Taking a prenatal vitamin is one of the best ways to ensure your body gets the additional vitamins and minerals it needs during pregnancy. While they do not replace healthy eating habits, taking a prenatal vitamin can help to avoid complications that arise due to vitamin deficiency. With so many prenatal vitamins on the market, choosing the right vitamin for your needs may seem difficult. When evaluating your vitamin options, be sure to look for the following:
Folic acid is a key vitamin as having adequate levels are important for avoiding neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida. Look for a vitamin that provides at least 400 mcg of folic acid in a dose.
Iron is important for producing red blood cells within the body. Because both mother and child will be pulling for a woman’s iron reserves, using a prenatal vitamin with at least 27 milligrams of iron is key. Not getting enough iron can result in a pregnant woman developing anemia.
Calcium is necessary for the body to keep bones strong, including the teeth. As your baby develops, they will also need calcium in order to assist with the formation of their bones. If you do not get enough calcium in your diet while pregnant, it can have significant medical impacts. If there is not adequate calcium in the body it will be leached from the mother’s bones in order to provide for the baby. This can result in significant health issues down the line.
Other vitamins that are crucial for fetal development include copper, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.
Some women find it difficult to take a prenatal vitamin due to stomach sensitivities or morning sickness. Taking your prenatal vitamin at night allows you to sleep through the symptoms while helping to ensure you’re getting the nutritional support you need.
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