Prenatal vitamins are vitamins and minerals nutritional supplements specially formulated for pregnant women or those who are planning a pregnancy or nursing. It is recommended that women who are planing a pregnancy get pre- conception advice. It is important to know that prenatal vitamins do not replace healthy eating.
What are the benefits of prenatal vitamins ?
- They contain folic acid which is essential for the development of the neural tube of babies. The neural tube is the structure that forms the brain and spinal cord. Lack of or too little folic acid can lead to neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
- They contain calcium which is important for physical fetal development and maintenance of the mother’s bones and muscles. It also develops the blood clotting ability of the baby. Calcium sustains mother’s and fetus’s normal heartbeat and regulate nerves harmoniously and may even help prevent preeclampsia.
- These vitamins have iron which supports the oxygen and nutrient transport mechanism in the baby. Iron is necessary to build up the maternal blood cells to support fetal cell development . It also improves and maintains a healthy immune system.
- DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is very essential in prenatal vitamins. It is essential for both pregnant and nursing moms.DHA works for the enhancement of a child’s vision, brain, and nerves via breast milk after initially developing them in the womb. In pregnant women , DHA supports the development of the central nervous system of the baby. It also supports the development and enhances a child’s eye sight.
- Vitamins and minerals : Prenatal vitamins includes various vitamins and mineral that are important for healthy pregnancy.
- Vitamin B6 gives relief to morning sickness during pregnancy
- Vitamin C heals wounds, repair brittle bone and rebuild tissues
- Vitamin D helps build baby’s bones and teeth. It is also important in maintaining levels of calcium and phosphorus.
- Zinc helps boosts cell growth and improves the immune system.
It is important not to take any other vitamin or mineral supplements while you’re taking a prenatal supplement unless your practitioner recommends it. Pregnant women should not take vitamin A supplements or any supplement that is rich in vitamin A such as cod liver . Too much vitamin A can be harmful to the baby . Pregnant women who are not anemic do not need iron supplement. Seek your doctor’s advice.