Vitamin A in Pregnancy, is it safe?
There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about vitamin A and pregnancy. Many pregnant women believe, and are often being told, that vitamin a is bad and they must avoid it.
Here is some clarification: First of all, vitamin A is absolutely important and essential during pregnancy.
There are two kinds of vitamin A that we can get from our food: Retinol comes from animal sources and beta carotene comes from plants. So where do these suggestions come from that vitamin A can be dangerous and cause birth defects during pregnancy? There is a synthetic form of retinol often used to treat acne and psoriasis. This form of vitamin A can be toxic during pregnancy and may cause birth defects. Never take this medication in the form of vitamin A if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
When taking supplements, please ALWAYS speak to your medical provider ahead of time. The upper limit of vitamin A supplements during pregnancy is 3,000 IU and your prenatal vitamins should not exceed that limit.
Now, that said, vitamin A that comes from whole foods, either plant or animal based, are safe and essential for the well being of mother and child. Even eating liver, which pregnant women often get told to stay away from, is safe. Vitamin A is necessary during pregnancy for ensuring the healthy formation of the baby’s heart, eyes, ears, arms, and legs. It also maintains the health of the cells that line our nose, throat, respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. It is extremely important for eye health and also helps maintain an adequate iron level. Recommended food sources for Retinol are: Meat especially liver, shrimp, and eggs.
Please be mindful, however, with all animal foods to be careful when choosing them and know where your food comes from. beta carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, apricots, mangos, and dark leafy greens among others. I want to show you and give you a recipe for how you can increase your beta carotene intake with an easy and delicious smoothie. Or if you’re craving something sweet, you can make a tasty carrot cake smoothie bowl – the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
*2 cups carrot juice
*1 cup coconut milk
*2-3 apricots depending on size
*2 cups frozen mango
*Turmeric root (break off a little piece)
*1 tbsp melted coconut oil
Blend together Because vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, I like to add coconut oil for maximum absorption. The trick is to first blend all the ingredients together and then add in the melted coconut oil while the blender is blending. This way the oil will not clump.
Now you know that vitamin A in pregnancy is not only safe but necessary. Take good care of yourself to ensure your own wellbeing and that of your beautiful unborn baby.
I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy