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During pregnancy nutrient needs arise that are not always fully satisfied with the usual diet, even if it is balanced. Therefore, with the help of prenatal vitamins, we have an extra supply of vitamins and minerals so that the baby can develop properly and allow the mother to meet her increased needs during this period.
We explain why take prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy, the importance they have and which ones are recommended to take.
When it comes to prenatal vitamins We refer to supplements that contain the vitamins and minerals that women need before and during pregnancy. In general, it is recommended an extra contribution of elements such as folic acid, calcium and iron.
But ... where does the recommendation of supplement feeding? It is not about "eating for two", but there are three nutrients that are essential in pregnancy: folic acid, iron and calcium. Most pregnant women do not consume them in sufficient quantities within their usual diet during pregnancy, which is why it is often recommended to support a balanced diet with supplements during pregnancy and even before achieving it.
We explain why it is necessary to supplement folic acid, iron and calcium before and during pregnancy:
1. Folic acid.Folic acid is a B vitamin that cells in the body need to grow and develop. It helps prevent the risks of problems in the baby's brain and spine, abnormalities in the neural tube, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
This vitamin can reduce the risk of other birth problems such as cleft lip and palate (cleft lip) and certain heart complications.
Neural tube defects occur very early in developmentEven before many women know they are pregnant, it is beneficial to take folic acid before you start trying to conceive.
2. Iron.Many women do not include sufficient amounts of iron during their pregnancy and this can lead to anemia. The intake of the ideal amounts of iron is essential to avoid premature labor or the baby being born with low weight. It is common for many pregnant women to need higher amounts during pregnancy because they had low iron levels before conceiving.
3. Calcium. Some prenatal vitamin complexes contain calcium, but many of them do not contain the necessary amount. Calcium is essential for the baby to develop strong bones and teeth, as well as nerves and muscles.
Calcium too reduces the possibility of the mother developing hypertension or pre-eclampsia (condition that occurs only during pregnancy, some symptoms of pre-eclampsia can include high blood pressure and protein in the urine that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy).
If not enough calcium is ingested in the diet, the baby will take it from the mother's bones, what could affect the health of it.
There are other necessary nutrients that we should not forget such as essential fatty acids and vitamin D.
Among the essential fatty acids we find omega-3, DHA (deosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are essential for the development of the baby's brain, nervous system and eye tissue.
On the other hand, vitamin D helps the baby's bones and teeth build being essential in the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the body.
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