What Are The Most Important Vitamins For Pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant, you should take extra care to be mindful of your health, both for you and your baby. One way to ensure a healthy pregnancy is by taking the proper vitamins and supplements. In this blog post, we will discuss the essential vitamins that every pregnant woman needs to take to support her baby’s healthy development and maintain her own well-being.

It is important to note that prenatal vitamins contain the supplements listed below. Taking your prenatal vitamin combined with a balanced diet is the best way to make sure that you are providing both you and your baby with all of the vital nutrients you both need for a healthy pregnancy. Before supplementing outside of your diet and your prenatal vitamin, please consult with your healthcare provider.

DHA

Ensuring an adequate intake of DHA during pregnancy is crucial for both you and your baby’s long-term health. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a crucial role in both the brain and eye development of a fetus. Because your baby’s body cannot produce this important nutrient on its own, it is essential that you consume enough DHA throughout your pregnancy. This is especially true during the third trimester when brain development is at its peak.

Consuming foods rich in DHA can provide the necessary nutrients for a growing baby’s brain and eye health. Besides fetal health, DHA is also beneficial for you, as it reduces the risk of preterm delivery and postpartum depression.

  • Fatty fish (like salmon and bluefin tuna*)
  • Nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Seeds (like flaxseeds and chia seeds
  • Spinach
  • Pastured eggs

*please note that it is important not to consume more than 2-3 servings of tuna per week in pregnancy

Folic Acid

Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient that every pregnant woman should include in their daily dietary intake. This is because folic acid plays a crucial role in the development of the fetal neural tube, which eventually forms the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Studies show that women who take folic acid supplements before and during early pregnancy have a significantly lower risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects or spina bifida. Additionally, folic acid also supports the growth and development of the placenta and helps to prevent anemia in expectant mothers. While folic acid is available in various food sources, it is difficult to get enough through diet alone. This is why taking supplements is so important during pregnancy. At least 400 mcg of folic acid is recommended to reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Some women may require more folic acid depending on their own medical history.

Here are a few ways to get folic acid:

  • Fortified foods (bread, flour, cornmeal, white rice, etc…)
  • Beans like lentils, pinto beans, and black beans
  • Folic acid vitamins
  • Leafy greens
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit)

Iron

Iron plays a critical role in the human body, particularly in the formation of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood supply increases significantly to support the growth and development of the baby.

Failing to get sufficient iron during pregnancy can cause fatigue, weakness, and anemia in the mother. The baby may be at risk of low birth weight or premature birth. Therefore, it is crucial for you to get adequate iron in your diet or through supplements if recommended by your healthcare provider. Typically between your prenatal vitamin and your diet alone, you will get enough iron. Your provider will check your iron levels regularly during pregnancy, however, to make sure you do not need extra supplementation.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient that pregnant women require more of than other people. The benefits of maintaining a healthy intake of calcium during pregnancy are numerous.

This nutrient plays an integral role in developing a baby’s bones, teeth, and heart. A lack of calcium can lead to complications such as preeclampsia and eclampsia, which can be life-threatening. Additionally, calcium helps keep your bones healthy and strong during pregnancy and can help you recover more quickly after delivery.

Normally, it is recommended to take between 900 and 1200 mg per day of calcium. Even if you don’t get enough calcium during pregnancy, your body will still provide it to your growing baby, which means you will lose calcium. Overall, calcium is a vital nutrient that pregnant women should make sure they’re getting enough of for the health of both themselves and their babies.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption, and keeping your immune system strong. During pregnancy, your body needs Vitamin D to help your baby’s growth and development, especially their bones and teeth.

Additionally, research suggests that taking Vitamin D during pregnancy may decrease the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. These two conditions can be dangerous for both the mother and baby. It is advised to consult with a healthcare provider about the appropriate dosage of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Here are some ways to get that Vitamin D.

  • Sunshine
  • Red meat
  • Some fish (including salmon, tuna, and sardines)
  • Egg yolks
  • Supplements
  • Fortified cereals

Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant is crucial for the growth and development of your baby during this crucial time. Not only does it play a critical role in the development of their bones and teeth, but also in strengthening their immune system. This will help protect them from illness and infection.

Additionally, Vitamin C is important for maintaining your skin and preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. To ensure that you are getting enough of this vitamin, make sure to include plenty of Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, such as:

  • Oranges
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3’s are essential during pregnancy. They promote fetal growth and development, particularly in the brain and eyes. They also reduce the risk of premature birth, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and postpartum depression.

Furthermore, Omega-3’s can help boost the mother’s immune system and lower inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Some good dietary sources of Omega-3’s include:

  • Fatty fish
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts

Pregnant women should aim to consume at least 200-300 milligrams of Omega-3’s each day. By taking care of their nutritional intake, expectant mothers can help support a healthy pregnancy and set their children up for a strong start in life.

Women’s Healthcare Associates

Taking the proper vitamins and supplements during pregnancy is crucial to ensure both the health of yourself and your growing baby. Speak with your healthcare provider to ensure you are getting enough of these essential vitamins in your diet.

To prepare for pregnancy and get the best care for you and your baby, contact the professionals at Women’s Healthcare and Associates. We provide comprehensive women’s healthcare services to ensure every patient is healthy and happy! Give us a call today at 806-355-6330.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter:

Recent Posts

What Affects The Length Of Your Period?

Learn More

Getting Sick While Pregnant: Tips for Getting and Staying Healthy

Learn More

What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer

Learn More

location

Women’s Healthcare Associates

1301 S Coulter St # 300
Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: (806) 355-6330

Best of Amarillo 2022

© Women'Healthcare Associates 2017 - All rights reserved
Website design and marketing by Andrews & Associates