Why You Need Prenatal Vitamins In Pregnancy

Eating a healthy diet is always a wise idea — especially during pregnancy. It’s also a good idea during pregnancy to take a prenatal vitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in the mother’s diet.

Prenatal vitamins contain many vitamins and minerals. Their folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium are especially important.

Folic acid
Getting enough of this B vitamin can reduce your baby’s risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly by 50 to 70 percent. 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 absorbs the synthetic version of folic acid better than the natural one found in food, so even if you eat a balanced diet, a supplement is strongly recommended.

Iron
Most moms-to-be don’t get enough of this mineral in their diet to meet their body’s increased need during pregnancy, which can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. Avoiding iron-deficiency anemia can cut your risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality

Calcium

Your prenatal vitamin may contain calcium, but there’s a good chance it won’t be enough. You need calcium to help your baby grow strong bones and teeth, as well as healthy nerves and muscles (including the heart).

Most prenatal vitamins contain between 100 and 200 milligrams (mg) of calcium, but some don’t contain any. That’s because calcium is a particularly bulky mineral, and the pills are already big enough!

Essential Fatty Acids
Prenatal vitamins don’t contain any essential fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are important for the development of your baby’s brain, nerve, and eye tissue.

Fish is a major source of DHA and EPA, but you have to be careful about not eating too much of fish that are high in mercury while you’re pregnant.

Because omega-3s are so important for your baby, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare practitioner about whether or not you need a supplement.

Source: babycentre.com

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