During pregnancy, there are two vitamins that are extremely important, vitamin D and folic acid. If blood tests show that you are suffering from anemia you will also need to take an iron supplement, and in most cases pregnant women suffer from anemia due to the developing placenta placing huge demands on iron stores. While a healthy diet will provide you with the majority of minerals and vitamins you will need, it is important that you take supplements to ensure that you are getting the full amount. Vitamin A supplements are not required during pregnancy, too much can cause damage to your infant. If you want to find out why you need supplements during pregnancy and the supplements after giving birth for both mother and child, keep reading.
Why Would You Need Supplements During Pregnancy?
Up until recent years, the main supplements recommended during pregnancy were iron and folic acid. However, there are now many specialist minerals and multivitamins designed for pregnancy. Based on the latest evidence that is available, healthcare experts recommend that pregnant women take the following supplements.
- Iodine: Iodine is required for the mental development and normal growth of a baby. The recommended daily intake is 220mcg for pregnant women, and 270mcg for women who are breastfeeding.
- Folic Acid: The recommended daily intake of folic acid for women one month before pregnancy is 600mcg and for three months after pregnancy. You can get folic acid from bread, two slices contain 80mcg; however, it is recommended that you take a supplement to ensure that you get the correct dosage.
- Vitamin D: Calcium needs vitamin D so that it is properly absorbed into the body. Pregnant or lactating women should consume 15mcg of vitamin D per day.
- Calcium: Your baby will require calcium for a healthy heart, nerves, muscles, teeth and bones. For most women, they can get their required amounts of calcium through diet. However, if you don’t eat dairy or suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, you will need to take a calcium supplement.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The majority of supplements contain fish oil, and this provides omega 3 fatty acids. They are required for your little one’s neural development.
- Ginger and Vitamin B6: Morning sickness affects a large majority of women during the early stages of pregnancy. Women can limit the amount of morning sickness they experience by avoiding foods and anything and anything else that makes them feel nauseous, having small, frequent snacks and eating dry foods. Ginger and vitamin B6 will help to relieve the vomiting and nausea.
The above reasons are why you need supplements during pregnancy.
Supplements After Giving Birth For Both Mother and Child
Taking the right vitamins and minerals are just as important after pregnancy as they are during pregnancy.
- Folic Acid: You should continue to take folic acid after pregnancy because it helps to keep your blood and heart healthy.
- Vitamin D and Breastfeeding: Your baby will need vitamin D, and this is only possible through sun exposure or breast milk. It is risky to keep your newborn out in the sun for too long, but if you are taking vitamin D orally, your little one will get it when you breastfeed.
- Vitamin C and Iron: After birth you will lose a lot of blood, and so you will need to replenish your iron stores. Vitamin C makes it easier for iron to be absorbed into the bloodstream; therefore, as well as taking an iron supplement, you will also need to take a vitamin C supplement. The body is better able to absorb iron that comes from animal sources such as poultry, fish and meat as opposed to plant sources. Combine this with foods that are high in vitamin C such as broccoli, kale, bell peppers and strawberries.
There are a wide range of supplements you can take after pregnancy that will benefit both you and your baby. Mama's Select has a large choice, you can check them.
Food Verses Supplements
In an ideal world we would consume all our vitamins and minerals from foods. However, due to mass production, many of the essential nutrients we need from foods have been depleted. Therefore, as a pregnant woman, or a mother, it is essential that you take supplements to ensure that you and your baby get the nutrients required for healthy development. If you are taking any other medications, it is important that you see your doctor to ensure that the supplements won’t interact with what you are taking.