Pregnancy might be a wonderful experience, but the demands it asks from the woman are immense. She might not be eating for two, but she is growing another human being. She needs all the vitamins and minerals to help her pregnancy along.
Important Prenatal Vitamins
Pregnant women need all the vitamins and minerals they can get, but some are more crucial than others. These include:
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, or vitamin B9. It promotes nerve health and plays a role in the production of red blood cells. Folic acid deficiency is a major risk for neural tube birth defects. Pregnant women must take folic acid supplements as early into as pregnancy as possible.
While folic acid may work for many women, many of us require methylated folic acid or folate because nearly 60% of people cannot process synthetic folic acid.
Calcium is important for strong bones. As the baby inside the uterus grows, it will use the mother’s calcium supply to build its own set of bones. Pregnant women should take calcium supplements or she might lose her own bone density.
Anemia during pregnancy is quite common. Iron helps the blood carry oxygen, preventing anemia. Enough iron in the blood also prevents the baby from having a low birth weight.
Iodine is important for proper development of the brain and nervous system. Mothers with iodine deficiency could develop goiter. The unborn baby will be prone to deafness, stunted growth, or mental disabilities. Inadequate iodine can also cause stillbirths and miscarriages.
Foods that are Rich in Prenatal Vitamins
Getting the recommended daily dose of prenatal vitamins from whole foods is better than from supplements.
You can get folic acid from broccoli, spinach, oranges, nuts, beans, strawberries, and fortified cereals.
Calcium can be found in dairy products. This includes cheese, milk, and yogurt. Dark leafy greens also contain calcium. Some fortified bread and cereals also contain calcium.
Iron is found in animal meats and organ meats. Vegetarians and vegans can get their iron from spinach, dried fruit, oatmeal, and wheat germ. Some fortified cereals also contain iron.
Iodine can be easily found in most dairy products such as milk and cheese. Fortified iodized salt can also be bought from almost all grocery stores. Most seafood items are rich sources of iodine, most especially seaweed and kelp.
Why Should Pregnant Women Take Supplements?
While it’s better to get all the needed vitamins and minerals from whole foods, many pregnant women will still need prenatal vitamins. Many pregnant women experience symptoms that might prevent them from getting their vitamins and minerals from their regular diet.
Pregnancy can cause nausea and vomiting especially in the mornings (commonly known as’ morning sickness’). Some pregnant women also experience food aversions. They can also have weird food cravings.
All these might prevent them from getting vitamins and minerals, so taking supplements is a safe choice.
To see the importance of choosing the right supplements while pregnant watch the sort video below.