There are many things that a pregnant woman wants to do for her unborn child. She wants to ensure she is eating healthy and eating enough for both. As hard as she may try to do this, sometimes life gets in the way and expectant mothers are not always able to make the best choices. When situations like this occur, it is beneficial for them both to take prenatal vitamins and supplements.
Choosing the best prenatal multivitamin can be a daunting task. There are different varieties to choose from and it can be difficult to determine which one best fits the mother's needs and the needs of her baby. There are a few guidelines that expectant mothers can follow to ensure that they are choosing a vitamin that helps in maintaining a healthy balance of the most needed nutrients during their pregnancy.
There are a few vitamins and nutrients that women need to be sure are included in the supplements that they choose. Folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium are especially important to expectant mothers and their babies. Folic acid helps in preventing neural tube birth defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord. It is recommended that pregnant women consume a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid per day until about their twelfth week of pregnancy. They should continue to take the vitamins afterwards, but the first twelve weeks are the most crucial.
Calcium is another essential nutrient for pregnant women and their babies. It helps pregnant women maintain bone density. It also prevents them from losing bone density as the baby also consumes calcium for its own bone growth. Women should take at least 200 milligrams of calcium per day.
In order for a woman to have healthy thyroid function during pregnancy, they must choose a supplement that has a minimum of 150 micrograms of Iodine. Not ingesting a sufficient amount of Iodine can cause deficiencies including stunted physical growth, mental disability and deafness. In worst case scenarios, it can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.
Multivitamins and supplements are essential for the growth of a healthy baby and for maintaining the health of the mother. During pregnancy, the mother may think that she is getting enough of everything that she needs. While she may be getting enough nutrients, her baby may not. As a precaution, expectant mothers should take multivitamins to ensure that they are filling any gaps that they may have in their diets so that both they and their babies are healthy.
Expectant mothers must be careful to make sure that the minimum levels of nutrients are provided. Taking a multivitamin that does not provide the essential nutrients defeats the purpose of taking the prenatal vitamin altogether and may not assist in the healthy growth of the baby.