The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

prenatal-vitaminsThough often referred to as prenatal vitamins, these dietary supplements provide much more for they also contain a variety of minerals. Other than to help bridge any nutrition gaps in a mother’s diet, prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor can prevent or reduce some birth defects, low birth weight of the infant and a preterm birth. They also promote the growth of a healthy baby as well as help you maintain your own health during pregnancy.

For these reasons, it is important that you contact your health care provider to determine the most ideal prenatal vitamins your body and baby may require. Some of the most important dietary supplements are folic acid, iron, calcium and iodine.

Folic Acid

Consuming enough of these supplements especially in your early pregnancy or before conceiving can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the baby, which affect its spinal cord and brain. It also may reduce other risks like cleft lip and heart defects. These dietary supplements are strongly recommended especially a month before pregnancy and throughout the first trimester.

Iron

This dietary supplement helps blood in carrying oxygen in both the mother-to-be and the baby. Lack of enough iron can cause iron deficiency anemia, which may lead to preterm delivery and infant mortality.

Calcium and Vitamin D

It helps in your baby’s bone growth as well as teeth, muscles and healthy nerves. Calcium also helps prevent you from losing your bone density. Vitamin D assists in maintaining calcium and phosphorous levels.

Iodine 

Essential for a healthy thyroid function in the course of the pregnancy. Iodine deficiency can cause severe mental disability, stunted growth, miscarriages and stillbirths.

It is advisable for pregnant women to take prenatal vitamins every single day, ideally even before they conceive. Doctors recommend women looking forward to become pregnant to take prenatal vitamins for about three months before conceiving. It could even greatly help reduce morning sickness during pregnancy.