Benefits and Potential Pitfalls of Sweet Potatoes During Pregnancy

sweet potaoesGetting pregnant brings a lot of emotions, such as what do I do, am I excited (because it’s okay not to be excited honestly), and how do you remain healthy during the time that you are pregnant.

Should you eat this, should you eat that, what can you do, etc. It’s such a long list and so many concerns.

But there are a lot of things that can be eaten to help you maintain a healthy body and the right amount of vitamins and nutrients to maintain a pregnancy that is healthy. Sweet potatoes are one of them.

They are tasty and you can do so many things with them. Let’s take a look at their benefits.

Vitamins Galore

Sweet potatoes are amazing to eat. They taste good, and they are versatile. You can eat them mashed, baked, candied (so good), and as fries.

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, which according to the American Pregnancy Association, moms to be should be consuming 700mcg of daily. Sweet potatoes contain 1922mcg (in one cup) of Vitamin A which is 300% of the RDA of vitamin A.[1]

Vitamin A is essential because it helps to maintain homeostasis, prevents anemia, supports metabolism, develops tissue growth, and is essential to proper bone, teeth, skin and vision development in the fetus.[2]

Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C and iron (essential for vitamin C absorption). Pregnant women should have an intake of 80-85 mg of Vitamin C and 27 mg of iron. The potatoes provide 39mgs and 1.38 mg respectively.[3]

Iron is crucial for you in order to make hemoglobin and when pregnant the demand for this is increased.[4]

Vitamin C is vital for a few reasons, to help fight infections, help in tissue repair, making collagen (which helps the growth of cartilage bones, tendons, and skin), and as stated works in conjunction with Iron.

Another vitamin is B6 which helps to prevent morning sickness and helps the creation of red blood cells which is truly important while pregnant.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the recommended daily amount is 1.9 mg, and one cup of this starch will provide you with 0.6 mg.[5]

Some additional benefits of B6 are that it helps with the healthy development of the brain and nervous system of the fetus, and helps the mother in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. It can also prevent eczema and low birth weight in newborns.[6]


Fiber is an important nutrient at any time in life because it helps keep you regular. When pregnant, constipation is uncomfortable and also very common.

While drinking enough water can help keep things flowing, consuming fiber is essential and 1 cup of sweet potatoes contains 6.6mgs of the 22-28mgs of fiber that you should get on a daily basis.[7]


Potassium helps reduce cramps in the legs for athletes, and pregnant women as many report “Charlie horses” at night. One sweet potato contains 438mg of potassium that fulfills 12% of RDA.

Some of the main functions of potassium are to assist in muscle contraction, aid in nerve communication, and release energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and regulate blood pressure.[8]

Low potassium is can result in a myriad of problems including swelling, low blood pressure, weakness, and constipation among other issues.[9]

Potential Pitfalls of Sweet Potatoes

Even though we discuss that the Sweet potato is high in Vitamin A, you want to be careful with this. Too much Vitamin A on a regular basis has been reported to cause serious issues such as miscarriage, birth defects, stillbirth, and liver failure.[10]

Know that one potato has roughly four times the recommended upper limit of 10,000 IU. One also has to take into consideration their prenatal vitamins as well.

But, with that being said, the Vitamin A in sweet potatoes is in form of beta-carotene. Vitamin A that is animal based or man-made may cause toxicity.

Just consider when pregnant that you should limit the consumption of sweet potatoes just to be on the safe side. Once the baby is born, then have at it and eat all the sweet potato you want.


  1. Sweet potato, wikipedia. [Link]
  2. Natural Fertility Info (Willett, E.). Is Vitamin A Dangerous for My Pregnancy and Baby? [Link]
  3. See above #1
  4. Parents (Fowler, P). Iron and Pregnancy: Why You Need it, How Much, and How to Get It. [Link]
  5. See above #1
  6. American Pregnancy Association. Natural Sources of Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy. [Link]
  7. See above #1
  8. Being the Parent. Importance of Potassium During Pregnancy. [Link]
  9. See above #8
  10. See above #6
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