Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life when your body goes through many changes to accommodate your growing baby. It is crucial to provide your body with essential nutrients during this time to ensure the healthy growth and development of your little one. Vitamins and supplements can help achieve this goal, but not all of them are safe for pregnant women. In this blog, we will discuss safe vitamins and supplements that pregnant women should be taking.
- Prenatal vitamins (The Holy Grail of pregnancy vitamins) are specifically formulated for pregnant women and contain all the necessary nutrients required for your baby’s development. These vitamins are rich in folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, which are essential for the healthy growth and development of your baby. It is recommended that pregnant women start taking prenatal vitamins before conception and continue throughout pregnancy.
- Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is crucial for the early development of the neural tube, which later becomes the brain and spinal cord of the baby. Adequate intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects in the baby. Pregnant women should take at least 400-800 mcg of folic acid daily. As long as you are taking your prenatal vitamin, you are covered.
- Iron is an essential mineral required for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the baby. During pregnancy, the demand for iron increases to support the growing baby’s needs. Pregnant women should take at least 27 mg of iron daily. You can add a vitamin C supplement to help allow the iron to absorb easier too; something as simple as orange juice or strawberries can help with absorption.
Calcium and Vitamin D
- Calcium and vitamin D are essential for the healthy development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Pregnant women should take AT LEAST 1,000 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D daily. We recommend reaching out to your doctor, because most people should be taking more vitamin D than 600 IU especially during the winter months. You can also have a blood draw done to make sure you have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D was linked to easier recovery from illness like Covid-19.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the baby’s brain and eye development. They are also important for the mother’s health, reducing the risk of preterm labor and postpartum depression. Pregnant women can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements or by eating fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Make sure to follow the Safe Fish Options HERE, but yes you can still eat fish! See our blog on Sushi while Pregnant.
- Probiotics are good bacteria that promote a healthy digestive system. They can help prevent constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy. Probiotics can be found in certain foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, or taken in supplement form. Make sure if you spend money on a supplement that they are from the refrigerated section of the store. That will allow the bacteria to stay alive and active.
While taking vitamins and supplements during pregnancy can be beneficial, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen. Some vitamins and supplements can be harmful to the baby or interact with other medications. It is also essential to ensure that the supplements are from a reputable source and do not contain harmful additives or contaminants.