B12 maintains normal folate metabolism which is essential for cell
multiplication during pregnancy. No good data are available on what constitutes vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy, nevertheless
vitamin B12 deficiency is frequently reported in pregnancy due to inadequate
dietary intake of vitamin B12 and a physiological decline of maternal vitamin
B12 concentrations. This decline can be explained by the increased maternal
metabolic rate and active transport by the placenta to the fetus. If the mother
is deficient during pregnancy, the baby may have low serum vitamin B12
concentrations at birth . Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy is
associated with preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, preterm labor, neural tube defects, neonatal megaloblastic anemia
and neonatal neurological symptoms. It
has been suggested to improve vitamin B12 status of women in the periconceptional
period by supplementation of vitamin B12, but no randomized studies on the outcome
of such supplementation have been published.
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