Prenatal Vitamin Benefits for You and Your Baby
You're going to have a baby! Being pregnant is a time when your body goes through so many physical demands. I’m sure you are looking for any support to make your body and your baby healthy and safe.
Here is a small and powerful way to do it. Take prenatal vitamins!
First you have to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your baby. The best way to get those nutrients is through eating a well balanced whole-foods diet.
Eating a variety of whole foods can ensure that you are getting the nutrients you and your baby will need. When you are pregnant you should increase the amount of food and calories you eat by about 300 calories per day.
Taking prenatal vitamins helps you to fill in the gaps in nutrients and vitamins that you might have in your diet.
There are a few key vitamins and nutrients you need during pregnancy that you can get in a good prenatal vitamin. This will help reduce birth defects and low birth weights.
Let’s look at some of the most important nutrients in pregnancy.
If you are thinking about getting pregnant, you might want to start taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive, to make sure you have enough folic acid from day one.
Folic acid is essential for fetal development, especially in the first 30 days, to prevent neural tube defects later to the spinal cord and the brain.
Prescription prenatal vitamins often contain 1,000 mcg of folic acid. Over-the-counter prenatal pills may have 400-800 mcg.
Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells, to reduce preterm deliveries and low birth-weight babies. Prenatal vitamin iron values are 27 mg or more.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Both mom and fetus need calcium. Mom needs calcium to keep her bones strong. The fetus needs calcium to build teeth.
Vitamin D is used to help with calcium absorption. Prenatal vitamins should have 300 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D .
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Many prenatal vitamins will include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is an omega-3 essential fatty acid, to support brain development and vision. Prenatal vitamins usually have 200 mg.
Also look for these other nutrients on the label.
- 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
- 150 micrograms of iodine
Prenatal vitamins are an important part of your pregnancy plan.
Most physicians will recommend a good prenatal vitamin for you. If they let you get your own, guidelines listed here should help you decide.