Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but it’s especially critical during pregnancy, as you’ll need to nourish both yourself and your growing babe.
Here are the top 6 essential vitamins/nutrients for a healthy pregnancy
Folic acid is the one of the most important vitamins on this list and should be taken as soon as possible. If there’s even a small chance of becoming pregnant, folic acid is a must. During conception, it’s recommended taking 400mcg daily. It’s vital for healthy growth and development. Several birth defects begin in early pregnancy and folic acid reduces the risk for brain, spine, heart and mouth defects. The recommended dose during pregnancy is 600mcg per day.
Aside from prenatal vitamins, folic acid can be found in nuts, beans and green leafy vegetables.
Iron helps make hemoglobin, which is a protein inside red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. During pregnancy you need more iron than normal. This will give enough hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the baby. It also helps the baby make his own blood. The recommended dose is 27mg daily.
Vitamin C helps absorb it, so pairing it with orange juice is a good idea if it’s not included in your prenatal vitamin.
Another key mineral that helps your baby’s development is calcium. Calcium helps the heart, nerves, bones and muscles to develop. Take a prenatal that contains calcium to prevent you from losing bone density during your pregnancy. The baby uses a good amount of calcium to create his bones, so having enough is essential. The recommended daily dose is 1000mg.
Lack of vitamin D is a common deficiency these days. However, Vitamin D is so important! It helps create strong bones and helps the body to absorb calcium. It also builds the immune system and protects the body from infections. 600IU is the recommended daily dose for pregnant women.
Good sources of Vitamin D include cows milk, egg yokes, orange juice and oatmeal.
DHA is Omega 3 fatty acids that helps the baby’s brain and eyes develop. It decreases the risk of preterm birth and babies born with a low weight.
The final mineral that helps to have healthy thyroid function is iodine. This allows the body to create thyroid hormones and this gives the body energy. Iodine helps babies develop their brain, spinal cord and nerves. A woman deficient of iodine may be at risk for miscarriage, stillbirth and severe mental disability. The daily dose for pregnant women is 220 mcg.
Prenatal vitamins are not made equally. So in your journey to find the perfect prenatal vitamin make sure it has all the things you need. It is vital for proper development and growth.