Pregnancy and Pre-natal Vitamins

Pre-natal vitamins are important to the health of a growing baby. They are also important to pregnant mothers because their bodies are going through so many changes.

Our diets today are often deficient in key nutrients found in pre-natal vitamins that help a baby's development in the womb. One deficiency that has been found is the lack of enough folic acid, one of the B vitamins.

Rectifying vitamin deficiency can be done by modifying your diet and by taking pre-natal vitamin supplements. It is easiest for your body to absorb nutrients from foods, but since it can be difficult to take in enough of those key vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, most doctors recommend that you also take pre-natal supplements.

The most important pre-natal vitamin is folic acid, which is the synthetic form of the naturally occurring folate. If folic acid is taken in the first four weeks of pregnancy, it can reduce the risk of the baby having an incomplete spinal column, or neural tube defect by up to 70%.

Because folic acid is most useful very early in the pregnancy, most doctors recommend that women trying to conceive begin supplementing their diet with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day. In fact the U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age take this supplement as a preventative measure, in the case of an unplanned pregnancy. Many once-daily multi-vitamin supplements include this in their product.

While folic acid is most important in the first trimester, most doctors recommend it throughout the pregnancy. Spinach and chicken liver are great natural sources of folate. Folate is often added to breakfast cereals and breads; this addition will be written on the nutrition label.

Calcium is another critical supplement for your baby for the same reasons that it is important for you; calcium helps the baby develop strong bones and teeth. One of the best sources of calcium is cheddar cheese (real cheese, not the plastic-like "cheese product" made from hydrogenated oil with orange color added). Calcium is also found in yogurt, milk, kale, etc.

In addition to dairy products, calcium citrate is often added to cereals and other non-dairy products like orange juice.

When taking calcium supplements it may be safest to take calcium citrate which is made from citrus fruit.

Small amounts of vitamin D are important for calcium absorption. The good news is that you can absorb this vitamin through exposure to the sun. Most prenatal supplements provide this vitamin.

Iron is important for the baby's development of red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the baby. Supplementing iron into your diet is mostly important for the mother's health. Insufficient iron might lead to fatigue and anemia. On the other hand, too much iron can hurt both the mother and the baby. Be very careful with iron supplements!

The baby will generally get all of the iron he needs, even if that means leaving the mom anemic. By the end of the pregnancy a mother will have twice as much blood in her body as she did before. Therefore pregnant women may need more iron as non-pregnant women. Another important fact is that coffee and tea can decrease iron absorption.

The best and safest way to get the right amount of iron is to take the balance multi-vitamin and mineral pre-natal supplements that your doctor recommends. You might save money if you ask your doctor which over the counter pre-natal vitamins may contain the same ingredients as prescription versions.

Pre-natal vitamin supplements are even more important for women who have poor nutrition, women who are carrying twins, and women who have a closely spaced pregnancy.

For women that are healthy and eat a balanced diet, pre-natal supplements are still important to insure against the possibility that the women are not getting enough of any given nutrient. Many women who were careful to eat right were still found to be low in folic acid for example.

Vitamin supplements, in particular those with iron, can be tough to swallow for the expecting mother because of the infamous 'morning sickness,' that is far from relegated to the morning hours.

Many women have found that beginning to take pre-natal vitamins a month or more before conception can diminish morning sickness and therefore make taking the pre-natal vitamins during pregnancy an easier pill to swallow. Taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant does not cause any problems. These vitamins are not that different than regular daily multi-vitamins, except that they do not contain any herbs or herbal supplements that could cause problems. Be very careful to avoid most herbal supplements when pregnant. Talk to your doctor.

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease. All information here is intended for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, diet or fitness regimen.

Monica Nelson writes articles that offer helpful information on subjects such as women's health, weightloss, pregnancy symptoms, exercise equipment and affordable health insurance.

In The News:


Bustle

Faye Resnick's Reaction To Kylie Jenner's Pregnancy Rumors Is Unsurprisingly All About Kris Jenner
Bustle
There are some phrases that never really make sense, no matter how real they are. For instance: "Academy Award-Winning Guy Who Directed Anchorman," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Faye Resnick's reaction to Kylie Jenner's pregnancy.
Kris Jenner Wants to Make Sure Kylie's Pregnancy Doesn't Get in the Way of $420 Million Business: SourcePEOPLE.com
The Confusing Case of Kylie Jenner's Maybe PregnancyVanity Fair
Kylie Jenner "Not Confirming" Pregnancy Rumors, Kris Tells Ryan SeacrestE! Online
ABC News -Billboard -Refinery29 -TMZ.com
all 322 news articles »

NPR

A Flu Shot Is Still 'Essential' For Pregnant Women, Obstetricians Say ...
NPR
Researchers and physicians say a study suggesting a link between the flu vaccine and miscarriage in a limited population is cause for more research, not a ...

and more »

PEOPLE.com

Jenny Mollen Poses Nude at 38 Weeks Pregnant - People
PEOPLE.com
Jenny Mollen hasn't been shy about showing off her baby bump — and she's showing no signs of stopping now. The pregnant comedic actress and author ...
Actress Jenny Mollen shares completely nude selfie at 38 weeks ...AOL

all 5 news articles »

E! Online

Heidi Montag Gets Emotional as She Reflects on Miracle Pregnancy ...
E! Online
At nine months pregnant, The Hills' Heidi Montag looks back at her awesome adventure.

and more »

Refinery29

How Celebrities Use Pregnancy For PR: A Look At Kylie Jenner And Nikki Reed
Refinery29
It took roughly eight seconds for Twitter to explode with theories about the youngest member of the Kardashian clan, whose rumored pregnancy has been dominating the news cycle ever since. It's absolutely no coincidence that the news leaked less than ...

and more »

The Sun

Caitlyn Jenner is 'shocked and disappointed' with daughter Kylie's pregnancy and thinks she's too young to have a ...
The Sun
"Caitlyn was really shocked and disappointed to learn that Kylie is pregnant," a source close to Caitlyn told Hollywood Life. "She thinks Kylie is way too young to have a baby, and that she should have waited until she was in a long term committed ...
'She thinks it will take a huge toll on her life': Caitlyn Jenner is 'shocked and disappointed at daughter Kylie's ...Daily Mail
Kylie Jenner's first photos since pregnancy report: What do they reveal?USA TODAY
Kris Jenner Addresses Kylie Jenner Pregnancy RumorsHollywood Reporter
E! Online -PEOPLE.com -Us Weekly -TMZ.com
all 1,111 news articles »

WLS-TV

Frankfort cop suing for pregnancy discrimination: 'I still can't believe this goes on in 2017'
WLS-TV
The police officer from southwest suburban Frankfort who is suing her own department for pregnancy discrimination gave her first television interview Monday. The veteran officer said she was forced to take unpaid leave to protect her pregnancy. "I ...

and more »

PEOPLE.com

Pregnant Jaime Pressly on Expecting Twins: Feeling 'Eight Limbs Moving Around Is Something Very Alien'
PEOPLE.com
Jaime Pressly is opening up about how expecting twins is a whole different world than just being pregnant with one baby. “I am feeling very pregnant,” Pressly told PEOPLE Saturday at the Step2 Presents 6th Annual Celebrity Red CARpet Safety Awareness ...


Today.com

Pregnant Jessica Alba on the 'exhausting' pressure to be perfect ...
Today.com
Jessica Alba has gone from Hollywood starlet to the founder of a billion-dollar company, all while raising two children. Now pregnant with her third, Alba ...

and more »

Hollywood Reporter

'Big Bang Theory' Boss Explains That Season 11 Premiere Double Shocker
Hollywood Reporter
The storyline comes after star Rauch revealed her own pregnancy (in an emotional essay) earlier this year. To hear new showrunner Steve Holland tell it, producers then decided to write Rauch's pregnancy into the show as it set up a nice storyline for ...
[SPOILER] Is Pregnant in 'The Big Bang Theory' Season PremierePopCulture.com

all 207 news articles »
Google News

Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk

It is commonly recognized that breast milk is the best... Read More

Keeping Cool When Pregnant

Chill Out: how to keep your cool this summerWhen the... Read More

Feeling Sexy During Pregnancy

Some people think that the word sexy and pregnancy do... Read More

How To Avoid Swelling When Pregnant

Edema, otherwise known as swelling, will affect almost all women... Read More

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Think you may need to do a home pregnancy test?... Read More

Mommy Is Having A Baby!

Preparing for a new arrival from the beginning of your... Read More

Will I Get Stretch Marks? If I Do, What Can I Do?

It doesn't seem possible at the outset of pregnancy, but... Read More

Stress And Pregnancy

Stress Relief During Pregnancy If you truly want to ensure... Read More

How do I Calculate My Pregnancy Due Date?

You're pregnant! The next question is: When is the baby... Read More

Is a Healthy Pregnancy Possible After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When a woman in the child bearing years undergoes gastric... Read More

How do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests identify a special hormone in the blood or... Read More

Pregnancy Week By Week

There are three stages of pregnancy. These are the first,... Read More

Problems Associated With Teen Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the pivotal moments of a woman's... Read More

Weight Loss After Pregnancy - The Importance Of Setting Goals

One of the best things you can do is set... Read More

Eating Healthfully When A New Baby Arrives

A new baby can be overwhelming for the whole family.... Read More

Morbidly Obese and Suffering Pregnancy Complications? Consider Gastric Bypass

Obese and morbidly obese women are more likely to have... Read More

Dietary Precautions During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you should be sure to wash... Read More

The Ins and Outs of Being a Doula

A doula is a Greek word meaning "woman servant." Doulas... Read More

Pregnancy Preparation: Who is a Baby Whisperer?

A baby whisper is a Dr. Mommy who inspires and... Read More

After Birth Weight Control

After having given birth; weight becomes a lasting issue for... Read More

10 Pregnancy Risk Factors that Every Pregnant Woman Should be Aware of

Many factors affect the development of a fetus into a... Read More

Coping With an Unplanned Pregnancy

Your period is late and you start to think maybe... Read More

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Choosing The Right Foods

So you need to gain weight but don't want to... Read More

How To Prepare For Natural Childbirth

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT BIRTH IS NATURAL,... Read More

Pregnant Mothers and Starbucks

Many mothers are addicted to caffeine and cannot handle going... Read More