Should I Take Vitamin E During Pregnancy?

June 7, 2023

Doctors recommend an increase of certain vitamins and minerals while you are pregnant. Is vitamin E one of them?

Should pregnant women take vitamin E supplements?

According to an analysis of studies reported in a Cochrane analysis in 2015, it may not be a good idea.

The Cochrane analysis included 17 trials with about 22,000 patients. It was found that pregnant women taking vitamin E showed no improvement in their rates of:

  • Stillbirth
  • Death of infants during first 28 days
  • Intrauterine slowed growth
  • Premature birth
  • Preeclampsia–high blood pressure, water retention, swelling, risk of convulsions
  • Placental abruption–premature separation of the placenta from the uterus

Women taking vitamin E supplements had an increased risk of premature rupture of membranes. In other words, their water broke early, which can lead to infection, premature labor, and fetal distress. No benefits from vitamin E supplementation were seen, and only possible risk was demonstrated.

What is the current guidance for vitamins during pregnancy?

Current guidance from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) lists the following vitamins and minerals as important for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Choline
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid

ACOG does not list vitamin E in its “Key Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy,” which means it is not a vitamin that you need a higher amount of while pregnant.

In conclusion, while vitamin E supplements may still be beneficial in women known to have a vitamin E deficit, or in women in developing countries that may be malnourished, it is not recommended for most American women during pregnancy. Eating a balanced diet will provide the vitamin E you and your baby need.

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