Vitamin C, Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers From my series I wrote on Vitamins and Minerals for Optimal Health
The RDA, recommended daily allowance for pregnant woman is 85 milligrams a day for woman age 19 and older, that is only 15 milligrams high than the RDA for a woman who is not pregnant. This yet again is ridiculously low according to the experts in Vitamin C. Considering that your fetus and new born baby depends on Vitamin C more than you do, they need it to build their immune system, healthy bones, cartilage, their eyes and their tiny little hearts and blood vessels. Studies have shown that most babies are born with toxins already in their systems, vitamin C can help them to fight off environmental and other toxins that you meet before and during pregnancy. I personally take through food and supplementation about 2,000 to 3,500 mg throughout the day. I take more during times of extreme stress or illness. During these times I often take it hourly.
“We know the developing fetus is one of the most vulnerable populations, if not the most vulnerable, to environmental exposure,” said Anila Jacobs, EWG senior scientist. “Their organ systems aren’t mature and their detox methods are not in place, so cord blood gives us a good picture of exposure during this most vulnerable time of life.”
Vaginal delivery uses massive amounts of Vitamin C by both the mother and the fetus, so supplementing throughout your pregnancy will ensure that you have plenty stored in your body for delivery. Dr. Thomas Levy one of the leading experts on Vitamin C has even suggested having an IV Vitamin C (or 2 packets of Lypospheric C) every 6 hours while taking oral supplements every few hours during labor to take extra stress off you and your unborn child. To learn more about Vitamin C click here and to learn more about different kinds of Vitamin C click here.
Dr. Susan Humphries explains why the concentration of vitamin C is extremely important for pregnant women and babies saying that a fetus requires twice the amount of Vitamin C than the mother: Dr. Humphries believes that a “Pregnant woman should be taking a minimum of 500 mg of vitamin C daily”.
The below statement by Dr. Humphries makes it very clear why your fetus needs you to have plenty of Vitamin C stored in your body and exactly why they will steel all of yours while growing inside of you.
“That is because we, ourselves, cannot divide without vitamin C. We can’t make skin, we can’t make connective tissue. We can’t make bone or cartilage without vitamin C. It’s extremely important to a developing fetus. It is so important to the fetus, it will take whatever it needs from the mother even if it means she becomes depleted of vitamin C. The baby in the placenta will have twice the amount as the mother, in general, has in her blood. The cord will have twice the amount, but the amniotic fluid the baby is bathing in and is swallowing, has three times the maternal amount.” ~Dr. Susan Humphries
Dr. Humphries recommends the Liposomal Vitamin C by Lypo-spheric Vitamin C by LivON Labs, I don’t supplement with this form of Vitamin C every day because I eat a diet high in Vitamin C, but during stressful times, before and after getting on an airplane, while traveling, a few days before and after a visit to the dentist and during cold season I take Natural Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid and Lyposomal C to keep my storage levels high. I can take a few servings of Ascorbic Acid and liposomal Vitamin C throughout the day and kill the virus before it has a chance to affect me.
“These are the two that I think every household should have. This is very good to give to babies because you can swab in their mouth for rapid absorption and high blood levels. I give this to my pets and my family.”
~Dr. Susan Humphries
Notes from: Vitamin C and Pregnancy Live Aware, Healthy Living in a Toxic World
Per medical literature 60 to 70 percent of babies born today have Jaundice. The medical literature would have you think that this is normal. They just put the baby under the blue light, not telling you that this stresses your baby and lowers their immune systems. This is another example of treating a symptom instead of figuring out the cause. There is a reason a baby turns jaundice, its a biological process, a way the baby can protect itself. Newborns with jaundice are known to have hyperbilirubinema, bilirubian serves a very important purpose, it has been shown to clean up free radicals, to fix the oxidative stress caused by birth.
Dr. Humphries has done extensive research on this subject and she suggest breastfeeding as much as possible to fix this issue. There is not much that healthy breast milk cannot sure. Your baby will be receiving antioxidants and hundreds of thousands of stems cells a day through breast milk. If this is something you wish to learn more about i suggest you click the link at the top of this section and watch her talk on Vitamins and Pregnancy.
Studies show that babies that are low in Vitamin C have high levels of bilirubian and babies that had higher levels of vitamin c had lower levels of bilirubian. Jaundice is the baby’s natural way of protecting itself from invaders, the body produces back up antioxidants. Dr Susan Humphries found studies from the 1950’s that gave Vitamin C to pregnant woman to see if they could lower the cases of hyperbilirubinemia in newborns. The pubmed refrence numbers are listed at the bottom of her slides.
This Italian doctor started his study with 89 woman that were in their first trimester of pregnancy. He supplemented them with 1,000 mg of Vitamin C every other day over 6 months and then looked at the amount of jaundice in their newborn babies. The chart below shows his findings. Jaundice was absent in 61% of them, mild jaundice in 24% and moderate in 3%. Dr. Humphries thinks this is definitely something to look into further.
“Even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother stunts the fetal hippocampus, the important memory centre, by 10-15 per cent, preventing the brain from optimal development,” says Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt. He heads the group of scientists that reached this conclusion by studying pregnant guinea pigs and their pups. Just like humans, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves, which is why they were chosen as the model.
“We used to think that the mother could protect the baby. Ordinarily there is a selective transport from mother to fetus of the substances the baby needs during pregnancy. However, it now appears that the transport is not sufficient in the case of vitamin C deficiency. Therefore it is extremely important to draw attention to this problem, which potentially can have serious consequences for the children affected,” says Jens Lykkesfeldt, Professor in experimental pharmacology & toxicology, Director of LIFEPHARM and Head of the Danish In Vivo Pharmacology PhD program.
Theoretical benefits to mothers that take Vitamin C has positive affects on her skin for you cannot build collagen without it, it is great for the liver, the placenta, the tendons and ligaments which undergo huge changes during pregnancy, the perineum benefits as well as lessening postpartum hemorrhage. The fetus also needs Vitamin C.
The vitamin C levels between a mother and the fetus show how important it is to both before during and after pregnancy. You’ll find the placenta after the baby’s born has about two times the amount that the mother has in her system and the cord blood will have two times as much and the baby will also have two times as much as the mother. The amniotic fluid will have three times what the mother has in her system. It is important to remember that the baby is bathing in that amniotic fluid, swallowing it. It’s really important that the infant gets enough vitamin C. So much so that the body allows the fetus to be prioritized in the distribution of it. The fetus will rob it from the mother until the mother gets scurvy (worst case senerio) if the mother does not have a high enough intake.
A mothers Ascorbate levels dramatic drop during implantation, the moment of conception and when there is rapid growth in the fetus and towards the end of the pregnancy it seems they needed slightly less.
Delivery requires large amounts of Vitamin C compared to a C-section delivery the vitamin C levels after vaginal delivery in maternal blood amniotic fluid in fetal plasma are about 20% of the vitamin C levels from a cesarean section. Vagina birth is a stressful event, the process of being born is a major but necessary source of stress for the mother and infant. This level of oxidative stress needs to be known about, it is a natural form of stress. The body has mechanisms built in to activate the mother’s response in the breast milk that is anti-inflammatory. After birth the mother immediately forms beta-endorphines and other contents in her milk that are anti-inflammatory. The blood from the placenta and cord blood are also anti-inflammaotry. This is why it is so importnat to breast feed and to delay cord clamping until all that blood has pumped from the placenta into the baby, this only takes a few minutes.
During natural labor a woman produces enourmous levels of catecholamines (stres-hormones). This is the one time that catecholamines (stres-hormones) are beneficial and have vital functions. They help to a create a window of alertness in the infant which helps it to bond with the mother after the birth. These stress hormones help to clear out the lungs of that new born baby, they assist in the dilation of the bronchi, they increases the glucose levels, and helps the baby to deal with low oxygen levels immediately after birth. Birth is one of the few times in life when catecholamines are well-tolerated and they’re very very necessary.
Vitamin C and Nursing Mothers
Breast Milk is the milk produced by the mammary glands (breasts) of a human woman used to feed her infant child. Mothers Milk provides nutritional benefits and protects your child against infection and disease, it’s the primary source of food for an infant until their digestion system matures and they can digest new foods.
Breastfeeding not only benefits your baby, it also has beneficial effects on the mothers’ mind and body. Increased oxytocin levels in mothers that breastfeed are believed to be the reason why these mothers have less signs of postpartum anxiety and depression compared to mothers of formula fed babies. This is most likely due to the natural bonding between mother and baby while breastfeeding. Woman who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 25 percent.
With mothers having to go back to work pumping of human milk for later use is on the rise. This is a better option when comparing mothers milk to the ingredients in infant formula (but that is a whole other blog). Bottle systems are used to deliver the pumped milk. Research has shown that storage of both human milk and artificial infant and baby formula, leads to a loss of ascorbic acid (commonly called Vitamin C). This research paper determined that infants who rely solely on bottle feeds may be at an increased risk of Vitamin C deficiency. Bottle shape, size, and venting should be considered. Ascorbic acid breaks down when it hits oxygen rather quickly and when exposed to heat. If pumping is necessary, consider supplementing some of the bottle feedings with natural vitamin c drops and feeding off the breast as much as possible. Label your pumped milk according to the time of day when you pumped. Morning and evening milk are very different from each other. Evening milk contains more melatonin to help the baby sleep. When the baby is not feeling well the saliva secretions on your breast activate healing mechanism in your breast milk, so it is important to breast feed as much as possible during times of illness.
Studies show that most B vitamins and vitamin C are among the nutrients in milk most strongly affected by maternal status and/or dietary intake. Vitamin C is a normal component of human milk and is a key milk antioxidant. A healthy lifestyle and food is vital while you are breastfeeding for both you and your child. Remember you are your infants immune system while they are developing their own. It is important to keep all toxic chemicals and synthetic chemicals/ingredients out of your infant and young child’s diet, this includes man made synthetic vitamins and minerals commonly found in formula and store bought baby foods.
Articles and studies used to write this blog
Use of Vitamin C in Pregnancy, Especially in Prevention of Jaundice of the Newborn]
Vitamin C During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding Baby’s and Shaken Baby Syndrome – Dr.Thomas Levy
Water-Soluble Vitamins in Human Milk Factors Affecting Their Concentration and Their Physiological Significance
Disclaimer: The strategies, suggestions, and techniques expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The Author, Kira Miller, is not rendering medical advice nor is she trying to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.
If you are under the care of a physician it is imperative that you consult their advice before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
Kira Miller claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss or damage alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material presented here.