Taken cod liver oil... scared I've harmed my baby - NCT

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Taken cod liver oil... scared I've harmed my baby

Max1014 profile image

Hi everyone.. hoping for some reassurance/advice.

I have been taking seven seas orange cod liver oil for about a month or so. Last weekend found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. I continued to take the oil for the last week but today have read you're not supposed to take cod liver oil while pregnant due to vitamin a causing possible birth defects. I have done loads of reading up this afternoon and general opinion on studies seems to be that up to 10,000ius of vitamin a per day is fine. I have calculated that I won't have taken more than 4,000ius from the oil plus whatever was in my diet (not very much I don't think, but couldn't say for certain). So even tho I think I'm still at a low risk, I am stopping taking it immediately but am now terrified that I've already irreversibly harmed my baby.

Me and husband been trying for over 2 years and this is my first and I feel so upset that I've ruined it all already.

NB: there is no vitamin a listed on the orange flavour bottle, and I have been on sevens seas website to compare with other products, plus emailed them to ask if it contains vitamin a, how much, and how come it isn't listed on the bottle with a warning in that case.

Any advice most welcome and appreciated. TIA xx

6 Replies

If it doesn’t say vitamin A is in it on the pack then it’s not in it,

Hi oh please don’t worry too much about this! It’s still so early in the pregnancy, your baby is mostly fed by the corpus luteum rather than anything in your blood! The first couple of weeks after implantation, they are still establishing connections to your body and hardly absorb anything at all from you. A small mercy to give us time to adjust our diet and lifestyle before they start properly relying on it. Unless you are taking something extreme that makes you ill, then chances are your baby has not been affected at all. A few supplements extra at this stage will have done nothing!

I know it’s easier said than done but this is not going to make a difference to your pregnancy. There’s so much to worry about in those early months, take this one off your list!

If you can speak to your GP or a midwife they might be able to reassure you too.

Congratulations! Enjoy the journey and fingers crossed it will all go smoothly!

Max1014 profile image
Max1014 in reply to Bigblueskies

Thank you ladies for the replies. I do feel much better about it. I'm still waiting for my midwife to call me and because we havent told anyone yet there's literally no one to talk to. Great to have some one to talk to on here!! Thank you!! X

I think you will be fine since at 5 weeks, the yoke sac is shaping and supplies blood to your baby, and does not draw anything from what circulates in your blood stream. Pregnacare offers one multivitamin and one Omega 3 soft gel which will probably the best alternative for you. If you are worried, speak to your GP, but I think you will be fine! Hopefully you will see your baby's heartbeat next week at your scan! Good luck with your pregnancy!

Please don't freak out! I had researched this myself when pregnant and had found that the studies about the max amount of vitamin A leading to birth defects were all made with synthetic vitamin A - not high amounts of vitamin A from food intake. I had found sources saying you cannot get overdosed in vitamin A if, say, you eat liver. Cod liver oil is in this category. Take with a pinch of salt as I don't have the sources right now - but I hope to give you a bit of peace of mind. Plus if your calculations bring you below the limit you are safe.

Irreversibly harmed the baby at 5 weeks!? That's not possible because it's not even a foetus yet. The embryo is just a ball of cells that are only just started to grow. There are 35 more weeks where you could potentially harm the baby (which you obviously won't do) but you get the idea - you've just started. This is in no way anything you need to worry about.

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