Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is very vital during pregnancy for your baby's developing brain and nervous system. It also is vital for producing norepinephrine and serotonin. These are two important neurotransmitters (signal messengers). Vitamin B6 can help ease pregnancy symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Vitamin B6 can also help your baby to metabolize protein and carbohydrates. Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can also help relieve morning sickness, however, we do recommend you check with your healthcare provider before taking supplements.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. This is even more important especially when you’re pregnant. This is because they keep your body strong while your baby is growing. They also change food into energy, giving you that needed boost during your pregnancy. Foods rich in the eight B vitamins (known as B complex) play an important role in supporting a healthy pregnancy. This natural energy lift will help if you’re feeling tired during your first and third trimesters.
Why you need vitamin B6 during pregnancy
Vitamin B6 is one of eight B vitamins. This group of vitamins is important for proper cell function. They help with metabolism, creating blood cells, and keeping cells healthy. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is vital to your baby's developing brain and nervous system. Vitamin B6 also helps your baby metabolize protein and carbohydrates.
It's also important for the mother too: Vitamin B6 helps your body metabolize protein and carbohydrates and form new red blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters. Specifically, it’s necessary for the healthy production of serotonin and norepinephrine, key neurotransmitters.
How much vitamin B6 do pregnant women need?
Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers need a bit more vitamin B6 than usual. According to the ODS, the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for vitamin B6 are:
|0–6 months||0.1 mg||0.1 mg|
|7—12 months||0.3 mg||0.3 mg|
|1 — 3 years||0.5 mg||0.5 mg|
|4 — 8 years||0.6 mg||0.6 mg|
|9 — 13 years||1.0 mg||1.0 mg|
|14 — 18 years||1.3 mg||1.2 mg|
|19 — 50 years||1.3 mg||1.3 mg|
|51+ years||1.7 mg||1.5 mg|
|During pregnancy||—||1.9 mg|
|During lactation||—||2.0 mg|
Doctors do advise that pregnant women should not go over the recommended daily dose.
Best foods with vitamin B6 during pregnancy
Most foods have some vitamin B6. Fish, lean meat, and nuts are good sources of vitamin B6. Starchy vegetables and fortified cereals can also be good sources. People with a well-balanced diet do not tend to develop a deficiency. Medical conditions and certain medications can lead to a deficiency.
The following are good sources of vitamin B6:
🔹banana (medium) provides 0.4 mg or 25% DV
🔹nuts (1 oz) provide 0.1 mg or 6% DV
🔹potatoes (1 cup) provides 0.4 mg or 25% DV
🔹3 ounces turkey meat, roasted: 0.4 mg
🔹roasted chicken breast (3 oz) provides 0.5 mg or 29% DV
🔹beef liver (3 ounces) provides 0.9 mg or 53% DV
🔹yellowfin tuna (3 oz) provides 0.9 mg or 53% DV
🔹chickpeas (1 cup) provides 1.1 milligrams (mg) or 65% of the daily value (DV)
Other sources of B6 include:
- whole-grain cereals
- cottage cheese
Do you need a vitamin B6 supplement during pregnancy?
You should be able to get all the vitamin B6 you need during pregnancy from a varied diet and from your prenatal vitamins – most contain at least 100 percent of the recommended amount. It's possible to get too much vitamin B6 as some high-potency multivitamins contain vitamin B6 in large amounts. Taking excessive amounts of vitamin B6 supplements over time can cause numbness and nerve damage.
Can I take vitamin B6 for pregnancy nausea?
Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can also help relieve morning sickness, but it is advisable you check with your healthcare provider before taking supplements.
If you're suffering from morning sickness, check with your healthcare provider before taking additional B6 supplements. Your provider can tell you how much to take. (Don't take more than your provider recommends. Too much vitamin B6 may not be safe for you
itamin B6 deficiency in pregnancy
Not getting enough Vitamin B6 can cause a range of symptoms, including inflammation of the tongue, sores or mouth ulcers, depression, and anemia. Mild deficiencies aren't uncommon, but severe deficiencies are rare.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency Symptoms include:
- Inflammation of the skin, joints, and digestive system
- Depression and other mood symptoms
- Neurological degeneration
If you or anyone you know is pregnant and showing symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency, make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. The sooner you get help, the better it is for you and your developing baby.