You might wonder what prenatal vitamins are and if they are necessary for pregnancy. These vitamins provide a variety of essential nutrients for you and your baby, including iron and iodine. They also help you absorb calcium and reduce the risk of neural tube defects. After reading this article, you’ll better understand why they’re necessary and how you can start taking them today.
Prenatal vitamins help you get enough iodine.
Getting plenty of iodine when you’re pregnant is essential, and prenatal vitamins are a great way to ensure you get enough of this nutrient. The National Institutes of Health recommend getting about 150 micrograms of iodine daily before you become pregnant and around 220 milligrams per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Of course, you can also get iodized salt in your cooking and eat fish, but these aren’t the only sources.
Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone production. If you don’t get enough of it, you may suffer from hypothyroidism or an enlarged thyroid gland. The brain of a developing baby also needs iodine to grow correctly. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can lead to neurological impairment. Prenatal vitamins help you get enough iodine for a healthy pregnancy.
They contain iron
Most prenatal vitamins contain iron. However, some newer versions do not. Iron is essential for producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the growing baby. However, iron intake increases rapidly during pregnancy. Therefore, iron deficiency may require iron supplementation. Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, dark leafy greens, and poultry. These foods are also iron-fortified. Your OB-GYN may prescribe an iron supplement if you have iron deficiency.
They help you absorb calcium.
Prenatal vitamins help you absorb calcium and iron. These nutrients should be taken several hours apart. Eating foods rich in these nutrients in the morning will help you absorb them better. Calcium and iron should be taken in the morning and at night. You should take your prenatal vitamin in the morning. For best results, you should take the calcium supplement at least a few hours before you eat. This will help ensure you get the proper nutrients for your growing baby.
They reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Research has shown that prenatal vitamins can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Folic acid, a B vitamin, is particularly beneficial in this regard. It can reduce the risk of neural tube defects by 70 percent. Folic acid is most effective when taken during early pregnancy. This is because it helps prevent neural tubes from developing abnormally. This is why women need to take folic acid supplements.
They help you get enough folic acid.
Taking a daily prenatal vitamin can give you and your baby the proper balance of folic acid and iron. Folic acid helps reduce the chances of neural tube defects and helps prevent preeclampsia, an abnormally high blood pressure that can harm the baby. Folic acid can also reduce the risk of cleft lip and palate and certain heart defects. So folic acid is a crucial nutrient for pregnant women.
They help you get enough docosahexaenoic acid.
Did you know that you need docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in your diet to avoid the risk of pregnancy complications? DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that plays a crucial role in brain development in both women and babies. A good source of this essential fatty acid is fish oil. DHA also helps the nerve cells in your body communicate better. So if you are pregnant, you should take a vitamin that contains DHA.