Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vitamin C Reduces Labor Time and Stretch Marks

During pregnancy the demand for vitamin C skyrockets due to the increased stress on the body and the need to form protein and connective tissue for mom and baby. However, since humans can't make vitamin C like other animals and vitamin C crosses over the placenta for baby's development, moms-to-be really need to make sure they are getting enough from their diet or using supplementation to get the amount their bodies need. The current RDA of vitamin C according to the National Academy of Food Science and Nutrition Board for pregnant mothers is 60mg, however this is only the amount known to reduce the risk of scurvy. Many doctors are finding amazing results with increased vitamin C intake during pregnancy including reduced labor times, less or no appearance of stretch marks, and faster healing of the perineum after birth. In fact, these doctors are recommending amounts of vitamin C for their patients that are 2 to 83 times more than the RDA!!

Dr. William Saccoman, general practitioner and preceptor at the University of California, has found that in women taking large doses of Vitamin C not only has labor time decreased by less than half, but these labors are less painful and have less incidence of tearing or lacerations due to the increased tissue elasticity. He also commented on the fact that these same women have less incidence of stretch marks and heal quicker to get back to normal activities. His observation has been documented over 500 pregnancies and deliveries made over the past 10 years.

According to Dr. Robert Scott, Head of the Southern California Women's Medical Group in Los Angeles and assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California, " I have seen no adverse reactions to the Vitamin C and never a deformed baby when the mother was on this program [high Vitamin C dosage]." He reports that over 500 of his patients have been put on the high dosage with labor times that in many cases are little over an hours time.

Dr. Archie Kalokerinos from Austrailia reports that he has seen the same "marvellous" results with Vitamin C supplementation while serving as the medical officer for the government funded Aboriginal Medical Service. Dr. Kalokerinos has been using mega doses of up to 30 grams of Vitamin C in practice since 1971 while serving as the medical superintendent for 20 years at the Collerenebri District Hospital northwest of Sydney. He also commented that, " A large number of them were alcoholics who ate very poorly and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't correct this problem. Nevertheless, what I found was that by supplementing them with Vitamin C, they actually produced babies that were healthier than a lot of babies in the community. And, as the babies were growing, they were showing fewer signs of recurrent infections and problems in infancy than other babies. To me, this has always been quite incredible. Even if we couldn't correct the diet, just the simple supplementation was doing so much good."

While these doctors are using high dosages of vitamin C in the field, researchers have yet to explore these effects with large scale research and supplementation. However, some research has been done on the effects of low levels of vitamin C during pregnancy and have found an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, anemia, and lower birth weight babies. In addition, a recent study has also been looking at the impact of vitamin C supplementation in reducing the risk of asthma and lung development for babies in smoking mothers and showing that a dosage of 500mg is enough to help reduce this risk.

Drinking more orange juice isn't going to cut it, so if you want more information on nutrition during pregnancy call AlignLife at (309) 689-6200 to schedule a nutritional consultation today.