Preparing for the arrival of a baby is one of the most precious moments in our lives, and we take all of the precautions to make sure everything goes smoothly. While super healthy foods for pregnant women do exist, sometimes it’s not easy to reach the recommended nutrient intake.
For added support, expectant mothers are advised to take prenatal vitamins, but when? Let’s look into the best times to take prenatal supplements, and how to reap the most benefits from it.
Why Are Prenatal Vitamins Important?
Even with a nutritious diet, it is challenging to consume the daily recommended amount of vitamins that our bodies demand, especially during gestation. Since it is easy to become vitamin deficient, prenatal vitamins are the much-needed backup to reinforce a safe and healthy pregnancy. These are some of the main components of prenatal vitamins.
It is considered the most crucial component of prenatal vitamins. According to the CDC, women should take folic acid before and during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent congenital disabilities in the baby’s brain and spine. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps with cell regeneration, and it is what sets prenatal types apart from regular vitamins.
Iron is the second most essential nutrient in prenatal vitamins as it is needed to provide blood and oxygen to the baby. Pregnant women need a generous supply to sustain a fetus’s development and growth. Anemia, or iron deficiency, is all too common but can be easily remedied with iron-rich foods and supplements.
Before Getting Pregnant
If there is a chance someone can become pregnant, or they are thinking of becoming pregnant, they should consume the daily dosage of 400 micrograms of folic acid. Taking prenatal supplements as a preemptive measure is a smart move, especially for possible unplanned and unexpected pregnancies.
Many healthcare professionals advise women of all reproductive ages to take prenatal vitamins if there is a chance of becoming pregnant. The idea is to be prepared as early as possible to prevent congenital disabilities, at least three months prior to conception.
Taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is just as important as consuming it before conception. While having it before helps with brain and spinal development, the additional iron and calcium is needed throughout the gestation period.
Taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is particularly beneficial for women that are prone to vitamin deficiencies. Low iron can result in low bone density, and little calcium can cause the baby to be born too small or too soon.
Mothers can continue to take their prenatal vitamins after the baby is born for added nutrients during breastfeeding. The supplements work just as effectively as postnatal care, but there is additional supplementation that is usually taken during breastfeeding, such as vitamin D, B6, and B12.
Prenatal vitamins are essential supplements for both the mother and the developing child, regardless of the fertility state. Whether someone is pregnant or trying for a baby, they should always consult their doctor before taking prenatal vitamins or other kinds of supplements.