|Prenatal Vitamins: Are they essential?|
Are prenatal vitamins really essential for a healthy pregnancy? Are all prenatal vitamins the same - or are some better than others?
Prenatal vitamins are not necessarily essential for the health of your newborn, but they can be a good safety measure to ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs during this especially important time.
Providing that you are eating a well balanced diet then prenatal vitamins may not be essential but they are there to fill in the gaps when you are missing out on any specific vitamin or mineral. Between the morning sickness, the suddenly very super-sensitive sense of smell (especially for all things nauseating), cravings (usually for all things sweet and unhealthy) and overwhelming bouts of "I'm too tired to cook dinner" it's a wonder any mum-to-be is able to eat at all, let alone maintain a healthy, well balanced diet.
And so the prenatal vitamin can top up your recommended daily intake should you find yourself struggling to keep up with a healthy diet, making sure your baby gets all the vitamins he or she needs to grow and thrive.
Among the benefits of a prenatal vitamin is the fact that it ensures your body gets an adequate amount of iron.
The results are in...studies have proved that the majority of women don't consume enough iron during their pregnancies. Iron deficiency can and sometimes does result in anemia, a condition that can easily be avoided by taking a proper prenatal vitamin. Anemia leaves you feeling tired and unmotivated - not a good combination when the pregnancy itself is starting to take its toll on you.
Another important component of prenatal vitamins is folic acid. Important in pregnancy, folic acid has been found to reduce the risk of birth defects, namely neural tube defects. In fact, the vast majority of doctors recommend that women who are trying to fall pregnant should begin taking a folic acid supplement or boosting their folic acid consumption at least 1 month before trying to get pregnant.
So how much folic acid do I need each day, you may ask. Great question and one that too many women fail to ask. Providing that there is no history of neural tube defects like spina bifida in the family, then the recommended daily dose of folic acid is 400mcg (micrograms). IF you do have a family history of spina bifida then the recommended does goes all the way up to 5mg (milligrams) each day. To this end, there are different levels of vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins - you should discuss your needs with your Doctor.
Although prenatal vitamins are not a necessity, they certainly contain many benefits. With one dose a day, you can rest assured that your baby-to-be is getting all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs, keeping his or her development and growth right on track and increasing your chances of having a healthy newborn.
We would like to take this chance to wish you a swift and trouble free pregnancy. Congratulations!
PLEASE NOTE: This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctor's recommendation. Prior to starting or ceasing ANY medications (including those designed to be taken prenatally), the expectant mother must consult a licensed physician for proper recommendation.