Importance of Vitamin A During Pregnancy

Vitamin A during pregnancy

You must have been reading up about all the important vitamins and minerals your body needs right now. Vitamin A is fat-soluble vitamin which is stored in the liver and extremely important to both the pregnant mother and her baby.

Importance of vitamin A during pregnancy:

It helps in the development of the baby in its embryonic stage like developing the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes and bones and also development of the circulatory, respiratory and central nervous system. It helps metabolise fat and build resistance to infection.

It also helps the pregnant women by aiding tissue repair postpartum. It helps maintain normal vision and build immunity.

Vitamin A is of two types – Retinols or preformed Vitamin A (found in animal sources like eggs, milk and liver) and Carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables)

A pregnant womAn needs about 770 micrograms of Vitamin A each day. It is not necessary to have the amount each day but one can target reaching the weekly allotments.

Sources of vitamin A in pregnancy:

Your sources of Vitamin A are:

  • Orange and yellow fruits
  • Orange, yellow and leafy green vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Liver (beef or chicken particularly) are extremely rich in Vitamin A but you are advised to avoid it as the dose is way too high.

High amounts of Vitamin A (retinol) in the diet can cause birth defects and liver toxicity.

Signs of Vitamin A deficiency are impaired night vision and a weak immune system. Some people also develop Xerophthalmia, a condition where one’s cornea thickens and dries.

You will in all probability not require a Vitamin A supplement. In case you do feel that you are not getting the adequate amounts, consult your gynaecologist for supplements.