Understanding Prenatal Vitamins
A nutritious diet is the most effective way to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals. However, critical nutrients may be depleted during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins may help fill the gaps if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.
Prenatal vitamins are an excellent way to ensure you obtain all the necessary nutrients before becoming pregnant. They’re also a good idea for the duration of your pregnancy and even when you’re breastfeeding.
However, it’s essential to understand that some women experience gastrointestinal side effects from prenatal supplements, such as constipation or nausea. Therefore, you must try different types or methods of taking them and talk with your OB/GYN if you have any trouble.
In addition to folic acid and iron, seek a prenatal vitamin with calcium and vitamin D. They aid in the growth of the baby’s teeth and bones. It is also good to aim for nature made prenatal vitamins C, A, E, and B, zinc, and iodine.
Folic acid is used to prevent and treat low folate levels in the blood (folate deficiency) and excessive homocysteine levels in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia). In addition, pregnant or planning to become pregnant women should take folic acid to avoid significant birth abnormalities such as spina bifida. Folic acid also treats various illnesses, including depression, stroke, memory and thinking abilities deterioration, and many more.
Folic acid is a crucial vitamin in your prenatal plan because it plays a critical role in developing your baby’s brain and spinal cord. As a result, it helps reduce the risk of specific congenital disabilities called neural tube defects (NTDs).
Neural tube defects can cause life-threatening conditions such as spina bifida and anencephaly. They happen when your baby’s brain and spine don’t develop properly during the first few weeks before you know you are pregnant.
During pregnancy, your body’s need for a variety of nutrients increases. These include calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, omega-3s, all eight B vitamins, and vitamin D.
Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in some foods. It’s also produced by the skin when ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight strike it.
Vitamin B12 is a necessary component for pregnant mothers and their babies. It helps the body make red blood cells, which supply oxygen and nourish the baby.
It also helps the developing brain and spinal cord in the fetus. Without adequate levels, a deficiency can lead to birth defects.
Pregnant and lactating women should take a vitamin B12 supplement as part of their daily diet. This nutrient is commonly found in eggs, meats, poultry, and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and bread.
Vitamin B6 is one of the essential vitamins for pregnant women in their diets, as it plays a crucial role in energy production. It also helps regulate mood and sleep patterns, supporting immune function and brain health.
The good news is that you may receive your daily vitamin B6 fast from various foods. For example, you can find pyridoxine in whole grains, nuts, poultry, eggs, and fish.
Vitamin B6 has also been found to reduce morning sickness in pregnant women, especially when it’s taken along with doxylamine. It’s also known to help protect the baby from specific congenital disabilities.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. It helps the body process energy and promotes eye health.
A deficiency can lead to various health problems, including fatigue and headaches. It also supports the body’s use of other nutrients, like folate and iron.
Riboflavin also works as an antioxidant, helping the body fight off free radicals that cause damage to cells. It can even help prevent pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia.
Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid and nicotinamide) is essential for releasing energy from food and helping your skin, nervous system, and mucous membranes stay healthy. The water-soluble vitamin is found in many foods, including whole grains and fortified cereals.
A study in mice suggests that boosting your niacin intake during pregnancy might prevent miscarriages and congenital disabilities such as heart, kidney, and spinal problems. But experts have warned that more research is needed on humans before recommending an increase in the daily recommended dose.
During pregnancy, it’s essential to get folic acid, which is needed to develop the fetus’s neural tube. It’s also necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells and DNA. It’s also vital for the normal function of your immune system and helps alleviate nausea and vomiting.
As one of the B vitamins, Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is a water-soluble micronutrient that helps your body convert protein, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. It’s also vital for your red blood cells to function correctly.
Pantothenic acid is available in many foods, especially whole-grain cereals, eggs, meat, legumes, and avocado. However, it is frequently lost during processing, so consume as many fresh and unprocessed foods as possible.
High levels of pantothenic acid may lower your blood’s LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. As a result, it can help protect arteries and prevent heart disease.