Are you pregnant? Vitamin A could be trouble.

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When you get pregnant, vitamin and mineral intake becomes very important.  Not saying it wasn’t important before, but now you have to help another life form develop and grow.  Getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals is extremely important for this to be done right.

Your need for certain vitamins will be more than before you were pregnant.  These vitamins include zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, iron, folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin D, B vitamins, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.  Try and get more of each of these with solid food throughout the day.  Many women prefer to take a vitamin supplement to make sure they are getting enough of each.  Each of these vitamins will play a different part in your baby’s development.

Even though your needs increase while you are pregnant, vitamin A can cause problems if you have too much of it.  First off let me tell you about what vitamin A is used for in your body.  This vitamin is important for the baby’s development of embryonic tissue, cell growth, healthy skin, infection resistance, bone growth, fat metabolism, eye, heart, ear, and limb development.  Pregnant women need vitamin A for themselves especially for postpartum tissue repair, help fighting off infections and keeping normal vision levels.

Vitamin A actually comes in two forms, retinol and beta-carotene.  You can have as much beta-carotene as you like, but an excess of retinol is where you can have problems.  In high doses, it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity.  The maximum amount of retinol allowed is 3,000 micrograms of RAE (also known as retinol activity equivalents).

Because of the toxicity of excess Vitamin A, you shouldn’t be doubling up your prenatal vitamins or taking anything extra your doctor doesn’t approve of.  Many of the pregnancy vitamins will have at least part of it as beta-carotene.  Make sure to check the labels before consuming any of your vitamins.

While you are pregnant, vitamin A is pretty easy to get plenty of with your typical American diet.  Things like meat, fish, eggs, and fortified cereals all contain retinol vitamin A.  You can find the beta-carotene form of vitamin A in many fruits and vegetables.

Getting the right vitamins and minerals is extremely important throughout and before you pregnancy.  I know every woman cares about the health of their baby.  Make sure to pay attention to what you are putting into your body though.  Like I mentioned above, excess of everything isn’t always a good plan.  You can take a look at these 7 pregnancy snacks to get extra vitamins and minerals.

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