During pregnancy, a woman’s body requires more nutrition value for the well-being of both mother and the child. If you don’t pay attention to your nutrition intake, you are most likely to suffer from severe deficiencies, which can even lead to various birth ailments.
An adequate intake of all the essential vitamins and minerals is the key to stay healthy during pregnancy. One such vitamin that’s extremely vital for all mothers-to-be is Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 boosts the formation of red blood cells in the mother and also promotes the overall development of the nervous system in the kid. If you are expecting a baby, make sure to include Vitamin B12-rich food in your diet so that you can stay healthy throughout the pregnancy.
Our team of gynecologists at ‘Hera’ has unveiled the benefits of Vitamin B12 during pregnancy and how women can include it in their daily diet to avoid various pregnancy complications.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that’s responsible for the overall functioning of the nervous system. It also regulates the growth of red blood cells in the body and protects you from anemia , a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough healthy red-blood-cells.
Being a water-soluble nutrient, moreover, the body can’t synthesize Vitamin B12 on its own and consumes it from the food you eat throughout the day. This means if your diet doesn’t include enough Vitamin B12, you may suffer from its deficiency, which is not a good sign for a pregnant woman.
Our Pro Tip: If you feel constantly tired, even without doing any physical activity, during pregnancy, chances are you might be suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. In this case, consult a healthcare professional immediately as he/she’ll prescribe Vitamin B12 supplementation (if necessary)..- HERA
Vitamin B12 is essential during pregnancy for many reasons:
It promotes the healthy functioning of the nervous system
Regulates the growth of healthy red blood cells
Vitamin B12 boosts brain and nervous system development in the baby
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C will also help your body to absorb non-heme iron  more rapidly.
It helps in fighting various pregnancy symptoms like excessive fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is also important for metabolism and a healthy immune system
It’s worth noting that when you are pregnant, you’ll require comparatively more Vitamin B12 for optimal production of red blood cells in the body. Since it takes more time for the body to absorb Vitamin B12, it’s always a good practice to keep the intake slightly higher, i.e., 2.8-3.5 mcg/day.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in all animal products. So, if you are a non-vegetarian, you are less likely to experience Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, if you maintain your distance from animal products and follow a plant-based diet, you may find it challenging to get enough Vitamin B12.
Here are some of the Vitamin B12-rich food items you can eat during pregnancy.
|Food Item||Serving||Vitamin B12 (Micrograms Per Serving)|
|Organ Meat (Animal Liver & kidneys)||100 grams||18.7 mcg|
|Clams||100 grams||99 mcg|
|Beef||100 grams||3-5.6 mcg|
|Fish (Salmon)||100 grams||2.8 mcg|
|Lamb||100 grams||2.6 mcg|
|Cheese||100 grams||1.5 mcg|
|Pork||1000 grams||7.4 mcg|
|Eggs||100 grams||1.1 mcg|
|Fortified Nutritional Yeast||15 grams||17.6 mcg|
|Fortified Cereals||100 grams||Varying Amount of Vitamin B12|
|Milk (Low-Fat)||250 ml||1.3 mcg|
|Fortified Milk (Soy or Almond Milk)||250 ml||2.1 mcg|
Women who rely on a plant-based diet may not get sufficient Vitamin B12 from their regular diet. This can also cause Vitamin B12 deficiency in their baby. In such cases, it’s better to either choose a fortified food product or take Vitamin B12 supplements to avoid its deficiency.
Our Pro Tip: A pregnant woman required a minimum of 2.8 mcg of Vitamin B12 daily. So, if you are a vegan and planning to choose a fortified food product, make sure to read the label to ensure it can provide the required amount of Vitamin B12. .- HERA
Since Vitamin B12 is so vital during pregnancy, many women wonder if they should take Vitamin B12 supplements or not. The good news is if you are comfortable eating meat products, you may not need any B12 supplements at all.
However, if you are following a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, the supplements will be a smarter choice as they’ll cater to the increasing demand of Vitamin B12 in the body. You can consult your doctor and he’ll prescribe the right dose of Vitamin B12 supplements as per your current condition.
Women who have pernicious anemia , a condition where the stomach doesn’t make enough intrinsic factor (acid required to absorb Vitamin B12 from food), may also consult their doctor for supplementation.
In this case, however, B12 pills are less likely to work as the body isn’t capable of extracting Vitamin B12 stomach at all. So, the doctor will give you an injection so that you don’t suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Point to Remember: Despite several claims, Vitamin B12 supplements aren’t made from animal products and can be taken along with a vegan diet..- HERA
Here’s what happens when your vitamin B12 is low.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to several pregnancy complications and even affect the growth of your baby. So, it’s imperative to fulfill the daily requirement of Vitamin B12.
2.8 micrograms (mcg) of B12 per day is recommended for pregnant women.
While expecting a child, it’s important to take care of your body and nourish it with all the required nutrients. Vitamin B12 will not only help you combat several complications, but it’ll also promote the healthy growth of your baby. So, if you have already got the good news, make sure to add Vitamin B12 in your daily diet. You should also consult your doctor immediately to decide whether you need supplements or not.