If you are wondering what is so important about taking vitamins while you are pregnant, here are some things you should consider.
During pregnancy, your body requires nearly double the amount of iron than normal to have a healthy mom and a healthy baby. Iron does a lot of things, but one of it’s main functions is to carry oxygen in the blood stream. Iron creates red blood cells, and if you don’t have enough iron in your body during pregnancy, your body will take from your reserves in your bone marrow to stay functioning properly. And beyond that, your body will become anemic, which can be very detrimental to both you and your baby.
Folic Acid is absolutely critical for cell division and also helps prevent neural tube defects of the brain and spinal cord of your developing baby. It vital to have enough folic acid before pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks, a that is when the brain and spinal cord begin developing
Calcium is important for proper bone formulation, and even though many women drink a lot of milk and feel they are getting enough calcium, most are not aware that calcium cannot be utilized in the body without magnesium. Broccoli is a great source for calcium, because it also provides the magnesium needed to take advantage of the calcium ingredient.
Remember that a vitamin pill is no substitute for a healthy diet. Aim to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, non-fat dairy foods, whole grains, lean meats, and safe fish. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Drinking carbonated sodas is not the same as drinking water, in addition to which they are very hard on your body and can cause other health issues.
Even though you may feel that you have a well-balanced diet that includes healthy foods, it is important that you take extra care for you and your unborn child. It is practically impossible to be positive that you are getting all the nutrients that you need through diet alone. There are no second chances–this is the time to get it right to help prevent any possible problems due to a lack of proper nutrients in your system.
Look for a prenatal vitamin that contains:
• Folic acid — 400 to 800 micrograms
• Calcium — 250 milligrams
• Iron — 30 milligrams
• Vitamin C — 50 milligrams
• Zinc — 15 milligrams
• Copper — 2 milligrams
• Vitamin B-6 — 2 milligrams
• Vitamin D — 400 international units
Prenatal vitamins won’t necessarily meet 100 percent of your mineral and vitamin needs. In addition, your doctor might suggest additional doses of certain nutrients depending on your circumstances.
Remember, prenatal vitamins are a complement to a healthy diet — not a substitute for good nutrition.