Prenatal Vitamins For a Healthy Pregnancy

Having a baby is the most life-changing experience that a couple can ever have. It brings about tons of joy and excitement for the expecting couple to finally see their baby come out in this world after nice months of conception. Thus, a lot of preparation has to be made within this period, such as buying all sorts of baby equipment and accessories to be put up in the nursery, the most important of which include crib, diapers, baby clothes, and feeding bottles among others. Another essential that should be a part of the list is prenatal vitamins, as taking these supplements will not only ensure to have a safe pregnancy but have a healthy baby as well.
prenatal vitamins
The Growing Demand for Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are supplements specifically formulated for women to be taken before and after pregnancy, even during postnatal lactation. These supplements are similar to multi-vitamins, though these contain various amounts of specific nutrients needed by pregnant moms during pregnancy. Nutrients in higher concentration include calcium, iron and folic acid.

Calcium for Bone Growth

Calcium is an important nutrient for pregnant moms as it aids in the baby’s bone development. Calcium inside the woman’s body depletes rapidly as the baby needs it for its own growth. Insufficient supply of calcium in the body may mean losing one’s bone density that could manifest later on in life. Osteoporosis is one good example that can be caused by calcium deficiency. To help in better calcium absorption, Vitamin D is usually added to calcium supplements.
Food sources rich in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, soya beans, fish and nuts. For lactose tolerant moms, milk is the excellent source of calcium that can be easily absorbed in the body. Soymilk and other vegetable milk can be great alternates for lactose intolerant women. Calcium with Vitamin D can also be bought in a form of prenatal vitamins.

Iron and Blood Oxygen

During pregnancy, women are at special risk of low iron levels and are advised to supplement their iron intake. An iron containing protein called hemoglobin gives color to the blood, thus appropriate iron intake is needed to avoid anemia during pregnancy. Fatigue and dizziness are other complications caused by iron deficiency.

Pregnant women are advised to take iron supplements typically on their first trimester. Iron-rich food sources include poultry, red meat, fish, green and leafy vegetables, tofu, fortified bread and cereals, and beans.

Folic Acid - For “Neural Tube” Development

Taking folic acid during pregnancy also means reducing the risk of birth defects, specifically the brain and spinal cord, also referred to as the “neural tube”. Folic acid deficiency may cause the spine of the baby to not fully develop, thus may lead to various degrees of paralysis or worse, mental retardation.
Aside from prenatal vitamins, other food sources rich in folic acid are leafy vegetables (such as asparagus and turnips), fruits (such as orange, banana, grapefruit, raspberry and strawberry) egg yolks, legumes (such as beans and peas), yeast, sunflower seeds, fortified grain products (such as cereals, pasta, bread) and other liver products.

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