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The Vitamins and Nutrients Women Need
During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, your baby receives all of the nutrients that it requires directly from yourself. This means that it is important for you to get more during this period than ever before in your life. By eating a bunch of healthy foods and taking a variety of prenatal vitamins, both yourself and your baby will be provided with all of the nutrients that are needed. It is important to ensure that the prenatal vitamins that you use contain calcium, iron, and folic acid. Best pregnancy vitamins will have all of these things in. It is also important to get the right amount of iodine, DHA, and vitamin D each and every day during your pregnancy.

What exactly are prenatal vitamins?

Prenatal Vitamins are essential multivitamins that are designed especially for pregnant women or those women who are trying to conceive. In comparison to normal multivitamins, prenatal vitamins contain a greater amount of certain nutrients that are required during pregnancy. It may be the case that your healthcare provider prescribes these for you or failing that they are available for purchase over the counter - providing you have a prescription for them of course. Prenatal vitamins need to be taken each and every day throughout the full term of a pregnancy. Any woman who is thinking about getting pregnant should also begin to start taking prenatal vitamins.

A woman's body relies on multiple different nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from the food it consumes in order to stay healthy and strong. However, duringpregnancy your baby gets all of these from you and so it is important that you get more of each of them than what is typically required. For those women who are pregnant with more than one baby (e.g. twins or triplets), they will likely need even more of these nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

If you cannot eat some particular foods, have food allergies, or are vegan, then your healthcare provider may want you to also take other supplements in order to ensure that you get all of everything that you need to stay healthy and strong throughout your pregnancy. Supplements are products that are taken orally in order to make up for any vitamins, minerals, or nutrients that are not present in sufficient quantities in the food you are eating. For instance, you may need a supplement to provide you with more calcium, iron, or vitamin D.

The most important nutrients during pregnancy

Whilst, of course, all nutrients are important, there are some that are more important for pregnant women than others. These include iodine, DHA, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and folic acid.

What exactly is folic acid?

A B vitamin, folic acid is something that each and every cell inside of your body needs in order for them to grow and develop in a way that is healthy. By taking folic acid both before and during pregnancy, it can help to stop any sorts of birth defects to the spine or brain from occurring. Folic acid has also been shown to prevent birth defects in the mouth and heart of your baby - so it is important that you get enough of it.

Prior to becoming pregnant, it is recommended that women take at least 400 mcg of folic acid each and every day. In fact this is true for those women who are not planning on getting pregnant also. Once pregnant, women need to up the amount of folic acid they take to at least 600 mcg. In order to ensure you are getting enough folic acid, check the label of the prenatal vitamins that you are taking.

If you are someone who is at a particularly high risk of having a baby with spine and brain defects, you may want to speak to your healthcare provider about how you can safely take as much as 4,000 mcg of folic acid every day in order to keep your baby safe and healthy. This needs to be done a minimum of three months prior to getting pregnant and during the very first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

What exactly is iron?

The mineral that is iron is used in your body to make hemoglobin. The purpose of this protein is to carry oxygen around the body - from your lungs to the furthest extremities. During your pregnancy, you require double the amount of iron than what you typically would. Your baby also requires a certain amount of iron to be able to make its own blood.

Whilst pregnant, women need as much as 27 milligrams worth of iron each and every day. Any good prenatal vitamin will have this amount of iron in. However, failing that, you can also get a good deal of iron from the following food sources: dried fruit, raisins, nuts, beans, leafy green vegetables, seafood, poultry, lean meat, and iron food items where iron has been specifically added (check the packaging label for this information).

Those foods that contain vitamin C are able to drastically increase the level of iron that a woman’s body is able to absorb. This includes things like grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, and orange juice. Pregnant women should try to aim and consume at least one of these types of foods each and every day during pregnancy.

What exactly is calcium?

This mineral is required in order for your baby’s nerves, muscles, heart, teeth, and bones to develop and grow. Whilst pregnant, women need to consume as much as 1,000 milligrams of calcium each and every day. This can come through a combination of both food and prenatal vitamins. Some of the best food sources of calcium include orange juice, kale, broccoli, yogurt, cheese, and milk.

If you fail to consume enough calcium during your pregnancy, the mineral will be taken from your bones so that it can be given to your baby. If this does happen to you, it can cause you to suffer with certain health conditions later in life.

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