Vitamins, supplements, and nutrition in pregnancy: Why they matter, how to choose?
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Prenatal vitamins are supplements that hold daily vitamins and minerals you need before or during your pregnancy. Folic acid is the most important mineral to take when planning a gestation. By taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least one month before and during gestation can assist lower the problems with the baby’s spine and brain called neural tube defects (NTDs). The women who are affected by NTDs or with sickle cell disease may require more folic acid. Mostly vitamins, proteins come from the foods you ingest, but it’s also a good idea to take prenatal vitamins because these vitamins will give you the nutrients you require for a healthy pregnancy.
Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
Creating new life creates new nutritional needs too. The prenatal vitamins are specially made to give daily nutritional support before and during pregnancy. Each serving of medicine contains folic acids, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and calcium. Prenatal vitamins help support the growth of a baby’s brain, bones, and nervous system.
Prenatal vitamins can reduce the risk of your child developing spina bifida and other neural tube defects but you don’t have to worry about your newborn baby’s health by taking the right amount of prenatal vitamins before and at the beginning of pregnancy. Additionally, prenatal vitamins reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia in women during pregnancy. Another main benefit of taking prenatal vitamins is that it provides enough calcium for your child development.
Who Should Take Prenatal Vitamins
The prenatal multivitamins specially prepare for pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant. The US public health service proposes that all females capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 mcg of folic acid regularly to stop neural tube defects. Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to fill nutrients gaps and boost the nutritional needs of expecting moms.
When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?
You should take prenatal vitamins while you’re trying to get expecting. Start taking prenatal vitamins at least one month before you begin the effort to get pregnant. The initial few weeks of gestation are really a key time for fetal health and development. Moreover, prenatal vitamins can help minimize the risk of some birth defects.
Do prenatal vitamins have a reaction?
A lot of females think about prenatal vitamin side effects. Some females get sickening from taking prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you then you should immediately talk to your doctor about changing the type of vitamins you’re taking.
Should all expecting women take prenatal vitamins?
Proper nourishment is vital for your baby’s health and your baby relies on you for all her/his nutritional needs, which includes important supplements, vitamins, and minerals that are important for fetal development. If you satisfied your baby’s nutritional needs with the healthy food/diet you are taking regularly but on the other hand, you are lacking folic acid and vitamin D then your doctor may still recommend prenatal vitamins for nutritional satisfaction.
Different types of Prenatal Vitamins
When selecting a prenatal supplement make sure it carries all the vitamins and minerals that are quite important during pregnancy. Here we have enlisted some major prenatal vitamins for you:
- Iron: Iron is a vital nutrient for the development of the placenta and fetus. Moreover, it is important for enhancing the number of red blood cells in pregnant women.
- Vitamin D and Calcium: Calcium and vitamin D are used for developing your baby’s skeleton.
- Folic Acid: Folic acid is used in the development of your baby’s spinal cord (helps stop neural tube defects) and brain.
- Zinc: Zinc will support your baby’s birth weight and zinc shortage may cause slow growth.
- Iodine: Iodine is required for the functioning and development of the thyroid gland. Females who are expecting should take 220 to 290 mcg iodine daily.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is required for proper eye development. Vitamin A can direct to night blindness.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega acids play a major role in determining the length of gestation period or it prevents the perinatal depressions of a mother during the time of birth.
- Choline: Choline has a protective role in the development of the fetal brain of pregnant women. Although this supplement improves several pregnancy outcomes and prepares newborn babies for birth.
Selecting What’s Right for You
When you are confused about which prenatal vitamins are good for your health during pregnancy. You should choose the best prenatal supplement. Consider what you normally eat and where your diet may fall short. If you’re a vegetarian, iron supplementation might be essential. If you don’t like to eat dairy food then calcium vitamin might be a good choice for you. If you hate fish, then look for a vitamin that contains DHA.
If you are still confused about which prenatal vitamin is good for you, then consult your doctor for recommendations. If you are taking vitamin supplements that help your body to boost up the chances of your pregnancy then you’ll feel assured because prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to give you what your body needs during pregnancy. Although prenatal vitamins support the mental health of pregnant women and prepare your body to deliver a healthy newborn.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
If you’re still spending more time indoors than usual this spring and summer, you should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19). But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat coronavirus.
Higher-dose folic acid
If you have a higher chance of your pregnancy being affected by neural tube defects, you will be advised to take a higher dose of folic acid (5 milligrams). You will be advised to take this each day until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
You may have a higher chance if:
- you or the baby’s biological father have a neural tube defect
- you or the baby’s biological father have a family history of neural tube defects
- you have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect
- you have diabetes
- you take anti-epilepsy medicine
- you take anti-retroviral medicine for HIV
- If any of this applies to you, talk to a GP. They can prescribe a higher dose of folic acid.
Your physician or midwife may also recommend additional screening tests during your pregnancy.
Vegetarian, vegan and special diets in pregnancy
A varied and balanced vegetarian diet should provide enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy. But you might find it more difficult to get enough iron and vitamin B12.
Talk to a midwife or doctor about how to make sure you’re getting enough of these important nutrients.
If you’re vegan or you follow a restricted diet because of food intolerance (for example, a gluten-free diet for coeliac disease) or for religious reasons, talk to a midwife or GP.
Ask to be referred to a dietitian for advice on how to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.