Prenatal supplements contain daily vitamins and minerals needed by pregnant women for a healthy pregnancy. Though most of these nutrients can be supplied from a healthy diet, taking prenatal supplements could help cover any nutritional gaps in your diet especially when you are trying to conceive.
When should I start taking prenatal supplements ?
Prenatal supplements, especially folic acid should be taken at least a month before you start trying to get pregnant. This is because the first few weeks of pregnancy are a crucial time for fetal health and development as well as reducing the risk of some birth defects. Prenatal supplements should be taken throughout your entire pregnancy unless otherwise advised by doctors.
Do prenatal supplements have side effects?
Some women may get nauseated or constipated from taking prenatal supplements. If this happens to you, it is best to consult your doctor about changing brands or the types of vitamins you’re taking.
Prenatal supplements come in tablets or capsules, so finding the kind that works best with your body can help ease side effects. Your doctor can help you find prenatal supplements that will work best for your body.
Essential Prenatal Supplements and Their Importance
|Folic Acid||prevent birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord|
|Iron||helps your body make more red blood cells to carry oxygen|
|Calcium||required for strong bones and teeth and prevent the loss of mother’s bone density|
|Vitamin C||helps in wound healing and keeping bones, blood vessels and cartilages healthy|
|Vitamin D||increasing calcium absorption and maintaining bone density|
|Vitamin K||important for blood clotting process and prevent excessive bleeding|
|Magnesium||taken with Vitamin D, it ensures the maximum absorption and utilization of calcium in the body.|
|Iodine||helps prevent thyroid hormone deficiency issues including hypothyroidism, stillbirths and miscarriages. It also ensures good brain development for the fetus.|
Any Supplements That I Should Avoid?
- Vitamin A
It is not advisable for pregnant mothers to consume vitamin A supplements, especially without any deficiency problem. This is because it will lead to birth defects to your unborn baby.
In addition, women should not take any products containing retinol (such as retinoid cream for acne), and also food products that is high in vitamin A (such as liver or liver products) if they wish to get pregnant.
- Vitamin E
There are no added benefits seen from vitamin E supplements. In addition, there is also evidence where vitamin E supplements may increase abdominal pain for pregnant mothers or increase the risk of them having early rupture of membranes.