Possible risks of vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy
Possible risks of vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy
Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy is quite common. In fact, it is common to supplement with both this vitamin and folic acid and, in many cases, some other nutrients. That is why, let’s see what are the possible risks and dangers of cobalamin deficiency during pregnancy, both for the baby and for the mother.
The importance of vitamin B12 during pregnancy
B12 is one of the B complex vitamins that cannot be missing in our organism at any time. It is composed of micronutrients essential for our body, especially for the brain. One of the main functions of this vitamin is to help maintain good brain and nervous system function.
In addition, vitamin B12 has the ability and function to make DNA from cells, a particularly important aspect in the case of pregnant women. This type of vitamin has the property of preventing some diseases such as megaloblastic anemia. In addition, its lack can lead to the appearance of this deficiency, which in turn can lead to greater tiredness or weakness in our body.
This fatigue and weakness become even greater during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and it is essential to have well regulated cobalamin levels so that this problem does not increase. If you feel excessively weak or tired and you are pregnant, then you should see your doctor to determine as soon as possible if you have a deficiency of these and other vitamins.
Sometimes, the solution is to take some vitamin supplements to help compensate for lack of vitamin B12 so that the pregnancy develops correctly. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a balanced diet throughout pregnancy and take some vitamin supplements to help balance low B12 levels to counteract all the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy.
A woman during her gestation period needs 2.6 grams of B12 daily, a level slightly higher than usual. In addition, many cobalamine-rich foods will have been restricted, making it more difficult to reach the goal.
Dangers to the fetus and mother
The lack of vitamin B12 in pregnancy and other varied nutrients increases the risk of developing a variety of diseases during this period, both for the mother and for the future baby.
Risks for Mom
As we pointed out, if the mother during her pregnancy has a deficiency of this vitamin in the blood, it can lead to an increase of:
Appearance of anemia
In addition, a preterm birth may occur spontaneously. If a pregnant woman has vitamin B12 deficiency, this can also lead to the development of diseases such as diabetes.
Risks to the fetus
As for the risks to the fetus that the lack of this vitamin may have, one of these most common dangers is that it suffers from spina bifida or anencephaly. Vitamin B12 is a type of micronutrient necessary for the chemical reactions that occur during the DNA creation of your child’s future cells to take place properly, therefore, its absence reduces the quality of this process.
Diseases such as spina bifida, pathologies that affect the brain and spinal cord may appear due to the lack of B12. They may even cause partial or total paralysis of the fetus. This is the case of anencephaly, if this deficiency were to occur and the baby would end up suffering from this pathology, he or she would be born without parts of the brain and skull, which would lead to total paralysis at birth.
Another possible consequence of vitamin deficiency in the mother’s body is that the future baby may develop some metabolic problems such as type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that the lack of vitamin B12 in pregnancy led to a higher than normal leptamine increase, which increases the chances of developing diabetes.
Leptamine is the hormone involved in regulating body weight and also responsible for the feeling of satiety after eating. Also, and although less serious, we found that the child may be born with low birth weight to the point of requiring incubation.
Specific cases for vegan or vegetarian mothers
Cobalamin is usually incorporated into our bodies through the intake of food from animal origin such as meat, fish and dairy products. For this reason, those women who are vegetarian or vegan and who are pregnant, almost all of the time, present a deficiency of this type of vitamin that is so important for the good development of pregnancy. It is therefore essential to make up for this deficiency by means of a specific diet and supplements.
If a mother-to-be has low levels of vitamins such as B12 during pregnancy, the baby will suffer more severely.
When you become pregnant, your body prefers food and nutrition over ours. It is essential to keep the levels of this vitamin balanced so that there is no risk of the above-mentioned for the mother or for the baby itself.
As we say, this type of vitamins is mostly found in foods of animal origin, so if you are a flexivegetarian woman you can find this type of vitamins in some meats such as chicken and fish that you eat, in addition to products such as eggs and dairy products.
Since this is a very important micronutrient for the proper functioning of the body, many foods such as cereals are reinforced with cobalamin before being marketed. This is precisely so that people on special diets can have a higher vitamin intake.
Lack of vitamin B12 in pregnancy cannot be tolerated. It doesn’t matter if we have bad eating habits or if we follow a vegetable food diet; the priority is the health of mother and child. Therefore, if it is not possible to have all the cobalamine that is needed during this period of time, it is necessary to take supplements, which will increase the reserves of this one and will make all the functions that it fulfils in our organism be carried out, avoiding, of course, all the important risks that we have already mentioned.