Although some medicines are considered safe during pregnancy, the effects of other medicines on your unborn baby are unknown. Certain medicines can be most harmful to a developing baby when taken during the first three months of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
It can be hard to know if a medicine is safe for your baby. Most medicines are not studied in pregnant women. That’s because researchers worry about how the medicines might affect the baby. But some medicines have been taken for so long by so many women that doctors have a good idea of how safe they are.
What is Emergen-C?
Emergen-C is a powdered supplement containing high doses of B vitamins, as well as vitamin C — reportedly to improve your immune system and energy levels. It can be mixed with water to create a beverage and is a popular choice during cold and flu season for extra protection against infections.
It comes in single-serving packets meant to be stirred into 4–6 ounces (118–177 ml) of water before consumption.
The resulting beverage is slightly fizzy and provides more vitamin C than 10 oranges (1, 2).
Vitamin C and Pregnancy
Vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system, and during pregnancy, it helps you and your baby make collagen for your tendons, bones, and skin. Having a low intake of vitamin C could be associated with complications in pregnancy such as high blood pressure with swelling of the hands, feet, and face (pre-eclampsia), anemia, and having a small baby. But studies indicate that taking vitamin C supplements during pregnancy does not help to prevent problems in pregnancy including stillbirth, the death of the baby, preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, or low birthweight babies.
Can you take Emergen C while pregnant?
No, Emergen C contains high doses of B vitamins, as well as vitamin C, which might be unsafe for your baby. In addition, the world health organization does not support the routine use of vitamin C supplementation during pregnancy.
A controversial Russian journal article from the 1960s documented a handful of cases in which vitamin C led to abortions. However, there is no credible scientific information suggesting that vitamin C has any effect on pregnancy, implantation, or menstruation.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that pregnant women need more vitamin C than women who aren’t pregnant – and breastfeeding women need even more. To get enough vitamin C during pregnancy, eat citrus fruits and other fruits and vegetables that are rich in this important nutrient. Because it’s fairly easy to get enough vitamin C from your diet and your prenatal vitamin, you probably don’t need to take a vitamin C supplement.
Pregnant women ages 18 and younger: 80 milligrams (mg) per day
Pregnant women ages 19 and older: 85 mg per day
Breastfeeding women ages 18 and younger: 115 mg per day
Breastfeeding women ages 19 and older: 120 mg per day
Nonpregnant women ages 18 and younger: 65 mg per day
Nonpregnant women ages 19 and older: 75 mg per day.