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The Top 7 Vitamins and Minerals to look for in a Prenatal Vitamin

The Top 7 Vitamins and Minerals to look for in a Prenatal Vitamin

Expecting a child is filled with so many emotions. Emotions of joy and excitement and some filled with anxiety. It can be quite overwhelming at times. When it comes to making sure you and your baby have a healthy pregnancy, taking a good quality prenatal is vital. There is so much information on what to do, what not to do, and what to take. The best thing you can do is work with your doctor to determine the best path for you and your baby’s health. To help guide you with your decision, here are some of the top nutrients you should look for in a prenatal.

Why do you need to take a Prenatal Vitamin?

Of course, a healthy diet is always key to a healthy life. However, it becomes harder to receive the proper nutrients during pregnancy through diet alone for a growing baby. Prenatal vitamins will help fill these gaps to make sure you’re getting the nutrients that you need.

What are the top 7 vitamins and minerals to look for in a prenatal?

Folate

Folate is a B vitamin that is important for developing the neural tube, which develops the brain and spinal cord early in the beginning stages of pregnancy. Folate aids in the development of the central nervous system and helps prevent birth defects. [2] You can see why this B vitamin is definitely a top recommendation by doctors for pregnant women.

Iodine

When you are pregnant, your hormones may feel all over the place. That’s because you are experiencing a need for more hormones especially in the beginning stages of pregnancy. Your body requires more hormones, so an increase in the production of hormones has to be in proportion. This is where Iodine comes in. Your ability to meet these needs of hormone production is based solely on the availability of Iodine. [3] Iodine is also essential because it provides the nutrients necessary to help the body grow and develop - especially the brain. You’re going to want double of what you’d typically have during pregnancy to support both yourself and your baby but speak with your doctor to make sure you are taking the correct amount.

Magnesium

Many individuals do not receive the recommended amount of magnesium daily even when they are not pregnant. So you can only imagine the number of pregnant women who are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium and calcium work together. While magnesium relaxes the muscles, calcium will stimulate them. Research has shown that the appropriate amount of magnesium will help prevent the uterus from having contractions too soon and lower your risk of preeclampsia. [4]

Iron

During pregnancy, you need twice the amount of iron you usually would because you need to produce blood for yourself and your baby. The proper amount of iron will help prevent anemia or a lack of red blood cells, which causes reduced oxygen flow to your organs and your baby’s organs. This can make you feel tired or experience a lack of energy. Pregnant women are most vulnerable to iron deficiency. [5]

Vitamin B12

The formation of red blood cells is vital for your baby’s development, and B12 provides just that. B12 is one of the essential B vitamins responsible for maintaining and supporting the development of the nervous system. B12 also plays a big role in the development of your baby’s neural tube, brain and spine.[6] If you are expecting, B12 will help improve your energy, mood, and stress levels.

Vitamin D

We know how vital vitamin D is to maintain good health, but it is even more essential during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you are the only source of vitamin D for your growing baby. This vitamin is necessary for the function of the immune system and the structuring of the cells. It also helps us absorb the required amount of calcium and phosphorus. It’s vital in producing your baby’s bones, teeth, heart, and nervous system. The need for vitamin D will carry through lactation as the mother continues to be the primary source of vitamin D. [7]

Calcium

Sure, you can find calcium in many foods but finding a prenatal high in calcium is crucial for ensuring your baby has enough for proper bone development. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. [1] It is responsible for muscle contraction, healthy bones, and enzyme and hormone functioning. Proper amounts of calcium during pregnancy have the potential to reduce the risk of hypertensive disorders such as preeclampsia.[1] Keep in mind that while pregnant your body requires a very high amount of calcium. These levels needed are not often matched in a prenatal so it’s important to also consider taking a separate calcium supplement, preferably one that can balance the calcium.

So, while you should focus on a balanced and healthy diet, you want to take a high-quality prenatal vitamin to help make sure you’re receiving the appropriate amount of nutrients to ease your mind and make sure your baby is born healthy and happy. Keep in mind that a prenatal with all the essential vitamins and minerals will also help ensure you feel your best during your pregnancy. This way, you know you are doing everything you need to for you and your child for a healthy pregnancy filled with lots of love and excitement as you await your new bundle of joy.

Source:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5561751/

[2] https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/folate-and-pregnancy

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18053277/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5590399/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235217/

[6] https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/vitamin-b-pregnancy/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4365424/

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