Vitamin A supplementation in pregnant women
Vitamin A is important for cell division, fetal growth and maturation, maintenance of the immune system, and development of vision in the fetus as well as maintenance of eye health and night vision in the mother.
Pregnant women are most susceptible to vitamin A deficiency during the third trimester of pregnancy and, therefore, it has been suggested that they should be given low dose vitamin A supplements on a daily or weekly basis to reduce maternal and neonatal risk of disease and death.
The WHO does not recommend vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy as part of routine antenatal care. However, in areas where there is a severe public health problem of vitamin A deficiency, WHO recommends giving vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy for the prevention of night blindness.
Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
- Vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy for maternal and newborn outcomes
- Vitamin supplementation for preventing miscarriage