Pregnancy is an important stage in a woman’s life. You are growing a new life inside of you. You want the best for your unborn child and that includes taking prenatal vitamins!
Doctors suggest that men and women take multi-vitamins on a daily basis. Why? We don’t always get the nutrients that we need through our food. In fact, if you are busy and don’t have time to cook, you may be getting even less of those important nutrients each day.
Vitamins provide necessary minerals and other compounds that the body needs for cellular function and to keep you healthy. There are some compounds that are very hard to get enough of in our food (you would have to consume mammoth amounts), so vitamins ensure that you get the daily recommended allowance.
When the body goes through the changes of pregnancy, you now have two lives you are nourishing. What the baby needs to survive and grow will be taken from the food the mother eats.
How? Food is digested by mother; her gut absorbs the nutrients as fatty acids, simple carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. These are extracted by the placenta, transported through the fetal circulation to all of the fetal organs. Metabolic end products not needed by the fetus go back through the placenta to the mother’s circulation. From there they are detoxified via her liver and her kidneys. It’s really an awesome system!
If nutrition is lacking, the baby will take it from the mother’s stores. When it can’t be found, it can lead to developmental issues in the unborn child.
Prenatal vitamins contain increased levels of certain vitamins and minerals that the body needs most during pregnancy. This includes folic acid, vitamin B and iron. Iron keeps the bones strong and that is important at all stages of a woman’s life.
Why is folic acid important? It helps with neural development, meaning the brain and spinal cord. It is suggested that women begin taking prenatal vitamins before they even conceive. If they are planning to start trying, increased folic acid levels in the body can ward off some birth defects in future children.
Lack of proper folic acid amounts have been linked to incidence of spina bifida in babies. It is important for the survival of the fetus that the brain and spinal cord fully develop.
Prenatal vitamins are an important supplement. However, just because you are taking them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch your nutritional intake. To enhance the value of the vitamins, eat a healthy organic diet consisting of plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This not only helps you keep baby weight under control, it also helps you to deal better with the changes in your body that pregnancy will bring.
After birth, your body is recuperating and restoring itself. Many experts assert, that simply eating a well-balanced diet may not be enough to ensure breastfeeding mothers get enough of the nutrients needed to maintain optimal health. Most doctors suggest breastfeeding women keep taking their prenatal or some kind of multi-vitamin to help supplement their diets.
Our Top Prenatal/Postnatal Recommendation:
Unlike other brands that use cheaper but harder to absorb ingredients, Baby & Me is loaded with nutrients in forms that are easy for your body to actually use. You get the perfect amount of vitamin D and more than enough folic acid by taking the recommended two pills a day.
This food-based vitamin contains no animal products, making it a safe choice for vegetarians and vegans. It offers plenty of folic acid, iron, and a vitamin B complex to help sustain energy.
Packed with probiotics, ginger, and zinc, this prenatal vitamin is intended to support the immune systems of both mama and baby. It’s a raw, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free option.
Honest Co. uses a coating of natural vanilla instead to make their once-a-day prenatals easier to swallow. Digestive enzymes, derived from pineapple, papaya and kiwi, help the pills better settle in a sensitive stomach too.
With this option, you receive one multi-vitamin tablet and one DHA/EPA liquid gel to take daily. There is no need to take a supplement for omega-3s.
One A Day Women’s Prenatal multivitamin tablets contain at least 100% of the Daily Value for key nutrients like Folic Acid and Iron. One A Day Women’s Prenatal liquid gel contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid that helps support healthy fetal brain and eye development during pregnancy
If you take a prenatal that does not already have DHA, you can take this one along with your prenatal! With 480 mg of DHA per serving, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA generously fulfills the international expert-recommended daily intake for DHA, providing safe and effective omega-3 nutrition to moms and babies alike. This essential nutrient is important for maintaining cellular fluidity, and supporting normal memory, cognition, and emotional well-being.
Talk to your doctor about the right type of prenatal vitamin with the compounds that you need. Also know that taking them is not a definite guarantee that baby will not have issues, but it is a safeguard. There is still genetics and other environmental factors to take into account.