How Important are Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy

Ideally, you’ll begin taking extra folic acid at least 3 months before you become pregnant. Iron supports the development of the placenta and fetus. Iron helps your body make blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

If you’re pregnant, you’ll very likely need to take an iron supplement. Prenatal vitamins contain the recommended daily allowance of folic acid (400 mcg) and iron (30 mg). Iron helps your body make blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

Prenatal vitamins are a great way to ensure that you’re giving your growing baby every possible advantage. They contain only the highest-quality ingredients, including folic acid, iron and B-vitamins. And each ingredient was chosen for its importance during pregnancy.

Pre-natal vitamins are crucial for supporting the development of your baby and your own health. A healthy diet alone can help, but if you have any nutritional concerns or if you’re at increased risk for a certain condition, talk to your healthcare provider about taking extra supplements.

Most Important Vitamins for Pregnancy

Prenatal vitamins contain all of the recommended daily vitamins and minerals a mama-to-be’s body needs before and during pregnancy—which helps in turn to ensure your growing baby also gets what they need. In fact, some of the vitamins and minerals found in a prenatal vitamin can even help lessen the chance of birth defects.

For some women, taking a prenatal vitamin before getting pregnant can even help reduce the dreaded nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness…a great reason to take a prenatal vitamin in and of itself!

How Is a Prenatal Vitamin Different From a Normal Multivitamin?

Prenatal vitamins are made specifically for pregnant ladies, and specifically contain the recommended levels of folic acid and iron to support you and your pregnancy.

You should take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid (also known as folate) every day, as folic acid helps prevent major birth defects of the fetus’ brain and spine (called neural tube defects). Pregnant mamas actually need 600 micrograms of folic acid each day—but because it’s hard to get this much from diet alone, your prenatal vitamin should have at least 400 micrograms (and up to 800 micrograms).

Your body will also need to make extra blood to support the development of your placenta and baby during pregnancy. Women who aren’t pregnant need 18 milligrams of iron each day—while pregnant women need 27 milligrams per day. This increased amount is usually found in most prenatal vitamins (make sure you check your labels!).

Some prenatal vitamins also contain fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (commonly referred to as DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). These “good fats” help with baby’s development—with DHA specifically accumulating in the brain and eyes of the baby, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Other vitamins and minerals that are important during pregnancy include: calcium, vitamin D, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and vitamin C. While a prenatal vitamin is important for delivering a bulk of your daily vitamins and minerals, it’s also important to eat a well-balanced diet on top of it to make sure you’re getting all of the good stuff to help your body grow your baby.

When Should I Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin?

When you decide to try to conceive, it’s a good idea to begin taking a daily prenatal vitamin right away. Ideally you should start prenatal vitamins at least one month before pregnancy—and CERTAINLY during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy when baby’s development is at its most critical point.

Many providers recommend that mamas should continue taking prenatal vitamins the entire way through their pregnancy—and if you’re breastfeeding, throughout the length of time you breastfeed or pump for your baby. Long story short—in most cases if mama is getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals in her diet, her growing baby (whether during pregnancy or breastfeeding) will too!

You should take some time to discuss prenatal vitamins with your provider before getting pregnant to ensure you’re getting what you need for a health pregnancy and baby. Based on your health history, diet or bloodwork, your provider might recommend additional vitamins or minerals to supplement your prenatal vitamin.

I’m Pregnant When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Whether or not you’ve been taking your prenatal vitamin is one of the main questions your OB will ask you throughout your pregnancy — and for good reason. Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients for the prenatal development of your baby. Taking your vitamins is especially important when you’re so nauseous you can’t eat properly!

Many of us don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food, which becomes critically important when you’re pregnant. Your developing baby needs certain nutrients to grow properly, and prenatal vitamins ensure that your baby gets the nutrients he or she needs.

So what should you look for in a prenatal vitamin? What are the most important nutrients for your growing baby? When should you start taking prenatal vitamins?

We’ve got you covered with answers to the most common questions about prenatal vitamins and how they impact prenatal development.

How Are Prenatal Vitamins Different From Other Vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins contain more folic acid than regular vitamins. Folic acid is typically found in dark, leafy greens and reduces the risk of prenatal development disorders of the brain or spinal cord. The most common malformations from a lack of folic acid are neural tube defects like spina bifida.

Prenatal vitamins contain more iron than regular vitamins, although you can also find prenatal vitamins without added iron if you notice increased nausea or constipation. If you’re already dealing with these unpleasant symptoms during early pregnancy, your OB may recommend an iron-free vitamin.

Studies show that your blood volume increases by an incredible 50% during pregnancy, so your body needs more iron than ever to make that blood. An iron supplement will help prevent anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells that may cause you to feel dizzy, tired, and weak.

What Should I Look For in a Prenatal Vitamin?

Shopping for a prenatal vitamin can quickly become overwhelming. With so many prenatal vitamin brands on the market today, you may not know what to look for.

A study in Australia found that the prenatal vitamin you choose should have a minimum of the following micronutrients for proper prenatal development:

  • 600 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
  • 2.6 mcg of vitamin B12
  • 4 mcg of vitamin D
  • 1,000-1,300 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 27 mg of iron
  • 220 mcg of iodine
  • 10-11 mg of zinc
  • 65 mcg of selenium

In addition to certain key ingredients, you’ll need to choose between pills, capsules, and gummies. Capsules and gummies are easier on your stomach, but gummy prenatal vitamins do not contain iron.

NTD Eurofins The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins on Prenatal Development

Aside from the critical nutrients, growing evidence suggests that taking a prenatal vitamin with an omega-3 fatty acid such as DHA is important, too. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in your baby’s brain and eye development. The recommended amount is at least 200 mg of DHA.

Which Nutrients Impact Prenatal Development Most in a Prenatal Vitamin?

Four micronutrients are critically important to prenatal development. The first is folic acid because it supports your baby’s brain and spinal cord development and prevents neural tube defects in your developing baby.

Calcium is essential during pregnancy because, just like you, your baby needs calcium to grow strong bones and teeth. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, your growing baby will take it directly from your bones, putting you at risk for osteoporosis later in life.

Iron ensures proper blood oxygenation and that your blood is supplying your baby with all the oxygen he or she needs to grow healthy and strong. Iron can also prevent you from developing anemia, which will make you feel even more fatigued than you already do!

Iodine is another essential nutrient for prenatal development that helps develop your baby’s brain and nervous system and regulates your baby’s metabolism.

When Should I Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin?

In an ideal situation, you should take your prenatal vitamins before you even start trying to have a baby: neural tube defects often occur within the first month of pregnancy. Many women won’t even realize they’re pregnant until around six weeks or so.

If you’re unable to start taking prenatal vitamins before your pregnancy, you should do so as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy to ensure healthy prenatal development. If you plan to breastfeed, the nutrients in your prenatal vitamins will support your body’s milk production.

Both you and your baby need essential nutrients during your pregnancy, and the foods you eat aren’t enough to meet those minimum requirements. Prenatal vitamins are critical in providing you and your baby with everything you need for healthy prenatal development.

Are Prenatal Vitamins Enough During Pregnancy

Prenatal vitamins are not enough.Folic acid, calcium, and iron are essential during pregnancy and a typical prenatal vitamin needs to be supplemented with calcium sufficient to equal 1,000 mg/day; an iron supplement also is necessary if a woman’s prenatal vitamin does not supply 27 mg/day.

It is important to remember that prenatal vitamins are not enough in pregnancy. Folic acid, calcium and iron are essential during pregnancy and a typical prenatal vitamin needs to be supplemented with calcium sufficient to equal 1,000 mg/day; an iron supplement also is necessary if a woman’s prenatal vitamin does not supply 27 mg/day.

A prenatal vitamin is not enough during pregnancy. To ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of potential birth defects, some additional supplements may be necessary. Some prenatal vitamins don’t provide enough iron or folic acid, which are important nutrients while pregnant. And while most prenatal vitamins contain adequate amounts of calcium, you may also want to take a calcium supplement if your prenatal vitamin does not contain at least 1,000 mg/day.

There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of your baby. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself during pregnancy, too! Prenatal vitamins are an excellent way to start—but they’re not enough. You also need a daily prenatal vitamin with plenty of folic acid, iron and calcium to help give your baby a healthy start in life.

How Important are Prenatal Vitamins in Second Trimester

Because a baby’s body doubles in length in the second trimester, it is especially important for an expecting mother to meet her daily vitamin D requirements during this time. Otherwise, nutrients are taken away from the mother and preferentially partitioned to the baby.

During the second trimester, it is especially important for an expecting mother to meet her daily vitamin D requirements. Otherwise, nutrients are taken away from the mother and preferentially partitioned to the baby.

The second trimester is a critical time of fetal development, and it’s important for an expecting mother to meet her daily vitamin D requirements. If she doesn’t, the baby will use up all the D from the mother, leaving none for its own growing body.

Prenatal vitamins are the only source of certain nutrients for the mother. It is during second trimester that the baby’s body doubles in length and thus more nutrients are required by an expecting mother. Prenatal vitamins help maintain pregnant mothers’ health, provide sufficient amounts of nutrients, as well as regulate the baby’s growth

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