Ever Wondered Why Prenatal Vitamins Are So Important?

A pregnant woman is expected to have a well-balanced diet that consists of adequate amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium and folic acid. This is to ensure that the baby in the womb develops as per the standards and does not have any developmental delays as a fetus or even after birth. For several reasons, even a healthy diet might fail to provide all the necessary nutrients to support the well-being of the mother and fetus.

Listed Below Are The Prenatal Vitamins And Their Importance In Pregnancy:

  • Folic Acid

It is recommended that a woman who plans to get pregnant in the near future starts taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day and continues taking it till Week 12 of the pregnancy, neural tube defects like spina bifida etc happen in the first 28 days of pregnancy and most women are not even aware of their conception if they haven’t been following their cycle closely. Taking folic acid in the form of supplements prevents the occurrence of neural tube defects and hence it is quintessential. Folate can be absorbed by the body from spinach, nuts, citrus fruits and other green leafy vegetables. It is also available in food that is fortified but the best form of absorption takes place from supplements.

  • Iron

Maternal iron stores face continuous depletion because they are drained to support the development of the fetus. Most women complain of light-headedness and dizziness in the second trimester because their iron stores run low leading to a risk of anemia1. Gestational anemia is not something that you would want to experience because along with weakness, it might also lead to problems like having a preterm baby, low baby weight at birth, etc. iron supplements are hence recommended in order to prevent anemia. If you face problems like constipation, nausea and vomiting after taking iron supplements, you can speak to your doctor about changing the type of supplement. Iron can also be absorbed from food like leafy greens, meat, fish, nuts and fortified cereals. Ensure that you are taking food rich in Vitamin C along with these for better absorption by the body.

  • Calcium

Speak to your doctor about recommending a prenatal vitamin that also contains calcium because in pregnancy, your bone density might go down as your body depletes your calcium stores to support the development of the baby’s teeth, bones etc. a lot of prenatal vitamins do not contain enough calcium and you may need natural resources like yoghurt, milk, cheese, fortified eggs etc.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D ensures that the levels of calcium and phosphorus are stable and thus is important to rule out rickets and delayed milestones in the baby. Although it is argued that the best form of Vitamin D is the rays of the sun, doctors are of the opinion that the exact time and amount of sun exposure still remains a subject of experimentation. It is thus recommended that Vitamin D supplements are taken to avoid unnecessary troubles.

Reference:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemia