Even if you include in your pregnancy diet variations of all healthy food sources — fruits, greens, nuts, protein-sources, dairy products, and more– it may not be sufficient enough to provide the nutrients that you and your baby need for the day. Thus, it is important that you take prenatal vitamins that will deliver every possible nutrient your bodies need.
Looking for the appropriate prenatal vitamins may not be an easy task, however. For this, you have a couple of options. You may consider your doctor’s advice for the supplements that you should take. The prescription may only offer prescription prenatal vitamins and a whole list of food sources too. You may also consider opinions of well-experienced or well-acknowledged authorities on this matter.
And this is where we step in. Here, we provide you with the list of the basic prenatal vitamins that you need for a healthy pregnancy. You may also interact with others who have found this post interesting or those who might have the same concerns as you have. That will make the interaction more engaging.
Why do you need to take prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are clinically formulated to provide every expecting mother all the needed nutrients that will protect both you and your baby from any pregnancy complications. It also lessens the risks of being provided with inadequate nutrition.
In case you have any dietary restrictions, prenatal vitamins can easily fill in the unnecessary gap that results from such a condition. If you are constantly manifesting pregnancy-related conditions, such as morning sickness and loss of appetite, taking prenatal vitamins is a sure way to get the required daily nutrition for a pregnant mom like you.
What are the most important vitamins that you need to take?
What your body may require for a healthy pregnancy may differ from another depending on your lifestyle, diet, health goals, history, and, of course, pregnancy condition. If you are having multiples, your body will require more than if you are expecting only one child. In all these instances, a guideline for supplementation is generally adhered to.
These supplements are proven to support the optimum fetal development. They are commonly added to the list of supplements required to be provided for expecting moms: calcium, folic acid, iodine, and iron.
- Folic acid. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is known to support brain and spinal cord development. Doctors recommend a 400-800 mcg daily intake of folate for pregnant women. An adequate folic acid intake reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects according to studies. If you have an older child who has a birth defect, or if you are suffering from any health condition, including diabetes, autoimmune disease, or epilepsy, make sure to consult your doctor on the folic acid supplementation that you may need.
- Iron. For a healthy birth weight, your baby needs to have adequate iron levels. This mineral is essential in the growth of red blood cells. If there is an insufficient amount of iron in the blood, there will be less oxygen that will be made available for the organs to use. This may result in a feeling of exhaustion.
Quality meat products are the best sources of iron for the body. About 20-30 mg a day is what a pregnant woman needs to support the full development of the child in her womb. A low dose of iron is necessary, however, as taking more than necessary may cause constipation and nausea.
- Calcium. The baby inside your tummy needs calcium for optimum bone development and health. Pregnant women require a total of 1000mg of this essential vitamin each day. Studies have indicated that an average woman consumes about 800mg of calcium a day, it is necessary to take a supplement to provide the missing 200mg calcium needed to support the baby’s skeletal growth.
- Iodine. Iodine is vital for the proper development of the skeletal and the neurological systems of your baby. Dairy products, fish, and salt are the primary sources of iodine. A pregnant woman needs 220mcg of this essential vitamin daily to support the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for the proper absorption of Calcium in the body. These two essential nutrients work together for the proper regulation of cell growth, to reduce inflammation, and to support the proper functioning of the immune system. Expectant moms need about 600 IUs (International Units) of this essential vitamin.
- Choline. Choline is a vital nutrient that helps maintain the cell’s structure at the cellular level. It is considered as the “smart drug” and is essential in the full development of the fetus. Dairy products, eggs, whole grains, nuts, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, are rich sources of Choline. Adequate consumption of choline reduces the risk of neural tube defects. It is also vital in providing protection against metabolic and mental diseases. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for women ages 19 and above is set at 3500mg. Deficiency in Choline intake may damage the liver, muscle, and may also cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
What are vitamin supplements that pregnant women should avoid?
As there are essential vitamins for pregnant women, there are also vitamins and supplements that should be avoided during pregnancy. All fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, K, D, E, should not be taken in excess as this may lead to the building up of toxins in the body.
As to the consumption of herbal supplements, health experts have varying positions. Thus, if you intend to take any herbal supplement, you should consult your physician about it.
A healthy diet combined with an adequate intake of the essential prenatal vitamins are vital in having a healthy pregnancy. However, is equally important that you know exactly what to take and how much you should take for the proper administration of these essential prenatal vitamins. As always, if you have questions related to the health of your baby, consult your doctor for the appropriate advise.