I read a quote by Uma Thurman this past week that said:
I never ever slept again after my first pregnancy.
As the mother of a 3 year old little girl who is not (and never has been) a good sleeper, this quote made me laugh. Boy, can I relate! I also never slept during my pregnancy; even then my daughter liked to keep me up at night.
All joking aside, pregnancy is an exciting yet stressful time for moms (and dads too).
Body changes, anxiousness about delivery and worrying about the health of their unborn child are all normal pregnancy concerns.
According to an article on the Parents Magazine website, the health of their baby is the top concern for women during pregnancy.
There are many things women can do to be healthy during pregnancy like:
- eat a balanced diet
- get enough sleep
- stay physically active
In addition to a healthy lifestyle, prenatal vitamins play a key role in having a healthy pregnancy.
Why Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal Vitamins are created especially for pregnant women who have different nutritional needs. They contain many essential vitamins and minerals including folic acid, iron and calcium.
Prenatal vitamins are an important part of pregnancy and are conveniently available as pills, capsules, chewable tablets and even liquids.
Folic Acid, Iron and Calcium
Folic acid has been proven to help prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Neural tube defects like spina bifida can develop early after conception; often before women even know they are pregnant. Because of this, it is often recommended that all women of child bearing age take a prenatal vitamin.
Calcium found in prenatals can help prevent a pregnant woman from losing her bone density as her baby will also use calcium for its own growth.
Iron in prenatals is important because it helps both mom and baby carry oxygen throughout their bodies.
What Prenatals Should Contain
Your healthcare provider may want to give you a prescription for a specific prenatal or may have specific requirements for you based on your pregnancy.
At a minimum, look for a prenatal vitamin that contains the following:
- 400 mcg folic acid
- 400 IU vitamin D
- 200-300 mg calcium
- 70 mg vitamin C
- 3 mg thiamine
- 2 mg riboflavin
- 20 mg niacin
- 6 mcg vitamin B12
- 10 mg vitamin E
- 15 mg zinc
- 17 mg iron
Prenatal vitamins should be taken during the entire length of pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins after the baby is born, especially if you plan on breastfeeding. It’s also a good idea to take them if you’re planning or trying to have a baby.
Prenatal Side Effects
Women may experience nausea when taking a prenatal vitamin. Taking your vitamin with a snack or right before you go to bed can help reduce nausea.
Constipation can also be a problem when taking prenatal vitamins. To help prevent this make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, including more fiber in your diet and staying physically active.
Prenatal Forte by Integrative Therapeutics is one of our best selling prenatal vitamins. This contains a combination of vitamins and minerals designed to promote healthy pregnancy. Always check with your healthcare provider before you start taking any supplements, especially during pregnancy!