You need extra nutrition for your body and growing fetus in your womb during pregnancy term. Most of the nutrients baby gets from food you eat but there are some supplements that you need to take to boost the development process and make sure that baby is not deficit of them.
During pregnancy a healthy diet is the best way to get all the required vitamins and minerals you need - but even if you eat a healthy diet, you might fall short on key nutrients and macronutrients. So, if you're pregnant or hoping to conceive, prenatal vitamins can help fill any gaps.
It is important that you consult your doctor for prescription of medication required as the medication you will be consuming must be pregnancy safe i.e. safe for your developing baby. Doctors prescribe for requires blood and urine sample tests and prescribe the amounts that are needed by your body and baby. So never consume any medication without consulting doctor.
You may be already on medication for thyroid, migraine or other health conditions. You should always discuss your medical history and prescriptions you are taking. Your doctor will prescribe you the pregnancy safe drugs that are alternate to medication you are taking.
Folic acid is the form of folate found in vitamin supplements.
Folate is a B vitamin that plays an integral role in DNA synthesis, red blood cell production and fetal growth and development. Folic acid and folate are important for the healthy growth of an unborn baby's spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy. Women who take a folic acid supplement and eat a diet rich in folate before becoming pregnant and during the first few weeks of pregnancy have a smaller chance of having a baby born with an Open Neural Tube Defect.
It may also reduce your risk of preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure disorder. Getting enough folic acid is particularly important for the rapid cell growth of the placenta and your developing baby.
During pregnancy, women require enough calcium and vitamin D to help build their baby's bones, muscles, strong teeth and to prevent loss of their own calcium stores. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. So they both go hand in hand.
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.
As vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it might be difficult to get enough from foods alone. So everyone over the age of five years, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement.
The need for iron increases significantly during pregnancy, as maternal blood volume increases by nearly 50%. Iron is critical for oxygen transport and healthy growth and development of the fetus and placenta.
If you are short of iron, you’ll probably get very tired and may suffer from anemia. Anemia during pregnancy has been associated with preterm delivery, maternal depression and infant anemia.
Include food sources of iron, like meat, fish and poultry, in your diet every day. Plant-based foods like beans, lentils and dark green leafy vegetables also have iron. Eat these foods with a source of vitamin C, like oranges, kiwis and bell peppers, to better absorb iron.
Other prenatal vitamins include zinc, potassium, DHA and omega-3, magnesium and probiotics. These are fulfilled with everyday food you consume. So eat healthy and balanced diet.
There are no major side-effects of prenatal vitamins. Sometimes you may suffer from problems like head-ache, vomiting or constipation. Always opt for home remedies for the same. If the problem gets severe, consult a doctor for pregnancy safe medication.
Bottom line is that pregnancy is a time of growth and development, making health and nutrition a top priority. While some supplements can be helpful during pregnancy, many can cause dangerous side effects in both pregnant women and their babies.
Nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods, as well as getting enough exercise and sleep and minimizing stress, is the best way to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. Although supplements can be necessary and helpful in certain circumstances, always check with your doctor regarding doses, safety and potential risks and benefits.
Also read: Pregnancy And Safe Medication