Pregnancy is a phase filled with smiles, excitement, and joy along with apprehension, dilemma and worries. As your child brings out the mother in you, you start becoming more and more concerned about his health. But, you must understand that it is your own health which directly affects your infant. Eating well and staying happy can help you sail through this phase smoothly. As your demands change during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins can extend a helping hand to you by providing everything you need at this stage. The supplements with prenatal vitamins and minerals become even more important for women who have narrow food choices or certain health issues. They may be women who:
Smoke or drink excessively.
Are intolerant to lactose or have other food allergies.
Are vegans or vegetarians
Will be giving birth to twins
Have any chronic diseases or blood disorders.
Considering your altered demands, prenatal supplements are particularly enriched with vitamins that you essentially require during pregnancy. The two most crucial nutrients are:
Folic acid: Deficiency of this key prenatal vitamin causes neural tube defects in infants.
Iron: Iron becomes a critical mineral during pregnancy as it aids in growth and development of the baby. Prenatal vitamins are also believed to prevent the birth of underweight babies.
You need more than just prenatal supplements.
Even though prenatal vitamin supplements for women can take care of the two critical nutrients at the time of pregnancy, don’t stop making efforts to incorporate rest of the nutrients in your diet. Some of these important nutrients are:
Essential Fats: Prenatal supplements are devoid of any essential fatty acids like omega 3 which are important for the development of the brain, eyes and nerves of the baby. So, if you are a non vegetarian soon to be mother, you could absolutely rely on the most important source of omega 3 i.e. fish. The problem arises for vegan or vegetarian women. They can take fish oil supplements to meet their demands. However if you are a strict vegetarian who is finicky about consuming oil derived from fish, you may have to look for vegan supplements enriched with essential fats.
Calcium: Don’t depend on prenatal supplements for all your calcium. This mineral is required in large amounts and your prenatal pills might just not be enough for you and your baby. Have lots of milk and its products to raise the calcium levels. You can also go for individual calcium supplements if your doctor recommends.
Vitamin D: This is something you don’t have to worry much about. Just twenty minutes under the morning sun everyday and you have obtained sufficient vitamin D for you and your baby. Doesn’t satisfy you? Well along with this you can even have food rich in vitamin D such as fish, eggs, milk and fortified cereals.
Choosing the best prenatal vitamins:
Before you order your prenatal pills from your health store, there are some important points to consider. As there are endless products in the market, each one offering the best benefit, you have to be picky about selecting the best prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement. After all, it is about you and your baby’s health.
First of all, don’t take any health supplements unless your doctor prescribes you. Overuse of dietary supplements can be risky. For example, Vitamin A is an essential vitamin but overdose of this vitamin during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects in babies.
Pay attention to the label of the supplement. Make sure that your prenatal vitamin contains about 400 micro-grams of folic acid and at least 30 milligrams of iron to meet your demands. Those supplements which have nutrients lower than the recommended amount will do nothing but add to your supplement load.
Go for pharmaceutical grade products for maximum purity and quality. These products are little expensive than others but nothing is more worthy than you and your baby’s health, isn’t it?
Ensure that the supplement dis-solvable. Some prenatal products dissolve quite slowly in stomach which makes it hard to absorb it. So perform a dissolution test on your own at home by putting the pill in vinegar and observing it for around half an hour. Thumbs up if the pill dissolves or disintegrates!
How safe are these supplements?
Reputed manufacturers promise high quality and safety of prenatal products but some women often experience problems in tolerating prenatal vitamins. Companies have introduced various dosage forms such as syrups or chewable tabs for the ease of expecting mothers. Also, as the supplements for prenatal vitamins are rich in iron, women may suffer from constipation. A good amount of fiber content in your meals and intake of plenty of water can help you manage this problem.
So, all the mothers to be brace up for some changes in your diet, routine, eating habits, exercise and even supplements for a safe and healthy pregnancy.