supplements is essential for having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Read more about having vitamin supplements during pregnancy.
Yes, it is important to take vitamin
supplements when you are pregnant. This is because all the nutrients required
by your body and the growing baby may not be met from your diet alone.
Irrespective of your consuming healthy, balanced diet it is recommended that
you take vitamin supplements before and after you conceive. This will ensure
that you get all the necessary nutrients required to conceive and have a safe
and healthy pregnancy.
There are certain categories of women who
must take supplements recommended by their doctors without fail. These include
women who are:
- Vegans or vegetarian.
- Have food intolerance like lactose-intolerance.
- Exposed to smoke or are addicted to certain drugs.
- Suffering from or have a past history of certain chronic diseases,
blood disorders or have had a gastric bypass surgery.
- Pregnant with multiple babies like twins
recommend that women take prenatal vitamins along with a certain amount of
folic acid at least three months before trying to conceive. Research studies
have indicated that taking folic acid supplements alone or in combination with
vitamins is useful to prevent miscarriages, neural tube defects and even some
forms of cancer in new born babies.
Folic acid and iron are two most important
prenatal vitamins which pregnant women must take since it is not possible to
get enough of these nutrients from food alone. In addition, calcium, fatty
acids and vitamin D are the other supplements which are very beneficial for
Why Folic Acid is Essential?
A type of Vitamin B, folic
acid can significantly reduce a baby’s risk of suffering from neural tube
defects such as spina bifida. It also plays an important role in reducing risk
of defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, and heart defects. It is also useful
to lower the risk preeclampsia.
Medical research has indicated that our
body is capable of absorbing the synthetic version of folic acid much better as
compared to natural sources found in food. Therefore most doctors recommend
that you take folic acid supplements both before and after getting pregnant.
Iron -Expectant mothers need extra iron during pregnancy. Deficiency of
iron can cause anemia which in turn enhances the risk of having a preterm
delivery, infant mortality and low birth weight of your baby.
Calcium - Calcium
is essential to help a baby grow strong bones, teeth, healthy nerves and
Fatty Acids -
Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA fall in this
category of nutrient. These are essential for proper development of a baby's
brain, nerve, and eye tissue. Fish is a major source of DHA and EPA. However it
is not advisable to consume fish high in mercury during pregnancy. It is best
to consult your doctor about supplements and food sources of fatty acids before
D - Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is essential for building a
growing baby's bones and teeth. It also plays a vital role in maintaining
levels of calcium and phosphorus in our body. Deficiency of this nutrient
during pregnancy can put the baby at risk for rickets, delayed physical
development and abnormal growth of bones. In pregnant woman deficiency of this
vitamin increases the risk of pre-eclampsia.
women must never start taking medicines including nutritional supplements
on their own. It must always be done only after consulting a doctor. Vitamin
supplements cannot replace a healthy balanced
diet. However supplements help in ensuring that the pregnant woman receives
all the essential nutrients required by the body and the baby in the womb.