Emergen-C is a dietary supplement containing vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. It comes in powered form to be added to water or any beverage. Emergen-C can be purchased in many drugstores, grocery stores and online. It helps support the immune system and may help protect against illnesses such as the cold and the flu. Pregnancy lowers the immune system and can increase a woman’s susceptibility to illness. Emergen-C may be a way to help strengthen the immune system, but you should talk to your doctor or midwife prior to using Emergen-C during pregnancy.
Types of Emergen-C
Emergen-C has many different formulas, any of which may be appropriate during pregnancy with your doctor’s blessing. The Original Formula contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C to boost the immune system. Five different specialty formulas such as the Bone Health Formula, Joint Health, Heart Health, Energy Booster and Immune Defense. The Multi-Vitamin Plus formula provides additional vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients in Emergen-C
Ingredients of Emergen-C vary depending on the formula and flavor chosen. Most of the packets are sweetened by fructose and contain vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, zinc ascorbate and chromium ascorbate. Fruit and vegetable juice powders are used in some of the formulas for both flavor and color. Some formulations such as the Bone Health formula contain a natural sweetener known as stevia. Stevia is considered an herb but its safety for pregnant women has not been tested.
Vitamin Recommendations for Pregnancy
Prenatal vitamins are recommended by obstetricians and midwives for most pregnant women. If you are already taking a prenatal vitamin, avoid taking too much of any one vitamin. If taking a prenatal vitamin combined with Emergen-C causes you to go over 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowances of any vitamins or minerals, discuss the safety with your doctor.
Warning and Considerations
Emergen-C may not be recommended for some pregnant women depending on underlying medical conditions in the mother. Melinda Johnson, a dietitian on Baby Center, explains that the daily intake of vitamin C for pregnant women should remain under 2,000 mg per day. Excessive amounts of vitamin C may increase the risk of premature birth and therefore is not recommended. Consult your doctor before taking Emergen-C, especially if you have pregnancy complications or are high risk for delivering prematurely.