Vitamin A & Pregnancy

Vitamin A is essential for embryonic development, impacting the baby's healthy cell, skin, eye, ear, limb, and heart and bone growth. It's also important for pregnant women as it helps with post-partum tissue repair and fighting infections.

That being said, there is some concern about pregnant women consuming too much of a good thing, and some caution must be taken in regards to vitamin A supplements when in this condition.

In the last decade, several studies have come out linking high doses of vitamin A, around the time of conception or early gestation, with a higher than average risk of developing infants with birth defects. However, simply ensure your prenatal vitamin doesn't contain more than 2,565IU of the retinol form of vitamin A and you will be well within the guidelines. If your prenatal vitamin contains more than this, it's probably from a beta carotene source; which research shows is safe to take at higher levels. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements, especially when pregnant.

Most people ingest plenty of vitamin A from food sources alone - such as meat, dairy, fish, eggs and fortified cereals. Beta carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially deep green and yellow-orange ones.

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