Perhaps you’re thinking of taking prenatal vitamins, and what to make sure that you choose ones that have all of your pregnancy bases covered. There are certain essential vitamins and minerals that any prenatal vitamin worth its salt should contain. You don’t want to leave any of them out or you could be missing out on benefits to both you and your baby. There are three key times to consider taking prenatal vitamins and we’ll go into more detail on the benefits they provide to each important part of the process.
When to Use Them?
Before You’re Pregnant: It’s perfectly OK to get started on prenatal vitamins, even while you’re trying to get pregnant. While they won’t necessarily increase your chances of success, they will ensure that you have everything in place once you do get pregnant, so that your little embryo is starting from a strong foundation from Day One.
After Conception: Once you’re pregnant, now you’ve got to consider that your baby is counting on you as their sole source of food and nutrients and you’ll want to prevent any gaps, especially in the main areas listed below. This is a time when your body will be going through major hormonal changes and shifts, and it is also a time when there will be severe nutritional demands that are hard to meet by just eating a proper diet. Of course you’ll want to do your best to eat foods that are nutrient dense, and get light exercise to make sure your body and mind are healthy and happy, but prenatal vitamins are good for setting a solid base.
While Breastfeeding: After you’ve had your baby they are still relying on you for the nutrients they need through your breast milk. That’s why you want to continue eating a healthy diet, and continue supplementing with prenatal vitamins, even though you’ve already given birth. There are also postnatal vitamins that you can take that are specifically designed to meet your nutritional needs after you’ve delivered, and while you’re breastfeeding.
11 Essential Prenatal Vitamins for Expecting Moms
When looking at the different brands and types of prenatal vitamins, make sure that you’re getting these specific vitamins and minerals. You may also see other nutrients included, but you’ll want to make sure that they contain these as a bare minimum.
Calcium is one very important mineral that you don’t want to be short on while you’re trying to get pregnant, during your pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. We all know that calcium helps with bones, teeth, and nails, and during the nine months of development your baby will be forming the building blocks of these as well as countless other body parts and cells. Calcium even plays a role in helping your baby’s different systems, including the cardiovascular system. It’s one mineral that you don’t want to run short on, so be sure to eat calcium-rich foods as well.
#2 Folic Acid
It’s commonly understood that your folic acid levels need to be in a healthy state throughout the entire duration of your pregnancy. But it’s important to understand why this is the case, because a strong enough why can help you to remember to take your vitamins daily. The reason folic acid is so important is because it can help to prevent birth defects if taken early on in pregnancy. It’s important to have it in your system before you get pregnant, and carry on with it all the way through pregnancy, although in varying amounts.
Running a shortage of Iron is not a good idea while pregnant. Even though you won’t be having your period, there’s still a big need for iron because you’ll have more blood in your system than you typically do. It’s interesting to note that both losing blood to menstruation, and increasing blood due to pregnancy can both put iron demands on your body. The placenta is also going to put a strain on your Iron reserves, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough for both you and your baby.
Niacin is another important mineral that you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of, and mostly this is needed during your pregnancy. You can scale it back once you’ve delivered and are breastfeeding, which is one reason why you should starting using a postnatal supplement instead of the prenatal one you’ll be using while pregnant. Niacin also goes by the name of Vitamin B3, making it part of the B Vitamin family and helps the body in several ways. It’s not too hard to run low on it, which is why you’re playing it safe with a good multivitamin.
If you’re not familiar with Riboflavin and how it plays a part in your pregnancy, now is a good time to get acquainted with it. Not only will it help you feel less depleted and fatigued while you’re pregnant, it’s also going to help your baby develop, and give them the vitamins they need to grow healthy inside of you. It’s helping with important things like muscles and nerves, so this is something you need to supply them with every day. Unlike some vitamins like Vitamin D, your body can’t build reserves of Riboflavin, so you need to supplement daily.
Thiamine supports many functions of the body that play a big role while you’re pregnant. It’s another B Vitamin, rounding out this essential group of vitamins and this might be dubbed one of the most important of the bunch because it’s helping with the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Keep a constant shortage of Vitamin B1 and you could be setting your future child up for developmental problems. Don’t let it scare you, just be sure to top up on it while you’re pregnant.
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