A healthy pregnancy requires a healthy lifestyle. Everything you do can have an impact on your baby, so it’s crucial to make the right choices during this special time in your life. Prenatal vitamins are vital for fetal growth and development as well as for a healthy and happy outcome of your pregnancy. What are prenatal vitamins, how to choose them, when to start taking them, these and some other questions are all answered below.
Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy
There are many prenatal supplements on the market that women can choose from when they are planning to become pregnant, as well as when they are pregnant. This can be confusing, as the formulations are unique to each supplement. Women often find that they are unsure which supplement to opt for due to the variations in the specific vitamins and minerals that tend to be included in the products.
While a pregnant woman still needs to ensure she obtains all of the most essential nutrients for normal bodily function, researchers have found that folic acid seems to be the most important vitamin for pregnancy.
Folic acid is a type of B vitamin. It is also known as vitamin B9. The vitamin plays a crucial role in the development of body tissues. It has also been found that folic acid seems to have a function in the replication of DNA. There are also many enzymic reactions where folic acid plays a critical role.
Due to these functions, physicians usually advise women to ensure they at least take a daily supplement that contains folic acid. While there are other nutrients that can be useful, this is the most crucial one that women should look for – the vitamin can be taken alone or as part of a multivitamin complex.
While folic acid has been deemed the most important nutrient to take as a prenatal supplement, this does not mean there are no other vitamins and minerals that can play a crucial role in improving the outcome of a pregnancy.
Other important vitamins and supplements that women should opt for include:
A fat-soluble steroid vitamin that has a strong role to play in the regulation of immune function, as well as to promote optimum cell division. When it comes to the baby, this particular vitamin can help to ensure proper bone development. A vitamin D deficiency in the pregnant mother also increases the risk of preeclampsia.
A micronutrient that is essential to the survival of the human body. One study found that complications with pregnancy seem to be more prevalent in women with a lower serum level of copper in their bodies.
There is an increased need for iron during pregnancy since a pregnant woman’s body needs to use more blood in order to support the growth of the baby.
Apart from the nutrients that we have mentioned above, women who are planning to become pregnant, and those who are already pregnant, are also advised to ensure they obtain enough zinc and calcium, as well as vitamin C and E.
Prenatal vitamins are an important factor in a healthy and happy pregnancy. They deliver much-needed nutrients your baby needs to develop and grow. Consult your doctor about prenatal vitamins and remember they are not a substitution for a healthy and well-balanced diet.