Taking a daily prenatal vitamin is one of the easiest ways to promote a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins, when combined with a well-balanced diet, can help ensure that you and your baby get the nutrition you need at every stage of pregnancy. So, you pack your plate high with colorful vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. But, if you’re attempting to conceive, do you need to take a prenatal vitamin?
In this article, we will guide you through how to choose a prenatal vitamin and why they matter?
Why Prenatal Vitamins Are Important?
Your body’s nutritional needs are different during pregnancy than they are at other times, and prenatal vitamins are designed to meet those needs. Prenatal vitamins, for example, contain more iron, calcium, and folic acid than standard multivitamins. Prenatal vitamins offer all of the daily vitamins and minerals that a pregnant woman’s body needs before and during pregnancy, ensuring that your growing baby gets what they need as well. Some vitamins and minerals included in prenatal supplements can even assist to reduce the risk of birth abnormalities.
How to choose prenatal vitamins?
What does a high-quality prenatal vitamin contain? Let’s go over the most important ones:
- 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
- 150 micrograms of iodine
1. Folic Acid
Folic acid, as previously mentioned, helps to lower the chance of neural tube abnormalities. It does, however, aid in the production of red blood cells in a woman’s body, which can help to lower the risk of anemia and its problems, such as low birth weight, early birth, and infant anemia.
Most women already have trouble getting enough iron in their diets, but pregnant women require twice as much as non-pregnant women. Iron is another nutrient that helps in the production of red blood cells and prevents anemia in women.
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and neurons, as well as the proper function of cells in the spinal cord and brain.
Zinc is a key component of a healthy immune system, as it aids a woman’s body in producing proteins, dividing cells, and synthesizing DNA for the production of new cells.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a non-commonly discussed vitamin that helps with cell growth, visual development, and the health of essential organs.
6. Calcium and Vitamin D
These are essential for the development of bones and teeth. They also aid in the maintenance of healthy eyes and skin. Calcium can also help pregnant women minimize their risk of preeclampsia.
Iodine is required for the proper development of a baby’s neurological system, brain, and skeletal system. Slow prenatal development, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, miscarriages, and stillbirths have all been associated with iodine shortage.