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Vitamin K & Pregnancy

By Rose Welton

Meeting nutritional requirements is important during pregnancy because it helps to make sure that you and your unborn baby get what is necessary for growth and development. Vitamin K is one of the many vitamins that contribute to a healthy pregnancy. It is important to understand how much vitamin K you need, where to find it and how to make sure you are consuming a safe amount.

Benefits and Recommended Amount

Vitamin K assists with normal clotting of your blood. During pregnancy, your needs for vitamin K do not increase. The requirements are the same for adult females who are not pregnant. University of Maryland Medical Center states that you need 90 micrograms of vitamin K a day. Too much vitamin K may cause your blood to become too thin.

Sources

Leafy green vegetables like collard greens, spinach and kale contain high amounts of vitamin K. It is also found in meat and dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Your body is also capable of making vitamin K on its own with the help of bacteria in your intestines.

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Supplements

Since vitamin K is easily found in food sources and can be made in your body, deficiencies are rare. However, you may need supplements in certain situations. The American Cancer Society states that pregnant women on anti-seizure medications should get vitamin K supplements two to four weeks before giving birth to reduce the risk of bleeding in the newborn. If you develop cholestasis, a liver disease that occurs during pregnancy, you might receive vitamin K supplements before and after delivery to prevent hemorrhaging. Do not take supplements during pregnancy unless it is advised by your physician.

Considerations

Although the amount of vitamin K found in food sources is safe, there is not a safe upper level established. Be sure that the vitamin K you consume from food sources, supplements and prenatal vitamins does not exceed the daily recommended amount just to be on the safe side. MedlinePlus advises that you do not go over the recommended intake unless it is under your doctor's supervision.

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