As mums, we tend to over care for our bodies during pregnancy in order to keep our unborn babies healthy and happy. And because of that, we go through every pregnancy vitamins and supplements to ensure that our bodies are perfect homes for our babies. So what pregnancy vitamins should you take, and from which source?
First of all, we all know that there are two sources of vitamins: natural, and from a bottle. It can be a little confusing when deciding which to rely on, but do not worry because this guide will help you through.
What pregnancy vitamins do you need?
During your pregnancy, you will need many vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. We strongly recommend you to always check and consult with your OB/GYN to know what vitamins you need the most, and how to take them.
Here is a list of every pregnancy vitamin you will need:
1| Folic Acid
Your body must have a steady and average level of it especially in the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy to help your baby develop and grow. Consult your doctor on whether you need to add it to your list or not.
You can increase your folic acid levels by eating dark leafy greens or green vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.
It is mostly known that calcium makes bones stronger, but it also has other benefits. Every pregnant mum needs her intake of calcium because it helps in absorbing other nutrients and aids the body in functioning well. It also reduces high blood pressure which is very important during pregnancy.
Dairy foods and seafood can help you in maintaining your calcium levels as needed.
Your body needs iron to make extra hemoglobin for you and your baby. Keeping up your iron intake helps you stay stronger and avoid tiredness or fainting during pregnancy.
Eat spinach and meats to maintain your iron levels.
4| Vitamin A
Not only does it fight infections, but it helps in protecting and maintaining the embryo growth as well. It also supports your skin during pregnancy to stay soft and moisturized.
Vitamin A can be found in many foods including sweet potatoes, carrots, and tuna fish.
5| Vitamin B12
B12 helps your body to absorb and digest food, and keep up proper metabolism. It also promotes healthy nerve, spine and brain development in the growing baby.
This vitamin is found in animal meats, especially livers and kidneys.
6| Vitamin C
Antioxidants are important for pregnant mums. They help the body’s immunity and improve its ability to absorb iron. Vitamin C is well-known to be in lemons and oranges.
7| Vitamin K
Maintaining your Vitamin K intake assists the formation of proteins in the liver. That is why many doctors recommend food high in protein such as kale and brussels sprouts.
8| Omega 3
Support your own health as well as their baby’s growth and development by maintaining a healthy Omega 3 intake. It is important for both pregnant mums and nursing mums. Also, it reduces the risk of premature labor and increases birth weight.
Mackerels – which are small, fatty fish – contain high levels of Omega 3.
9| Vitamin D
A healthy mum is a healthy baby. Vitamin D is beneficial for your own personal health during pregnancy. It supports immune functions, fosters healthy cell division, and improves bone health. Focus on foods such as fish, whole milk, and mushrooms to keep your Vitamin D flowing in your body.
Choline is similar to the B vitamins, and can be found in the same sources. It can help pregnant women in preventing neural tube defects. It is also used as a supplement in infant formulas.
Finally, Iodine has plenty of benefits for pregnant mums as it helps form thyroid hormones, it supports fetal and child brain development, and boosts metabolism and energy. It also contributes to stimulating the immune system and promotes female health. Foods like iodized salt, shrimps, and turkey breast are a great source for Iodine.
Vitamins from Natural sources
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that a pregnant mums must have a high intake of nutrients and vitamins from a variety of foods, including:
– Proteins, such as lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.
– Healthy carbohydrates like corn, bananas, beets, quinoa, dates and oats
– Vitamins in both fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
– Minerals found in nuts, lentils, beans, fish, seeds, and whole grains.
– Healthy Fats which you can get from olive oil, peanut butter, avocado and canola oil.
Pregnancy Vitamins and supplements
According to the World Health Org, supplements during pregnancy improves maternal vitamins’ status and may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, low birthweight, preterm birth and many others. The following are the top pregnancy vitamins for every mum: