Have you ever wondered about the benefits of prenatal vitamins and how it helps both mom and baby? It’s common practice to use prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Vitamins, in general, are supplemented to essentially cover what our bodies are missing from our normal diet. Prenatal vitamins do the exact thing and more. Everything that your body may be lacking with an average diet, this multivitamin serves as a cover to make sure both you and your baby are getting optimal nutrition. Prenatal vitamins are commonly used while pregnant but are also popular to use for women who are trying to conceive and for beauty purposes. If you’re interested in learning more about these benefits, keep on reading.
Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal Vitamins Before Conception
If you’re starting prenatal vitamins while trying to conceive, you’re on the right track. There are so many benefits of prenatal vitamins before conception like Folic Acid. According to WebMD, folic acid is a necessary part of fetal development in the days immediately after conception. It also helps to prevent any defects of the cord and brain. Not to mention, the major organ systems of the embryo will already be developed by week 10. Because women normally find out about their pregnancy around the 6th week, taking a prenatal vitamin during this time is definitely beneficial. This is why doctors recommended taking a prenatal vitamin as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Foods containing folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits.
Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins While Pregnant
Folic Acid is the biggest asset of the prenatal vitamin, however, there are a handful of other minerals that play a huge role in your pregnancy health. It’s important to know that although vitamins are useful, you should always pair it with a healthy food regimen. While pregnant, try to stay away from any processed junk foods. Vitamins only act as a support system for healthy foods so your body can fully absorb the nutrients from the food you eat.
4000 IU of Vitamin D
It’s been proven that daily Vitamin D prevents preterm labor, births, and infections. Also, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are related to vitamin D deficiency. While looking for a prenatal you’ll notice the average brand will only have 400 IU. Foods such as egg yolk, salmon, cod liver oil are high in Vitamin D. Fortified foods and drinks like milk are recommended as well. Consult with your doctor about using additional supplementation.
70 mg of Calcium
Nutrients such as Calcium protects your bones as your baby grows. Your baby also benefits from Calcium since its such a vital mineral to form baby’s bones and teeth. Foods high in calcium are raw milk, kale, yogurt, broccoli, and cheese.
70 mg of Vitamin C
Collagen is the main component of cartilage, bones, and skin. Vitamin C is essential for you and your baby protecting cells from damage and works as an antioxidant to help fight infections. Foods that provide vitamin C include orange juice, grapefruit juice, strawberries, broccoli, and red bell pepper.
150 micrograms of Iodine
A healthy thyroid is extremely critical while pregnant. Any deficiency in iodine can cause stunted physical growth, severe mental disability, and deafness. Also, low iodine can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. Eggs, yogurt, tuna, eggs, wild caught codfish, green peas, and bananas contain iodine.
20 mg of Niacin
Also known as Vitamin B3, it has been proven to prevent the genetic cause of birth defects and miscarriages. Foods high in niacin include chicken, turkey, peanuts, mushrooms, and grass-fed beef.
17 mg of Iron
This helps your blood deliver oxygen to your baby. Foods rich in iron are dark chocolate, grass-fed beef, lentils, spinach, black beans, sardines, and pistachios.
10 mg of Vitamin E
This is a blood thinner and helps prevent blood clots. It improves immune system for both you and baby. Vitamin E improves your skin especially scars and wrinkles that can form while your belly is growing. Almonds, spinach, sweet potato, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, palm oil, olive oil, and butternut squash are rich in vitamin E.
15 mg of Zinc
This mineral is needed to develop the embryo and fetus. Like Vitamin D, it’s common that a pregnant woman may have a zinc deficiency. Deficiency has been linked to low birth weight, premature delivery, and labor complications. According to research, zinc plays a huge role in the accumulation of lean tissue mass which aids efficient growth from birth. Lamb, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, garbanzo beans, cocoa powder, and cashews are rich in zinc.
6 mg of Vitamin B12
B12 helps maintain your nervous system. In addition to your prenatal vitamin, milk, chicken and fish are good sources of B12. It also works with folic acid to aid in birth defects such as spina bifida, and any potential defects with the spine and central nervous system.
3 mg of Thiamine
Also known as B1, thiamine plays a big part in your baby’s development. This mineral converts carbohydrates into energy for you and your baby. It also helps your nervous system, muscles, and the heart. Fortified foods such as bread, cereal, whole grains, and beans have thiamine.
2 mg of Riboflavin
This keeps your eyes healthy and your skin glowing and fresh which will definitely be helpful as your skin will be going through a lot of physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Chicken, turkey, fish, yogurt, and eggs contain riboflavin (vitamin B-2).
Prenatal Vitamins After Pregnancy?
Women tend to believe there are benefits of prenatal vitamins after pregnancy. You may want to continue your prenatal vitamins after pregnancy whether you’re breastfeeding or want to continue the benefits of the extra nutrients. However, it isn’t essential. There is a postnatal vitamin for nursing women that has unique nutritional value. Postnatal vitamins include 700% daily value of Vitamin D and 200% daily value of B vitamins. These nutrients play a significant role in the prevention of health conditions including diabetes and cancer. Also, nursing vitamins provide mineral support to help promote breast milk production if you’re interested in maintaining your milk supply.
Hair, Skin and Nail Benefits
There is no scientific proof that there are prenatal vitamin benefits for hair, skin, and nails. It’s a common misconception that the benefits of prenatal vitamins attribute to hair growth and healthy skin during pregnancy. It is actually the estrogen levels and other hormones during that time that is responsible for hair growth and other related changes.
All in all, the benefits of prenatal vitamins are an essential part of pregnancy. The nutrients your baby receives while in the womb will significantly affect their health state years after they are born. Be sure to speak with your doctor about getting your prenatal vitamins prescribed or any recommendations for reputable over the counter brands.
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