What are Prenatal Vitamins?
The body goes through massive changes once you become pregnant. It is important to meet your body’s needs as your body changes. New health concerns are brought to the forefront of your and your child’s health. Pregnant women have unique needs during their pregnancy. Health practices and diets typically change during this time. This is where prenatal vitamins come into play. Prenatal vitamins are designed to provide the needed nutrients specifically for pregnancy. While there are multi vitamins designed for women, pregnant women need a different kind of care. Typically, prenatal vitamins consist of more iron, calcium, and folic acids compared to other multi-vitamin formulas. There is a heavy emphasis on the importance of folic acid for pregnancy. Why is this? If you are unfamiliar with folic acid it is especially needed in pregnant women’s diets. This is because it has been heavily researched that folic acid helps prevent certain birth defects. A woman’s body is pushed to the limits during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins assist a pregnant woman’s body ensuring she has all the necessary nutrients she needs to stay healthy for herself and her little one.
Benefit Number One: Prenatal Vitamins Can Prevent Nausea
Vitamin B6, which is found in many prenatal vitamins can actually help soothe nausea and side effects found commonly throughout pregnancy. This is because nutrient B6 helps the body process-specific amino acids. These amino acids can lead to nausea if not broken down. Vitamin B6 is also great in assisting with the development of the fetuses’ brain and nervous system which is why vitamin B6 is commonly used in prenatal vitamins. This is one of the many benefits of taking prenatal vitamins!
Benefit Number Two: Assists in Preventing Iron Deficiency Anemia
Another benefit to taking prenatal vitamins is their assistance in preventing iron deficiency. You may not know how much iron your body needs when you are pregnant. A pregnant woman’s body needs about double the amount of iron than the regular amount of iron required before pregnancy. This is because the body needs iron to produce hemoglobin. Once pregnant you need more hemoglobin for not just you but for your baby. Iron may assist in preventing iron-deficiency anaemia. This is a condition that may cause severe fatigue which you want to avoid. Another benefit of iron is it helps oxygen circulation from the mother’s lung to her baby.
Benefit Number Three: Helps Reduce Certain Birth Defects
The third benefit of taking prenatal vitamins is they can assist in reducing the risk of certain birth defects. This is because the use of folic acid before conception and throughout pregnancy has proven to significantly reduce the risk of your child developing cleft spine (spina bifida) and improper brain and skull development (anencephaly). Studies have shown that taking prenatal vitamins containing folic acid before conception and during the first trimester reduces the likelihood of these specific birth defects by 70%. This is one of the reasons why taking a prenatal vitamin is important compared to a general women’s multi-vitamin.
Benefit Number Four: May Reduce Risk of Developing Preeclampsia
Taking folic acid does not just help your baby but can also help you during your pregnancy. An expecting mother who takes folic acid during her first trimester will see a lower risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition regarding high blood pressure that can be extremely dangerous. In extreme cases where preeclampsia is an issue expecting mother’s have to have emergency c-sections. To lower your risk of developing this condition it is crucial for you and your baby’s health to take enough folic acid.
Benefit Number Five: Nutritional Needs are Met for You and Your Baby
Knowing your nutritional needs are met can ease anxiety around concerns regarding you and your baby’s health. With any other supplements, it is important to have a balanced diet. However, during pregnancy, your body’s needs change and even if you have a stellar diet you may be missing out on the total proper amount of needed nutrients. With the combination of a healthy balanced diet and the proper prenatal vitamin for your body, you can rest easy knowing that both you and your baby are receiving all the nutrients you need during the development of your child.
Benefit Number Six: Reduces Risk of Rickets
An additional benefit to taking prenatal vitamins is it helps reduce your child’s risk of developing rickets. For this reason, you want to find a prenatal vitamin that is formulated with vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets which is a condition related to weak and soft bones. Prenatal vitamins promote strong bone health since vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Bone health is extremely important so you want to make sure you are receiving enough calcium and vitamin D throughout your pregnancy to give your little one the best shot of developing healthy and strong bones.
There are so many benefits to taking prenatal vitamins for both expecting mothers and their children. If you are looking to try to have children it is recommended that women take prenatal vitamins three months before they conceive a child and during the beginning of their pregnancy. Talk to your doctor today about what nutrients you need throughout your pregnancy!