How The B-Vitamins Affect Pregnancy

B-Vitamins are important for everyone to get on a daily basis. It is important for soon-to-be mothers to ensure that they get them because they are providing for their newborns as well as themselves. So, what do the B-vitamins do for pregnancy and where can you find them?  Continue reading to learn about the effects of B-vitamins on pregnancy.

Effects Of B-Vitamins


Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1 plays an important role in the body. It is used to turn the foods that you eat into energy and is important for the development and function of cells in the body. When pregnant, thiamine plays an important role in the development of your baby’s brain. This makes it crucial that you get the recommended daily intake of 1.4 mg each day. You can get thiamine from many foods such as:

  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Pork
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Oranges


Riboflavin, Vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin. All of the B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that it is not stored in the body. So, each day you need to replace what you have lost. In pregnancy, it is crucial to maintain good eye health. It also can keep your skin looking healthy. The same goes for your baby. You need to get 1.4 mg when pregnant, but during breastfeeding, you need to get 1.6 mg. Try these foods to up your B2 intake.

  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Salmon


Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. In the body, it is used to metabolize foods and develop new cells. During pregnancy, it is used to help develop the baby’s brain. The American Pregnancy Association states that vitamin B3 can also “ease nausea and can relieve painful migraines for mom.” To avoid a deficiency in vitamin B3, aim to get 18 mg when pregnant and 17 mg when breastfeeding. Some foods that contain this nutrient are:

  • Liver
  • Chicken breast
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Ground beef
  • Brown rice
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid, otherwise known as vitamin B-5, is used to metabolize foods in the body and is also used to help break down fats. When pregnant, it also is used to create hormones that can help relieve the stress that comes with being pregnant. It also can help with the pain caused by leg cramps and help prevent them altogether. You need to get 6 mg of pantothenic acid when pregnant and 7 mg when breastfeeding. You can get adequate amounts from foods such as:

  • Meat: pork, chicken, turkey, duck, and beef
  • Fish: salmon, lobster, and shellfish
  • Dairy: milk, yogurt, and milk products
  • Egg yolk
  • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, and split peas

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the day-to-day function of metabolism as it is needed for over 100 enzyme reactions. The National Institutes of Health state that ” Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.” This makes it important to get this nutrient, not only during pregnancy but afterward when breastfeeding. To get the recommended daily amount of 1.9 mg during pregnancy, and 2 mg when breastfeeding, try some of these foods:

  • Pork
  • Poultry: chicken or turkey
  • Fish
  • Bread
  • Vegetables: carrots, spinach, sweet potato and peas


In the body, vitamin B7 (Biotin) is used to turn the carbs, fats, and proteins you eat into energy. During pregnancy, there are not any extra effects that this nutrient provides. However, it is important to get this vitamin, as pregnancy can frequently cause a deficiency in different vitamins. To avoid a deficiency,  pregnant women need 30 mcg each day while breastfeeding women need 35 mcg. Try these foods to up you biotin intake:

  • Eggs Yolk
  • Almonds
  • Cheeses: One study found Blue cheese and Camembert to have the most.
  • Sweet potato
  • Cauliflower


Vitamin B9 is arguably the most important B-vitamin during pregnancy. This is used to help reduce the risk of birth defects. It is also used to make DNA and other genetic material. Check out one of our previous articles to learn about The Benefits of Folic Acid for Mothers. To get the effects of this B-vitamin on pregnancy, you need to get 600 mcg each day when pregnant, and 500 mcg when breastfeeding. To get this amount, try foods like:

  • Leafy green veggies
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans
  • Bread
  • Cereals

Vitamin B12

The last one of the B vitamins is vitamin B12. This nutrient is used to make genetic material such as DNA. During pregnancy, this vitamin is used to help maintain the nervous system. The American Pregnancy Association also states that vitamin B12 is “Essential for baby’s neural tube formation, brain and spine development.” It also works with folate to help prevent any birth defects. You need to make sure you get 2.6 mcg daily during pregnancy and 2.8 mcg when breastfeeding. Many foods contain this nutrient such as:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Meats: beef, liver, and chicken


The effects of B-vitamins on pregnancy are only available if you get the nutrients through your daily diet. However, there are also other ways to get these nutrients. One example is a prenatal vitamin supplement. Here at Prenatal Liquid Vitamin, we offer our Prenatal Multi for those who are looking for a supplement with these vitamins in it. For more information about this product visit our website here to learn more.