Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is the best way of getting vitamins and minerals that your body needs during pregnancy.
But still you need to take prenatal vitamins as prenatal vitamins can cover up the nutritional gap an expectant mother needs for giving birth to a healthy baby. Prenatal vitamins are equally important for your health as well as your unborn baby’s health.
What’s different in Prenatal Vitamins?
Like multivitamins, prenatal vitamins also contain multiple vitamins and minerals, but prenatal are specifically designed to fulfill the requirements of a pregnant woman. The amount of iron and folic acid is more in prenatal vitamins than that contained in an average women’s supplement. So, if you are pregnant, you should not take usual standard multivitamins, instead you need to take prenatal vitamin so that you do not miss out the key ingredients that you need for your baby’s development.
Importance Of Prenatal Vitamins
If a woman does not take prenatal vitamins during her pregnancy, she can increase the chances of pregnancy related complications and even birth defects in her baby. Ideally a woman should start consuming prenatal vitamins even before her conception. The baby’s neural tube, which later becomes the brain and the spinal cord, starts developing during first month of her pregnancy, may be even before she knows that she is pregnant.
Some pregnancy-related complications that can arise when a woman does not take prenatal during pregnancy include anemia (a condition where blood lacks healthy red blood cells) and bone density loss. Deficiency of iron in women can cause unexpected miscarriage and premature delivery.
Other risks that are involved include having a baby with low birth weight, brain damage and spinal bifida. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, you must also take prenatal vitamins, as you could miss out on some important minerals. It is often difficult to get the entire important minerals in adequate amounts from the food you are eating. Besides these if you are on vegetarian diet, you could lack the required amounts of calcium and iron.
Vitamin D And Calcium
Calcium and vitamin D are also highly important for a pregnant woman, particularly during third trimester, when the baby’s bone starts growing and strengthening rapidly. Along with taking prenatal vitamins, drink low-fat vitamin D fortified milk and eat foods that are rich in calcium and also contain Vitamin D. Discuss with your health care provider what you are eating in your daily diet.
If you are not drinking milk or foods that are calcium rich, she will adjust the dose of calcium and vitamin D supplements accordingly. The recommended dose of calcium per day is 1000 milligram and 50 mg vitamin C, copper 2mg. zinc,15mg vitamin D-400IU and vitamin B 6- 2mg. Your prenatal vitamins must contain vitamin D, particularly during the last trimester.
This is one of the most important prenatal vitamins that a pregnant woman needs to take from the very first month of her pregnancy as it is required for maintaining a sound health condition as well as that of the baby. The minimum requirement of folic acid for a pregnant woman per day is 800-1000 micrograms and 30 milligrams of iron every day.
Don’t take prenatal vitamin as a substitute to good diet; they must be taken along with a healthy diet because prenatal vitamins on its own can not meet your complete requirement of necessary minerals and vitamins during pregnancy. Follow the recommended dose your health care provider has suggested to you according to your personal needs.
Usually prenatal vitamins do not have any side effect. In some women, it causes queasy and nauseous feeling. To avoid that, take prenatal vitamins with some snacks or before going to bed. To avoid constipation from iron supplements, drink plenty of fluids and eat fiber rich foods.