Your baby needs additional vitamins and minerals to support her growth, which means that you need to be smart about what you eat. She relies on you to provide her with the necessary vitamins, and if you don’t, she’ll take them from your stash, which can cause you bad health. Make sure that you’re getting all the vitamins that you need.
There are three main vitamins that become additionally important when you’re pregnant — folic acid, calcium and iron. Folic acid prevents neural defects in your baby, including paralysis and mental retardation. He needs calcium to form strong bones and iron for a healthy blood flow.
Prenatal vitamins, whether you get them by prescription or over the counter, contain all of the additional vitamins that you need for a healthy pregnancy. It’s smart to start taking them before you conceive so that your body has vitamin reserves when possible. Taking your vitamin at the same time every day can help you remember to take it.
Recent research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important when it comes to brain development, according to Web MD. Consider purchasing an additional DHA supplement, which has the omega-3 fatty acids from plant-based sources as opposed to fish-based sources.
Vitamins in Food
A well-rounded, healthy diet can also provide you with essential vitamins. It’s not enough to simply take your prenatal vitamin and eat nothing but junk. However, keep in mind that the nutritional information printed on the foods that you eat is based on a person who is not pregnant. For example, Pregnancy Today points out that a pregnant woman needs twice as much iron as a someone who is not pregnant, so a food that shows 20 percent of the daily recommended amount is really only 10 percent for a pregnant woman.
Constipation is a common side effect of increased iron intake. You may experience this as you start taking your prenatal vitamins. You can counter this effect by eating foods that are high in fiber, taking a fiber supplement or drinking more water.