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Your Vitamin Needs

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Vitamins are especially important during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins will make up for any deficiencies in the mother's diet, and provide the baby with necessary elements to stay healthy. When you're pregnant, what should you look for in your vitamin supplement? There are certain vitamins that are essential to your health and the health of your unborn child, and here are the top three you'll need to maintain a healthy pregnancy:

Folic Acid: Folic acid greatly reduces your risk of having a child with spinal problems such as spina bifida. Since these neural tube defects occur in the first 28 days of your pregnancy, 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended for all women who are trying to conceive or may become pregnant. A larger dose taken during the first trimester is also recommended by doctors. You will also find folic acid in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and fortified products such as some breads and cereals.

Calcium: Calcium is essential as it helps prevent bone loss in the mother as the fetus utilizes this mineral for its own bone growth. Dairy products contain calcium, but a vitamin form is recommended for pregnant women.

Iron: Iron helps both the mother and baby's blood carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Your need for iron increases when you become pregnant.

There are numerous other vitamins that help keep both mother and baby healthy for the entire pregnancy. Zinc and vitamin B6 both help with fetal development and ensure that a fetus is growing normally, while vitamin D helps with bone growth.

Many doctors suggest taking your prenatal vitamins at night, as there are some side effects that these vitamins can sometimes cause. Nausea is a common complaint of women taking prenatal vitamins, so by taking them immediately before sleep women can often avoid this symptom altogether. Drink a lot of water as you may experience constipation, and don't take supplements with milk as this can interfere with the absorption of zinc and iron. If you are experiencing nausea or are having trouble swallowing vitamins, chewable prenatal vitamins are readily available.

With so many prenatal vitamins on the market, how do you choose the one that's best for you and your baby? Talk to your doctor or midwife and see which one is right for your pregnancy. If you decide on an alternative prenatal health vitamin you'll need to consult your doctor as these types of supplements contain other natural ingredients. Also, remember that prenatal vitamins aren't a substitute for a proper diet rich in healthy foods. You'll still need to closely monitor what you eat and make sure that you're getting the nutrition you need.

 

 


 
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