Have you become pregnant recently? Now, it is the time to have special supplement needs.
So, consult your gynecologist for prenatal vitamin.
Prenatal vitamins are extremely important for healthy pregnancy, as they provide essential nutrients (sufficiently) that are required for you and your unborn child.
Prenatal vitamins (PNVs) are specially formulated vitamin supplements that help nourish and maintain your fetus and your body during pregnancy. It also makes up the nutrients that are deficient in your diet during pregnancy.
It is true that almost all nutrients are essential for pregnant woman. However, there are three nutrients that are vital during pregnancy: folic acid, calcium and iron.
Folic acid is also known as folate. It is a B vitamin (B9) that gives extra blood that is needed for your body during pregnancy. It is rich in green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, pastas, rice, bread and citrus fruits. It is also found in food grains and vitamin supplements.
Folic acid plays an important role in DNA synthesis and protein metabolism as well as in normal growth. It can minimize your chances of giving birth to a baby with severe birth defects called neural tube defects.
Neural tube defects are the defects of the brain and spinal cord. The most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly. This kind of defects generally develops within the first twenty eight days of conception, before you know that you’re pregnant.
According to FDA, it is recommended that woman of reproductive age should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day before you become pregnant.
Once you become pregnant, increase the dosage and take at least 600-800 micrograms of folic acid on a daily basis until you stop breastfeeding.
The over-the-counter prenatal vitamins contain 400 micrograms folic acid whereas prescribed prenatal vitamins contain 1000 micrograms.
As folic acid increases the blood levels in the body, a greater amount of iron (an oxygen-carrying compound) is needed.
As most of pregnant women do not take enough iron in their diet, a prenatal vitamin is important to meet the body’s increased needs during pregnancy. It is recommended for pregnant women to take 30 milligrams of iron every day. The prenatal vitamin contains 27-60 mg of iron.
High intake of iron can reduce your chances of developing iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy.
On the other hand, calcium is another nutrient that helps prevent you from losing your own bone density because the unborn baby uses the mineral for bone development. As a pregnant woman, you require a minimum of 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium per day.
Most prenatal vitamins contain 100-250 mg of calcium while prescribed prenatal vitamin contains approximately 1200 mg calcium.
Remember that although you take prenatal vitamin, it is still essential to maintain a healthy diet. Prenatal vitamin supplements cannot replace a healthy diet instead it ensures that you are getting sufficient nutrients on daily basis.
Prenatal vitamin works effectively when taken along with a healthy diet and not as a healthy diet substitution because essential nutrients will not get from prenatal vitamins.