Prenatal vitamins refer to supplements to be taken daily to receive the necessary vitamins and minerals needed before and during pregnancy. These vitamins are ideal for people who are pregnant and trying to get pregnant. Most nutrients should essentially come from the foods that are eaten, but prenatal vitamins help ensure you have all that is needed for a smooth pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins can come in capsules or tablets, sometimes in chewable form, so finding one that works the best with your body can help make sure there are no side effects experienced.
During pregnancy, the body requires a higher level of vitamins and minerals to support the growth of the fetus. Most of these vitamins are a combination of different nutrients to supplement daily nutrition. If you are hoping to conceive or are pregnant, prenatal vitamins should be taken at least three months prior to conception.
Choosing the Right Prenatal Vitamins
Being able to choose the right prenatal vitamins for you to take may be an overwhelming decision, but it is important to remember that these supplements are necessary These vitamins should be an essential part of a healthy pregnancy and there are a variety of options that you can discuss with your doctor if you are having trouble deciding for yourself.
If you are having trouble determining which vitamins and minerals you need, below are some of the recommended guidelines for key nutrients and the amount needed during pregnancy, according to the ACOG or the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists.
Calcium is typically found in pasteurized milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, and dark, leafy greens. This nutrient is needed for you and your baby to build strong bones and teeth.
Recommended amount daily: 1,300 mg for 14 to 18 years old; 1,000 mg for 19 to 50 years old
Iron helps red blood cells be able to deliver oxygen to your baby. It also helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your body. Some of the best sources for Iron is in lean red meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified cereals and grains, prune juice, and dried beans and peas.
Recommended amount daily: 27 mg
Vitamin A’s best sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables. It is important to get your daily dose of Vitamin A for you and your baby so that your body is able to form healthy skin and eyesight and help with bone growth while pregnant.
Recommended amount daily: 770 micrograms
Vitamin B6 helps with the formation of red blood cells for the baby and helps the body use up the protein, fat, and carbohydrates you consume. This vitamin can be found in beef, liver, pork, wholegrain cereals, ham, and bananas.
Recommended amount daily: 1.9 mg
Vitamin B12, which is found mostly in meat, fish, poultry, and milk, maintains the nervous system and just like Vitamin B6 is needed to form red blood cells. If you are vegetarian, you should take a B12 supplement as there are no non-meat and non-dairy foods that contain this nutrient.
Recommended amount daily: 2.6 micrograms
Vitamin C, probably the most popular vitamin out there, promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bone growth, and also helps the body absorb iron. This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries.
Recommended amount daily: 85 mg
Vitamin D’s best sources include sunlight, fortified milk, and fatty fish like salmon. It helps build the baby’s bones and teeth and promote healthy skin and eyesight.
Recommended amount daily: 600 international units
Folic acid is the most important vitamin for pre-pregnancy health or when planning. It is a B vitamin that the cells in the body need for growing and developing. It can be found in dark green leafy vegetables, orange juices, fortified cereals, beans, nuts, and enriched bread and pasta.
Recommended amount daily: 600 micrograms
Once you and your partner plan to conceive, prenatal vitamins should be part of the things you need to discuss with your doctor. This will make sure that you have all the necessary nutrients for you and your body to remain in top shape throughout the whole pregnancy. With an idea now on the different vitamins and minerals, you are able to plan out both your food and the kinds of vitamins you need for an ideal pregnancy.