What are prenatal vitamins? These are basically vitamins which are in the form of supplements taken by pregnant women. Eating healthy is always the better option when pregnant. Acquiring nutrients from natural sources are very efficient and of no health risk. However, being pregnant is about having to nurture two people at the same time which simply say that your normal food intake to satisfy yourself is not enough when you are pregnant. At the same time, baby development requires a lot of nutrients for growth and good health while inside the womb. This is where doctors would normally recommend pregnant women to take prenatal vitamins which are normally folic acid, iron and calcium which are for bone and brain development of the baby.
Folic acid aids in brain development of the baby. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects develop in the first 28 days after conception, before many women know they are pregnant. Because about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it’s recommended that any woman who could get pregnant take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, if the baby is already detected to have neural tube defects, it would be better to check with your doctor about it. Studies have shown that taking a larger dose (up to 4,000 micrograms) at least one month before and during the first trimester may be beneficial for those women; still doctors know what’s better for you and your baby.
Calcium is also important for a pregnant woman. It can help prevent her from losing her own bone density, as the baby uses calcium for its own bone growth. Drinking a lot of milk is good especially those milk which are made especially for pregnant women. Pregnant women must have strong bones to be able to carry the weight as it grows. At the same time, calcium is needed by the baby’s development. While the average limit for calcium intake for women is 1400 mg per day, it would be necessary to increase for the baby.
Iron is for the blood. As we all know, blood carries different nutrients in different parts of the body particularly oxygen which is very important to the mother and the baby. Essential amount of iron can be acquired from meats, vegetables, and whole grains. Taking up supplements is essential to make sure you are supplied with enough amounts for you and your baby.
Look for a prenatal vitamin that includes:
- 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
- 400 IU of vitamin D.
- 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
- 70 mg of vitamin C.
- 3 mg of thiamine.
- 2 mg of riboflavin.
- 20 mg of niacin.
- 6 mcg of vitamin B12.
- 10 mg of vitamin E.
- 15 mg of zinc.
- 17 mg of iron.
Otherwise, you can just ask your doctor prescription which will work best for you and your baby. For any problems regarding to the supplement you are taking or any health problems, it is always to keep your doctor updated to be able to prevent serious problem that can be dangerous for you and your baby.