Prenatal vitamins are essential for you and your baby’s health. Prenatal vitamins bridge the gap between your diet and make sure there are no deficiencies, but all prenatal vitamins are not made equal. Some of the vitamins are amazing and can give you a positive outcome including that wonderful “pregnant glow” that lights up the room when you walk in.
On the other hand, some contain cheap ingredients that cannot be completely absorbed by your body and this means it has little to no benefit .
Use quality prenatal vitamins which provide all the nutrients required for your baby. In fact, consuming prenatal vitamins are even more essential for women with certain health issues, dietary restrictions, or pregnancy complications.
Like if you are a vegetarian, have the problem of lactose-intolerant or other food intolerances, have blood disorders, had gastric bypass surgery previously, smoker or drug addicted, history of chronic disease, or carrying twins or higher multiples. In such cases, doctors say prenatal vitamins are must to have a healthy and trouble free pregnancy.
The essential vitamins and nutrients you should look for while choosing prenatal vitamins are:
Folic acid can reduce the risk of neutral tube defects by as much as 70%. Dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of folic acid. The official prescribed dosage is 400mcg mcg a day but 800mcg will be more beneficial.
Calcium helps strengthen your baby’s bones and also helps you and your baby’s circulation, nervous and muscular system to run properly. 200-300 mg of calcium a day is the optimal dosage.
Iron is required to support development of muscle as well as blood cells and also to prevent anaemia. 17 mg is the official recommendation but as it is very easy to get iron deficiency while pregnant many experts recommend a higher dosage of 27mg.
Lack of vitamin D has been linked to poor fetal growth and is essential for calcium absorption. The recommended dosage is 400 UI.
Also known as Docosahexanoic acid, It is an essential fatty acid required that makes up about 60% of the brain. The recommended dosage is 600mg of DHA in high quality fish oil a day.
Vitamin C helps develop collage, a protein which builds up tendons and cartilage. It also helps in absorption of iron. The optimal dosage is 70-100 mg per day.
Also known as vitamin B1 it helps in converting carbohydrates to glucose. Recommended dosage is about 1.5 mg a day.
Also known as vitamin B2 it is essential for your baby’s growth. Recommended dosage is around 1.5-1.7 mg a day.
Vitamin B12 is needed to develop your baby’s neutral tube. Recommended dosage is 4-6 mcg a day.
Low levels of zinc can result in low birth weight. Recommended dosage is 15mg a day.
After the first prenatal checkup, your practitioner would surely recommend the list of prenatal vitamins and go for a prescription drug only. Make sure you don’t take any mineral or vitamin supplements by yourself unless your practitioner have recommended it.