsia symptoms can be reduced in the early stages of pregnancy with antioxidant support.

  • There is not enough data that high-dose supplementation with vitamin C (1000 mg) and vitamin E (400 IU) can definitely reduce the risk of preeclampsia effectively. During this time, the recommended vitamin E is 15 mg / day.

Soybean oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin E, other vegetable oils, bean sprouts, oil seeds, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, eggs, and hazelnuts are the main sources of vitamin E.

Folic acid

It is important for blood cell formation, cell proliferation, and the development of the baby’s central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Since the baby’s nervous system begins to develop very quickly with the onset of pregnancy, folic acid is of great importance for the development of the central nervous system, especially in the first few weeks of pregnancy. It facilitates biological processes for DNA and RNA synthesis.

Cannot be taken in sufficient quantity due to unplanned pregnancies or other reasons. Folic acid deficiency as a result; Congenital malformations such as neural tube defects, orofacial fissures and cardiac abnormalities, miscarriages, anemia and preeclampsia can be observed.

  • Adequate intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy is important to protect against neural tube defects that occur with folic acid deficiency.
  • In an observational and randomized controlled study; It has been shown that adequate folic acid intake in critical phases of organ development can prevent neural tube defects by 70%.
  • To prevent neural tube defects, all women of childbearing age planning pregnancy should take 400 µg folic acid per day with food and supplements and 600 µg folic acid per day up to the 12th week of pregnancy after conception.

Aydin, EK (2014). Assessment of the nutritional and weight status of first-time and multiple pregnancies in the last trimester. Master thesis. Erzurum, Erzurum, Turkey.

Dilek Yıldız, NA (2008). Neural tube defects and nursing approaches to prevention. Ataturk University Nursing School Journal, 105-106.

Franca Marangoni, IC (2016). Maternal nutrition and nutritional requirements during pregnancy and lactation. An Italian consensus document. MDPI, 7.

Gül Yeşiltepe-Mutlu, Ş. H. (2011). Perinatal vitamin D deficiency. Journal of Child Health and Diseases, 87-98.

Kabaran, S. & Ayaz, A. (2013). Effects of B12, folic acid, vitamins A, D, E and C on maternal and fetal health. Turkish Journal of Hygiene and Experimental Biology, 103-112.

Rakıcıoğlu, P., Samur, D., & Başoğlu, P. (2017). Error Tracking Guide for Dieters Weight Management Manual. Ankara: Ministry of Health of TR, General Directorate for Public Health.

Uzdil, Z. & Özenoglu, A. (2015). The Effects of Consuming Various Nutrients During Pregnancy on Infant Health. Balıkesir Journal of Health Sciences, 117-121.

Williamson, CS (2006). Diet in Pregnancy. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 28-59.

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