It can become very confusing to know which supplements you need to take when you become pregnant. There are various multi vitamins that are perfectly sufficient but it is worth knowing a little bit about some of the individual vitamins within them that you will need to help you keep as healthy as possible through the next 9 months.
1. FOLIC ACID
Getting enough folic acid can reduce your baby’s risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida by up to 70%. Folic acid may also reduce the risk of other defects, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and certain heart defects. Taking folic acid may even lower your risk of preeclampsia.
Your body actually absorbs the synthetic version of folic acid a lot better than the one found naturally in food so even if you feel you have a balanced diet, a supplement is strongly recommended.
Iron is essential even before you’re pregnant to help you maintain a healthy immune system and it is vital for making haemoglobin which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. When you become pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases to almost 50% more than the normal amount so more iron is needed to make more haemoglobin. Low iron levels can affect the baby’s growth and is associated with premature delivery.
Your prenatal vitamin will contain calcium but it is not likely to be enough so it is advised to make sure enough calcium is included into your diet. Calcium will help your baby grow and develop strong bones, teeth and health muscles including the heart.
4. VITAMIN D
Vitamin D plays a huge part in maintaining the body’s calcium levels. If you are short of vitamin D at birth, it is likely that your baby will be too and this leaves them at risk of abnormal bone growth resulting in easy fractures etc.
5. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Your prenatal vitamin won’t contain any essential fatty acids such as omega 3 which are vital for the development of your baby’s brain, nerve and eye tissue. You can get these in supplement form as well as through your food. Fish is a major source of these essential fatty acids but you need to be careful not to eat too much fish that are high in mercury during your pregnancy so it is worth speaking to your doctor or midwife about their recommendations.
For more information on supplementation throughout your pregnancy, Lomax Nutritional Therapist, Natalia Otero, can work with you to prescribe a supplementation and nutrition plan tailored to your individual needs. Call 08715 120 770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries