Vitamin B isn’t just one essential vitamin—the Vitamin B family includes 8 essential vitamins and each type has a role to play, adding value to the nutrient pool. You receive most of them from your daily diet, while a few are taken as supplements. Here is how this family can benefit you during pregnancy.
Vitamin B-1 aka Thiamine
Foods Rich In Vitamin B-1: Pork, peas, whole grain pasta, dried beans, lentils, oats, salmon, pecans, brazil nuts, nutritional yeast, whole grain pasta, and fortified cereals including bread.
Vitamin B-2 aka Riboflavin
Want to make your skin look fresh and glowing? Have foods rich in vitamin B-2. Riboflavin is an antioxidative vitamin and keeps the harmful compounds produced in our body in check—about 1.4 milligram a day is the recommended amount for pregnant women.3 4
Foods Rich In Vitamin B-2: Carrots, oats, mushrooms, roasted almonds, brussels sprouts, pork, chicken, beef, whole grains, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, tempeh, peas, natural yeast
Note: Vitamin B2 is water soluble, which means it is easily removed from the body. You need to include it in your diet or consume them as supplements to keep up the levels.
Vitamin B-3 aka Niacin
Pregnancy brings along symptoms like fatigue and tiredness. For the necessary energy requirements and the development of both the mother and child, vitamin B3 plays a vital role. Lactating mothers should also increase vitamin B3 intake to improve their milk production.5 Mothers should have 18 milligrams of vitamin B3 per day.6
Foods Rich In Vitamin B3: Salmon, tuna, peanuts, chicken, bell peppers, tomato, sweet potato, peas, liver, brown rice, asparagus, kidney beans, avocados, sunflower seeds, tahini, beef and crimini mushrooms.
Vitamin B-5 aka Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 is responsible for metabolism, which involves breaking down of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It contributes to the necessary chemical reactions for life that happens in our cells—a very important role to play, you see.7
Moms are advised to consume 6 milligrams a day as an average intake.8
Food Rich In Vitamin B5: Sweet potato, corn, cauliflower, salmon, milk, oranges, banana, crimini mushroom, avocado, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, seeds, and nuts.
Vitamin B-6 aka Pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 aids in the developing your baby’s brain and immune system during pregnancy. Moms, if you are experiencing excessive vomiting and nausea, this vitamin could help mellow down your morning sickness.9 You doctor might prescribe your vitamin B6 supplements for relieving extreme symptoms.
Recommended daily intake for mothers is 1.9 milligram per day.
Foods Rich In Vitamin B6: Papaya, avocados, sweet potatoes, beans, garlic, banana, spinach, chickpeas, hazelnuts, turkey, pork loin, prune juice, sunflower seeds, brown rice, beef, chicken, salmon, and tuna.
Vitamin B7 aka Biotin
Make sure you have enough biotin in your diet to get good skin, hair, and nails during pregnancy. Apart from contributing to your baby’s growth, it helps with the mechanism of energy production in the body—it aids in breaking down of carbohydrates and proteins to produce energy.10
Foods Rich In Vitamin B7: Fortified cereal, mushrooms, raspberries, egg yolk, chicken, wheat bran, cheese, spinach, oats, potato, broccoli, cauliflower, soy, milk, nuts, blackstrap molasses, Swiss chard, salmon, liver, and pork.
Vitamin B-9 aka Folic Acid
Folic acid is the most vital out of all the vitamin B complexes. Doctors usually prescribe folic acid as supplements to be taken during pregnancy. It reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies—mothers are recommended to take 400 micrograms per day.13
Foods Rich In Folic Acid: Nuts, sprouts, spinach, avocado, asparagus, lentils, beef liver, peas, dried beans, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin B-12 aka Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 is important for proper development of the nervous system of your baby as well as for the formation of red blood cells.14 Pregnant and lactating women who are vegetarians must include vitamin B12 supplements in their diet.15
Foods Rich In Vitamin B12: Soy milk and products, swiss cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, red meat, salmon, shrimp, fortified cereals, beef liver, and cod.
Vitamin B At A Glance
|Vitamin B1||Helps In The Development Of Baby’s Brain|
|Vitamin B2||Good For Skin And Eyes|
|Vitamin B3||Relieves From Morning Sickness Like Nausea And Vomiting|
|Vitamin B5||Aids In Creation Of Pregnancy Hormone|
|Vitamin B6||Develops The Nervous System Of The Baby|
|Vitamin B7||Contributes To The Baby’s Growth; Aids The Energy Production In Body|
|Vitamin B9||Reduces The Risk Of Birth Defects|
|Vitamin 12||Aids In Development Of Nervous System And Red Blood Cells|
Mothers must inculcate healthy eating habits. For moms who are vegetarians, your doctor might advise you to take supplements to make up for the vitamin deficiency in your diet.
|↑1||Black, Robert E. “Micronutrients in pregnancy.” British Journal of Nutrition 85, no. S2 (2001): S193-S197.Harvard|
|↑2, ↑4, ↑5, ↑6, ↑7, ↑8, ↑11, ↑13||Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. National Academies Press (US), 1998.|
|↑3||Böhles, H. “Antioxidative vitamins in prematurely and maturely born infants.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin-und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition 67, no. 5 (1996): 321-328.|
|↑9||By Gabbe Steven G Jennifer R. Niebyl, Henry L Galan, Eric R. M. Jauniaux, Mark B Landon, Joe Leigh Simpson, Deborah A Driscoll.Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies E-Book.Elsevier Saunders,2012|
|↑10, ↑12||Side Effects of Biotin -1000mcg, 5000mcg and Too Much During Pregnancy. Healtreatcure.|
|↑14||Vitamin B12.National Institute Of Health|
|↑15||Hovdenak, Nils, and Kjell Haram. “Influence of mineral and vitamin supplements on pregnancy outcome.” European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 164, no. 2 (2012): 127-132.|