When you're pregnant, you know you need to get your baby all the proper nutrients, but which ones are really the most important? If you're looking for a quick guide on the most vital vitamins to take during your pregnancy and what they do to help, then here's what you need to know.
Also called the "sunshine vitamin," Vitamin D is crucial in helping your body function...well, at all. Low Vitamin D has been linked to everything from cancer to obesity to Parkinson's Disease and everything in between. Low Vitamin D in expecting mothers specifically is linked to preeclampsia, low birth weight, and even gestational diabetes - which are all things it's best to avoid in your pregnancy.
As it's very hard to reach Vitamin D toxicity (or, in other words, to overdose on Vitamin D), and to coincide with the results of new studies, doctors can recommend a dose as high as 4,000IU a day in order to keep you in tip-top Vitamin D shape during your pregnancy.
Also called folate, folic acid is just another name for the water-soluble form of Vitamin B, which helps to prevent anemia (which makes you dizzy and exhausted) and aids your body in absorbing nutrients from food and vitamins - two very important things when you're pregnant.
Found naturally in leafy greens, fruit, beans, mushrooms, and meats, your doctor may recommend taking a folic acid supplement if your levels are below normal. It's generally recommended that pregnant women ensure that they're getting between 6 and 8mg to ward off problems that come with low folic acid such as miscarriage or spina bifida.
Most women are iron deficient due menstruation and the loss of blood involved with that process, but young children need it just as much to help them with the rapid growth they undergo. Thus, it's understandable that you'll want to give your baby as much help with their growth as possible by boosting your iron count.
Pregnant women need about 27mg a day of this super-important mineral in order to make extra blood for you and your baby and ensure that you both are getting enough oxygen - a vitally important function, indeed.
Calcium is supposed to help your bones grow stronger - and since you're literally growing your baby's bones while they're in your womb, it's doubly important to make sure you're getting the proper levels of calcium in your system while you're pregnant. Calcium also helps your baby grow their heart and muscles, making it one of the most vital nutrients you can get during your pregnancy.
Generally speaking, pregnant women are advised to get about 1200-1400mg of calcium a day. The good news is that you need calcium to absorb Vitamin D all the way, so you can knock out two birds with one stone. If you feel like you might be low on calcium, talk to your doctor.
Things to Remember
While it's important to make sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need in order to develop fully and be healthy, remember that stressing out about all of these nutritional needs isn't good for your baby at all, and that it's important you stay cool and calm, especially as you go into your third trimester.
Your OBGYN will help to monitor the vitamin levels in your blood and will ensure that your baby gets everything they need; when in doubt, you can always ask your doctor how you're doing, nutrition-wise. For more information on the importance of prenatal care or answers to common pregnancy questions visit us at our website today.