Vitamin A For Pregnant Woman – How Much Is Needed During Pregnancy and Which Type Is Better?

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that our liver stores. Like other vitamins, the recommended amount of vitamin A that a pregnant woman needs, depends on her age. So if a woman gets pregnant while she’s still 18 years old or younger, she will need 750mcg (2,500 IU)/day. Those aged 19 years or older will need to increase it to 770 micrograms (2567 IU)/day.

Vitamin A are divided into two categories – preformed vitamin A and Provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products, while we can get Provitamin A carotenoids in some fruits and vegetables.

Between these two, a pregnant woman must make sure that she’s getting her daily needs of vitamin A mostly from fruits and vegetables. This is because excessive amounts (more than 10,000 IU/day for adults 19 years and older) of vitamin A from animal sources, is found to be poisonous to our liver and it also significantly higher the risk of birth defects. Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, can be safely consumed regardless of the amount.

Aside from limiting vitamin A intake that’s coming from animal products, it’s also advisable to always check the label of the supplement and fortified foods that you take. Though these also include Provitamin A carotenoids, most of the vitamin found on these sources are in the form of preformed vitamin A.

Limiting your intake of foods that contain preformed vitamin A may not always be enough. It’s because this type of vitamin A is also found on drugs that treat skin disorders. Examples are those used in treating severe acne like Accutane, and Retin-A. Make sure not to use these when you are pregnant or trying to conceive.