Women not too keen at popping the pills and tablets may feel dicey of the prenatal vitamins which can be prescribed even before conception (pregnancy). Prenatal vitamins are meant to supplement a woman in providing adequate nutrition to her developing baby throughout pregnancy. It is an established fact that a pregnant woman’s nutritional intake (requirements for certain nutrients) increases during pregnancy. These are crucial for the development and growth of the baby including the health of the mother. While it may not essentially be required to supplement a pregnant woman’s diet with prenatal vitamins till she consumes adequate nutrition to nourish herself and her child, choosing to supplement is not a bad idea when you follow some basic guidelines.
Pregnancy And Prenatal Vitamins
Making a Wise Wecision
Folic acid (folate), calcium and iron are crucial elements for the proper fetal growth and development. As far as possible, it is prudent to get enough of these vitamins and minerals from food sources. However, supplementing them can increase the chances of promoting a healthy environment for the baby to develop appropriately. A well balanced diet is always the focal point for any pregnant woman; but supplementing diet to avoid the potential of any nutritional gap can minimize the chances of risking your child’s health. Depending upon the make, prenatal vitamin combinations can have varying nutritional focus. Some multivitamins can provide more of iron; others may focus on another nutritional element. You should choose according to your individual need after consulting your health care expert. It is not recommended to take incorrect dosage of synthetic vitamins as it may put your child’s health at risk.
Choosing Prenatal Vitamins Over Other Vitamins
Unlike the standard vitamins, the prenatal vitamins generally have more folic acid and iron. These two are considered crucial elements contributing to the well-being of the baby. Folic acid aids in preventing neural tube defects while iron ensures adequate blood supply to promote healthy red blood cells. Research points out that prenatal vitamin can also reduce the risk of low birth weight.
Vital Vitamins During Pregnancy
As stated above, folic acid is a crucial prenatal vitamin which can protect the growing baby from neural tube defect(s). The timing of taking folic acid is also crucial as neural tube defects develop during early pregnancy (first month after conceiving) when you might actually remain unaware of your pregnant state. A woman who is likely to get pregnant should take about 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day even before conception. This should continue for the first 3 months of pregnancy. In case of a background of neural tube defect, it is important to get expert advice before conception. Calcium is another significant element for a pregnant woman. Sufficient intake of calcium is not only needed for the growth of the baby’s bone, but also for preventing the mother from losing her own bone density over time.
Iron is the carrier of oxygen in blood through which nutrition gets supplied both to the mother and her baby. Certain vitamins may still need to be supplemented as the standard prenatal vitamins don’t include them. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are important among them.
Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins
Besides being a bit tough to swallow (for some women), prenatal may produce certain side effects which can be discussed with the doctor. For instance, iron can cause constipation in pregnant women. But this is preventable by consuming plenty of water, using a stool softener, eating more fiber and exercising. Talk to your doctor if you encounter an overwhelming side effect.