Vitamin K during Pregnancy – Importance and Food Sources

Vitamin K during Pregnancy - Importance and Food Sources

Congratulations, you are now on one of the most important journeys of your life, pregnancy! You will now notice how important the food you put in your body is and how it effects on the little one growing inside. Are you following a balanced diet? Find out about how you might be missing out on an important vitamin.

Why is Vitamin K Important for Pregnant Women?

During pregnancy, it is vital that you mommies meet the nutritional requirements for good health and the development of your baby. Ideally, the body needs about 90 micrograms of vitamin K per day. Too much consumption can lead to thinning of the blood, which is potentially harmful.

As you enter the third trimester, it is important that you don’t miss out on any form of intake of the nutrient. During post labour and childbirth, this nutrient is the most helpful in healing your body, thus its necessary that your body has plenty of vitamin K.

1. Helps Healing

It helps in the clotting of blood which prevents the body from losing excess blood in case of injury.

2. Immunity

It helps the immune system by aiding digestion and good cardiovascular health.

3. Fights Tooth Decay

Pregnancy can lead to some bad dental issues such as gum disease. Vitamin K helps in bone mineralization and prevents acids from harming the teeth.

4. Good Bone Health

Studies have shown that it helps to increase bone strength and improves bone density.

How Much Vitamin K is Needed in Your Pregnancy Diet?

Mommies, did you know that your body makes Vitamin K? Well, with some help from the friendly bacteria in your intestine, your body produces the nutrient.

Although your diet would contain a safe level of the required levels of Vitamin K, there hasn’t been an established safe upper level. The calculation of the nutrient is determined by your size or weight; that would basically be around 1mcg per kg of your body weight per day.

When the doctor lists out the benefits, you really wonder ‘Can Vitamin K stop bleeding during pregnancy?’

Well, yes! The lack of this nutrient in your body can lead to continual bleeding, which could lead to infections. When the wound is dressed, this nutrient helps in healing quickly.

Woman taking vitamin K pill

Food Sources for Vitamin K

What’s the big deal with Vitamin K? For starters, this nutrient is fat-soluble, so that means the liver will store it up and your body will use it whenever the need arises. It contains a group of compounds like Vitamin K1 found in leafy green veggies and Vitamin K2 that are in abundance in meat, eggs, and cheese. This nutrient is essential for many bodily functions, so you can also resort to the use of supplements.

Yummy and nutritious is what you will be craving during the nine months. You can stock up on essential nutrients by including the following food sources, especially for some Vitamin K!

  • Leafy veggies like spinach, kale, collard, and lettuce
  • Fresh vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, celery, red cabbage, cucumber, leeks, celery, cauliflower, artichokes, peas and beans
  • Well cooked lean meat like beef and liver
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Dairy products like cottage cheese and cream or milk
  • Olive, canola and Soybean oil contain the highest amount

Do You Need to Take Vitamin K Supplements During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you need to check for any deficiencies. You can counter those deficiencies with supplements, especially Vitamin K as it crosses the placenta. Since you have a healthy diet, Vitamin K deficiencies are rare as it is found in your food as well as produced by your body.

Due to some medical conditions, your body’s chances of absorbing the nutrient are less. This can be risky as you and your baby may not be getting the benefits of the nutrient. This is where supplements step in! You need to watch the amount of the nutrient is entering your body through food, prenatal vitamins, and supplements. Nothing in excess is ever good! However, Vitamin K injection during pregnancy is not required.

Unless your doctor recommends them, do not consume supplements. Certain medical situations change the requirement of supplements. If you are on any anti-seizure medications, you should then have supplements for two to four weeks prior to your due date to reduce the risk of bleeding in the newborn. Supplements are also introduced in case you develop cholestasis, a liver disease that occurs during pregnancy, to avoid haemorrhaging.

Mommies, you need to make sure you’re meeting all nutritional requirements for you and your baby’s health and development. Vitamin K is one of the most vital nutrients that contribute to a very healthy pregnancy. You need to keep in mind that you must consume nutritious food that contains Vitamin K and other important nutrients.

Also Read: Vitamin C Intake in Pregnancy