Vitamin B6 in your pregnancy diet

  • Why you need vitamin B6 during pregnancy

  • How much vitamin B6 you need

  • Food sources of vitamin B6

  • Should you take a vitamin B6 supplement?

  • Can you get too much vitamin B6?

  • The signs of a vitamin B6 deficiency

  • Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

    Why you need vitamin B6 during pregnancy

    Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps your body metabolize protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also helps form new red blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters, and is vital to your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.

    Research shows that extra vitamin B6 may relieve nausea or vomiting for some women during pregnancy, though no one knows for sure why it works. 

    How much vitamin B6 you need

    Pregnant women: about 1.9 mg per day

    Breastfeeding women: 2.0 mg

    You don’t have to get the recommended amount of vitamin B6 every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week. 

    Food sources of vitamin B6

    Beans, nuts, lean meat, and fish are good sources of vitamin B6. (Note that a 3-ounce serving of meat or fish is about the size of a deck of cards.) Fortified breads and cereals can also be good sources (check the labels).

    Here are the amounts in some common foods:

    • 1 medium baked potato, flesh and skin: 0.74 mg

    • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas: 0.57 mg

    • 8 ounces prune juice: 0.56 mg

    • 3 ounces farmed salmon, cooked: 0.55 mg

    • 3 ounces lean pork loin, broiled: 0.49 mg

    • 3 ounces roasted chicken (light meat):  0.46 mg

    • 1 cup cooked spinach: 0.44 mg

    • 1 medium banana: 0.43 mg

    • 3 ounces pork loin, cooked: 0.39 mg

    • 1 cup cooked long grain brown rice: 0.28 mg

    • 1/2 avocado: 0.26 mg

    • 1 ounce sunflower seeds, dry roasted: 0.23 mg

    • 1 ounce hazelnuts, dry roasted: 0.18 mg

    Should you take a vitamin B6 supplement?

    You should be able to get all you need from a varied diet. Most prenatal vitamins also contain at least 100 percent of the recommended amount.

    If you’re suffering from morning sickness, check with your healthcare provider before taking additional B6 supplements. She can tell you how much to take. (Don’t take more than your provider recommends. Too much may not be safe for you or your developing baby.)

    Can you get too much vitamin B6?

    Yes. Some high-potency multivitamins contain vitamin B6 in large amounts. And even without taking a supplement you can get too much B6 in your diet if you eat a lot of fortified foods. Read the labels of energy drinks and bars, for example – they sometimes have several times the RDA for B6.

    Excessive amounts of vitamin B6 can cause numbness and nerve damage. The tolerable upper intake level for the vitamin – the maximum amount considered safe by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine – is 100 mg for women (including pregnant and nursing women) 19 years and older, and 80 mg for women 18 years and younger.

    The signs of a vitamin B6 deficiency

    Inflammation of the tongue, sores or mouth ulcers, depression, and anemia may signal a deficiency. Mild deficiencies are not uncommon, but severe deficiencies are rare.

    Vitamin C in your pregnancy diet

    • Why you need vitamin C during pregnancy

    • How much vitamin C you need

    • Food sources of vitamin C

    • Should you take a vitamin C supplement?

    • The signs of a vitamin C deficiency

    • Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

      Why you need vitamin C during pregnancy

      Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and repair, and healthy skin. Vitamin C also helps your body fight infection, and it acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

      Both you and your baby need this vitamin daily – it’s necessary for the body to make collagen, a structural protein that’s a component of cartilage, tendons, bones, and skin. Based on animal studies, some researchers believe that vitamin C deficiencies in newborn babies can impair mental development.

      Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron. Try to include a vitamin C-rich food with every meal to get the most iron out of the other foods you eat.

      How much vitamin C you need

      Pregnant women: at least 85 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day
      Pregnant, 18 years or younger: 80 mg

      Breastfeeding women: 120 mg
      Breastfeeding, 18 years or younger: 115 mg

      You don’t have to get the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.

      Food sources of vitamin C

      Citrus fruits are especially high in vitamin C, but leafy greens and many other fruits and vegetables are excellent sources. Because heat can destroy vitamin C during cooking, it’s best to choose fresh foods for your vitamin C. Some cereals and juices are fortified with vitamin C, too.

      Foods that provide vitamin C include:

      • 8 ounces orange juice: 124 mg

      • 8 ounces grapefruit juice: 94 mg

      • 1 kiwi: 70 mg

      • 1/2 cup raw sweet red bell pepper slices: 59 mg

      • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries: 49 mg

      • 1/2 cup boiled broccoli: 51 mg

      • 1/2 medium grapefruit (pink, red, or white): 44 mg

      • 1/2 cup papaya cubes: 43 mg

      • 1/2 cup cantaloupe 29 mg

      • 1/2 boiled cabbage: 28 mg

      • 1/2 cup raw mango: 23 mg

      • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato: 21 mg

      • 1 baked potato, with skin: 20 mg

      • 1/2 cup boiled beet greens: 18 mg

      • 1/2 cup raspberries: 16 mg

      • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes: 10 mg

      Should you take a vitamin C supplement?

      Probably not. It’s easy, and safest, to get your daily requirements through food. A glass of orange juice at breakfast every day is all you need. (Choose calcium-fortified OJ for even more nutritional value.)

      While some studies show that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the incidence of PROM (premature rupture of the membranes), there is some concern that taking vitamin C supplements during pregnancy may raise the risk of preterm birth. There are also reports – though rare – of scurvy (a severe vitamin C deficiency) in babies born to mothers taking vitamin C supplements during pregnancy.

      If you’re concerned about your vitamin C intake, talk with your healthcare provider.

      The signs of a vitamin C deficiency

      Signs of a deficiency include brittle hair; gum inflammation; rough, dry skin; slow-healing cuts; and bruises.

      18 Vitamin E Rich Foods You Should Take During Pregnancy


      Vitamins play a crucial role during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, it is always recommended by your doctor that you take a balanced diet that comprises of all the essential nutrients.Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, also going by the name alpha tocopherol or alpha TE. This is an anti oxidant variety in vitamins that has the ability to neutralize free radicals. Let’s know more about vitamin in this article! Vitamin E, usually neglected or taken in minimal amounts, is also required during pregnancy. Often, pregnant women are recommended to consume Vitamin E supplements in case of the following:

      • Complications in late pregnancy.

      • High blood pressure while pregnant.

      • Premenstrual syndrome.

      • Menopausal syndrome.

      • Hot flashes while suffering from breast cancer symptoms.

      [ Read: Hot Flushes During Pregnancy ]

      • Cystic fibrosis (this is particularly the common case when pregnant women are prescribed extra supplements).

      Benefits Of Taking Vitamin E During Pregnancy:

      Pregnant women should take recommended amount of vitamin E in every daily diet. Below are some of the major benefits of Vitamin E during pregnancy and beyond:

      • Excellent blood thinner (helps prevents formation of clots during and post pregnancy).

      • Improves immune system of both the expectant mother and the growing baby inside the womb.

      • Gives extra shine to hair and skin during pregnancy, bringing out the glow.

      • Helps prevent minor skin infections like dry skin diseases and rashes.

      • Treats scars, acne and wrinkles naturally.

      • Excellent anti ageing stimulant, speeding up skin cell regeneration.

      • Helps in chronic conditions like cancers and Alzheimer diseases.

      • Helps deal with heart diseases.

      • Proven effective for the treatment of diabetes.

      • Helps retain the body moisture.

      Sometimes, women with Vitamin E deficiency and pregnant are prescribed allowable range of Vitamin E supplements.

      [ Read: Vitamin B During Pregnancy ]

      High Doses Of Vitamin E During Pregnancy:

      Despite the many benefits, it had been stated that high doses of vitamin E may lead to complications during pregnancy. You have to be careful about the quantity of vitamin E that you consume.

      • Usually, your doctor will analyse and confirm as to how much Vitamin E supplement has to be taken depending on an individual study.

      • You are more likely to be prescribed additional dosage of Vitamin E in specific cases of hypertension (high blood pressure), a possibility especially if you are having a late pregnancy.

      Recommended Dietary Allowance Of Vitamin E:

      While you can still incorporate the healthy foods as listed above in your diet, do take precautions with the quantity. Also, discussing the intake of Vitamin E with your doctor looking at your individual pregnant history helps boil down the options to the specifics.

      Facing complications during pregnancy? Get ready help from Gynecologists on Lybrate now.

      • The recommended allowance of vitamin E for pregnant women is set to a limit of 15 mg per day.

      • In case you are on multivitamin supplements that may already contain Vitamin E, there is no need to take additional dose unless your doctor considers it to be a requisite.

      Risk Of Bleeding During Pregnancy:

      In the past, women were allowed to consume excess Vitamin E to battle conditions such as pre eclampsia.

      • The recent studies have confirmed that a threshold has to be maintained while adding vitamin E supplement to your diet. This has come up after clinical observations of women developing bleeding because of Vitamin E consumption in high doses.

      • A Vitamin E overdose can also cause other problems like nausea, headache, fatigue when taken without prescription.

      [ Read: Nausea During Pregnancy ]

      • Report to your doctor immediately in case of experiencing any such symptoms throughout pregnancy.

      Food Sources Of Vitamin E:

      Vitamin E is present adequately in the following food groups:

      • Almonds

      • Raw Seeds

      • Spinach

      • Green turnips

      • Kale

      • Plant Oils

      • Hazelnuts

      • Raw chards

      • Mustard Greens

      • Pine nuts

      • Avocado

      • Broccoli

      • Parsley

      • Papaya

      • Olives

      • Eggs

      • Fortified cereals

      • Soya beans

      [ Read: Almonds During Pregnancy ]

      Apart from the other core components such as iron, protein, sodium and folate, vitamins are required for the healthy development of your baby. What more, they are also essential for you as a pregnant mother to maintain good health throughout the pregnancy period.

      Benefits of Protein During Pregnancy

      Protein is one brainy baby-maker (and tasty, too!). Find out what foods are good sources of protein. TRENDING WITH MOMS Protein is the cover girl of nutrients these days, getting raves from many successful dieters. Since you know weight-loss diets are downright dangerous for expectant moms and their babies, you need to appreciate protein during pregnancy on a deeper level — for the brain power behind the beauty.

      Protein is made up of the amino acids that build your baby’s adorable face and every cell below it. At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby’s brain, in particular, needs these raw materials to transform itself into the wondrous organ that will help your baby breathe, walk, talk, and gleefully flush your car keys down the toilet in the years to come.

      During pregnancy, you need three servings of protein every day (the equivalent of about 75 grams). Most people have no trouble reaching this goal (especially if they’ve spent any time on the low-carb bandwagon), although if you’re having a vegetarian or vegan pregnancy you may have to work a little harder to find good sources of protein.

      Getting your full protein quota is never more important than it is during this final trimester, when your baby’s brain is developing fast and furiously — but it’s also a great time to up your intake of good protein sources that are extra high in omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA (another must-have nutrient when it comes to baby brains — plus, one that’s known to lower your risk of postpartum depression). Get protein during pregnancy from all of these foods, but the starred (*) ones are especially good sources of protein for their DHA star power:

      • Lean meat

      • Grass-fed lean meat

      • Poultry

      • Fish* (fatty fish, like wild salmon, anchovies, and sardines contain the most brain-boosting fatty acids, but all fish have some. Learn how to safely eat fish during pregnancy.)

      • Eggs* (choose DHA eggs for an omega-3 boost)

      • Milk and other dairy products

      • Vegan options include:

        • Beans

        • Tofu and other soy products (such as edamame and soy pasta)

        • TVP (texturized vegetable protein; check the label for the protein-to-calorie ratio to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your nutritional buck)

        • Peanuts, peanut butter, other nuts and seeds (get the scoop on nuts during pregnancy)

        • Wheat germ

        • Whole-grain baked goods

        • Whole grains — an especially high-protein variety is quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)

        • Algae, like seaweed* (an all-natural plant source of DHA)

        It’s also a good idea to chase protein during pregnancy with an adequate supply of pyridoxine. Never heard of it? It’s the vitamin also known as B6, and its job is to help your body — and your baby — use all that protein to do its cell-building job. (Think of it this way: If protein is the brick, B6 is the mortar.) And B6 plays an especially big role in the development of the brain and nervous system. Like folic acid, it helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. You’ll find B6 in prenatal vitamins and also in bananas, avocados, wheat germ, brown rice, bran, soybeans, oatmeal, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, and meat (see, there’s overlap with your protein sources, making your job even easier).