Prenatal vitamins are important for women who are trying to get pregnant or already pregnant. With the thousands of types of vitamins out there, it is important for women to know what is essential in a prenatal vitamin and in a healthy diet to accompany it. The Stork Magazine has a few recommendations for vitamins and maintaining a healthy diet before and during pregnancy.
First, ask your doctor for suggestions on which vitamins are best for you. It will depend on each woman and her diet to begin with, but there are several necessary nutrients for every pregnant woman. You and your doctor will best know which nutrients you are already eating and which are missing from your daily diet.
It is important to remember that prenatal vitamins are not to complete an unhealthy diet but to complement a balanced diet. You must realize that you are not only eating healthy to support two, but also to feed an additional stomach healthily.
When organizing your balanced diet and selecting your prenatal vitamins, keep these following nutrients on your “must-haves” list:
Folic acid and folate help prevent neural tube defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord. These neural tube defects occur before a woman knows she is pregnant. Therefore, folic acid is important for women who are trying to get pregnant and who are already pregnant. Lack of folic acid in a pregnancy diet can increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm labor. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is found in the vitamins and fortified breads and cereals. Folate is in strawberries, citrus fruit, leafy green vegetables like spinach, asparagus, beans and peanuts. A daily 800 micrograms before and after conception is suggested for women.
Iron is important for not only you, but also your little one. Supporting your baby’s growth and development and preventing anemia, iron should be an essential in your prenatal vitamin. About 100% of your daily iron dose will be in the prenatal vitamin. However, iron can cause a side effect of constipation. To alleviate this symptom, exercise daily, drink plenty of fluids, and add some fiber to your diet if necessary. Iron will leave you and your baby with a healthy bloodstream.
Calcium is an essential for daily nutrition. Only about 250 mg of calcium are found in prenatal supplements, and it is recommended that pregnant women get 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium. This nutrient is important to strengthening your bones and your baby’s little bones. You can get calcium from fruit juice, dairy products, salmon, spinach, and cereal.
Other important vitamins that are mommy-mandatory are vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, copper, protein and vitamin B-6. Several foods can have a lot of overlapping healthy nutrients so it is helpful to research the best pregnancy foods and vitamins for you and your baby
If you experience queasiness from your prenatal vitamins, take the supplement with a snack or right before bed to ease your quease.
Remember that prenatal vitamins are to supplement a healthy diet not to correct a poor diet. Make sure your daily routine includes healthy foods and light pregnant exercises. Keep you and your little one healthy and happy with a balanced nutrition.