Why B Complex Vitamins are Good for Pregnant Women

Improve the quality of food instead of eating for two.” This should be the motto for eating food during pregnancy of a woman. Energy demand, i.e. daily calorie requirement in pregnancy (from the fourth month) is only slightly higher than usual; on average, will require only 250-300 kilocalories per day. However, a pregnant woman needs more minerals, trace elements and vitamins. So you should especially take care of your diet during pregnancy, consuming lots of fruit, fresh vegetables and dairy products. Many women are seduced by the old adage of “eating for two”. This form of feeding results in an unhealthy weight gain and, in severe cases, to pregnancy diabetes because it is not the quantity that is important but what matters is the quality.

Vegetable fats are particularly important during pregnancy. To avoid constipation, you should eat plenty of foods rich in fiber such as whole wheat bread, raw vegetables and fresh fruit, which also contain minerals and vitamins that the body needs. It also recommends eating fish three times a week. During pregnancy, the proportion of food should be as follows:

  • Between 15 and 17% protein

  • Between 15 and 17% fat

  • Between 50 and 60% of carbohydrates

    Vitamins are grouped into two categories:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissue of the body. The four fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K.

  • There are nine water-soluble vitamins that the body needs to use immediately. Any excess water-soluble vitamins leave the body through urine. B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.

The B complex vitamins are mainly present in whole meal bread, cereals, legumes, fish, potatoes and milk. Lack of vitamin B1 may lead to heart failure, of both the mother and the fetus. Normally, in developed countries the lack of vitamin B is very rare, so that an additional intake of it may not be necessary. Lack of vitamin B6 may be related to the onset of morning sickness.

Food Sources

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of foods of animal origin. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 unless they are fortified.

You can get the recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods, including:

  • Organ meats (beef liver)

  • Shellfish (clams)

  • Beef, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products

  • Some nutritional yeast and cereal breakfast

To find out if vitamin B12 has been added to a food product, check the nutrition information panel on food labels.

The body absorbs animal sources of vitamin B12 much better than plant sources. Sources of vitamin B12 that do not come from animals vary in amount and are thought to be unreliable sources of this vitamin.

Side Effects

A lack of vitamin B12 (B12 deficiency) occurs when the body does not get or is unable to absorb the vitamin you need.

  • Many people over age 50 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food.

  • People who follow a vegetarian diet should try to eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 or talk to your doctor about taking supplements of this vitamin.

  • Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as surgery to lose weight, lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12.

  • It is possible that people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, cannot absorb enough vitamin B12.

Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause:

  • Anemia

  • Loss of balance

  • Numbness or tingling in arms and legs

  • Weakness


The best way to meet the needs of vitamin B12 in your body is to eat a wide variety of animal products.

Supplemental vitamin B12 can be found in the following:

  • Almost in all multivitamins. The body best absorbs vitamin B12 when taken together with other B vitamins, including niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and magnesium.

  • A prescription form of vitamin B12 can be administered by injection or nasal gel.

  • Vitamin B12 is also available in a form which is dissolved under the tongue (sublingual).

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins daily ration reflects how much of each vitamin must obtain the majority of people every day. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person. The amount of each vitamin you need depends on your age and sex. Other factors, such as pregnancy and disease, are equally important. Pregnant or lactating women need higher amounts. Ask your doctor what amount is best for you.

Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin B12:

Babies (adequate intake):

  • 0-6 months: 0.4 micrograms per day (mcg / day)

  • 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg / day


  • 1-3 years 0.9 mcg / day

  • 4-8 years 1.2 mcg / day

  • 9-13 years 1.8 mcg / day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Men and women 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg / day

  • Pregnant women and adolescents: 2.6 mcg / day

  • Women and lactating adolescents: 2.8 mcg / day

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