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The Role of Prenatal Vitamins and Supplements During Pregnancy

by - 03.11.2019 | Pregnancy

In a perfect world, we’d get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition we need from our diets. Unfortunately, this world is far from perfect and many of us catch our meals on the run, or skip them altogether. In an effort to achieve an ideal weight many individuals give up certain components of a balanced diet, thereby eliminating crucial nutritional building blocks. That’s where supplements and vitamins come in to play.

Supplements can help maintain a balance of necessary vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients your body needs for optimal health. That’s why nutritionists advise people to take a daily multi-vitamin. It’s important to ensure you’re getting the right “stuff” to protect against illnesses like osteoporosis, boost your immune system, and help with a lifestyle to prevent diabetes.

Vitamins, Supplements, and Pregnancy

While supplements and vitamins are necessary for most people to lead a nutritionally balanced, and healthy life, for pregnant women supplements are especially crucial. In fact, supplements and prenatal vitamins are a good idea before you become pregnant. Certain supplements such as folic acid are necessary for the development of your healthy embryo soon after conception. Maintaining your very best health by supplementing your diet this way helps to ensure a good start to your pregnancy.

Additionally, prenatal vitamins and supplements help prepare your body for the demands encountered when growing a baby. During pregnancy your body does double-time in the supply of oxygen and blood, to meet your growing baby’s needs, as well as your own. The demand for calcium for bone development, and to shore up your own skeletal system, is increased. In order to process that calcium, you need additional vitamin D.

How Prenatal Vitamins, and Supplements, Keep Mom and Baby Healthy

So, now that you know prenatal vitamins and supplements are so very necessary in keeping you-and your baby-healthy, here’s a look at just what makes up prenatal vitamins, and supplements you need, and the role these essential nutrients play in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

  • Folic Acid: The role of folic acid in pregnancy is probably one of the most crucial. Within the first 28 days after conception, when some women don’t even realize they’re pregnant, your baby is at risk for developing neural tube defects. These are defects which affect the spinal cord, and the brain. Folic acid is instrumental in helping prevent neural tube defects. Folic acid also helps in the development of placenta.
  • Calcium: Calcium is necessary, in pregnancy, to maintain your own bone health. Your growing baby will draw from your stores of calcium, which can lead to loss of bone density. Protect your bones while you make sure your baby is getting the calcium they need for healthy skeletal development. Also helps prevent blood clots.
  • Iodine: Iodine assists in thyroid function, which is critical, especially during pregnancy. What’s more, a deficiency in iodine can lead to stunted physical growth of your baby, mental disability, and hearing loss. Extreme iodine deficiency can even lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.
  • Iron: As mentioned earlier, it’s essential for your body to carry more oxygen-rich blood to your developing fetus, and as you grow, your own body will need more oxygen. Iron helps you carry oxygen to your baby and for your own needs. Iron also helps guard against anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery.
  • Zinc: Zinc helps your body produce insulin, which can potentially help with balancing your sugar metabolism.
  • Vitamin D: In order to help your body use calcium to promote strong bones for both of you.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C isn’t only necessary for keeping your immune system at its fighting best (who wants to have a cold when they’re pregnant?) but C also guards against tissue damage, and helps your body absorb iron.
  • Vitamin E: This vitamin is essential to the development of muscle, and helps form red blood cells.
  • Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: While you need to be cautious in how much of this vitamin you take, it is essential in helping development of bones, and teeth.
  • Thiamin/B1: Helps in energy level and how you process energy. Also helps in the development of the nervous system.
  • Riboflavin/B2: Helps in the development of eyes, as well as maintaining energy levels.
  • Niacin/B3: Promotes healthy digestion for mom, aids in the development of skin and nerves.
  • Pyridoxine/B6: Also assists in developing healthy red blood cells, but more importantly can help ease morning sickness.
  • Vitamin B12: B12 is also essential early in pregnancy to, along with folic acid, prevent neural tube defects. B12 is also necessary to help with DNA synthesis, important in uterine health.

Always Consult Dr. Bayrak

The role of prenatal vitamins in pregnancy are specifically to keep you and your unborn baby in the best health possible. However, never count on a supplement to make up the bulk of your nutrition. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet before, during, and after pregnancy.

In order to ensure you’re taking the right prenatal vitamins and supplements to meet your needs, discuss your concerns with Dr. Bayrak. There are some vitamins, found in regular over-the-counter multivitamins which can pose a threat to your developing baby. That’s why taking a prenatal vitamin before you conceive is the best plan for a healthy pregnancy. One good option may be one of the fertile vitamins for you (

The role of prenatal vitamins in pregnancy is specifically to keep you and your unborn baby in the best health possible. However, never count on a supplement to make up the bulk of your nutrition. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet before, during, and after pregnancy in order to ensure, and maintain, the health of both you and your baby, for life.

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