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Pregnancy, Prenatals, Healthy Baby - What You Need to Know

Sep 1, 2008
Pregnancy is such a critical time. A woman's body is drastically changing and the baby inside is creating new demands on the mother's body. You want to do everything you can right to make sure that your baby is healthy and has a good start in life.

Some birth defects have been linked to the lack of vitamins and minerals. How do you pick the correct prenatal vitamins to ensure a healthy pregnancy? Should you just rely on your physician or should you know more? Should you take prenatals even after your pregnancy? We looked deeper into what a mother really needs to know before and after pregnancy.


Pregnancy is such a critical time, and you want to do everything you can to provide the "just right" array of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy and breastfeeding place tremendous demands on your body and can deplete omega-3 fatty acids. Target each stage of pregnancy with the perfect balance of nutrients.

Studies have shown that moms who receive the recommended amount of DHA during pregnancy have babies with increased attention spans throughout the first two years of life. The benefits of taking omega-3 DHA before, during, and after pregnancy are truly amazing.

Remember, your baby will take what it needs first to develop and grow, and therefore, your body may suffer if you are not getting enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals needed throughout pregnancy.

Healthy Baby

Every vitamin, every mineral, every nutrient has an important job to do now, for you and your growing baby. Your growing baby's development depends on it. The right vitamins help build your baby's bones and teeth and ensure your baby has a healthy start in life.

Eating a variety of healthy foods is important, but with hectic schedules, morning sickness, and the changing nutritional demands of your developing baby, it can be difficult to achieve the right nutritional balance. Nutrition is also critically important during recovery and while you are breastfeeding your newborn baby.

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are packed full of nutrients that will help support and nourish your growing child and your body during pregnancy. How do you determine which prenatal vitamins are right for you? What do you look for in prenatal vitamins?

Prenatal vitamin supplements are vitamin supplements that a woman can take on a daily basis to ensure that she is obtaining appropriate quantities of essential nutrients during pregnancy. Prenatal nutrition is important but nausea and vomiting can cause women to miss meals and important nutrients from both a balanced diet and prenatal vitamin supplementation.

Just picking up some ordinary vitamins at the drugstore is not enough for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain important nutrients in stronger dosages than regular multivitamin supplements (even those formulated for women). A good vitamin does not take the place of eating nutritiously but it can balance the scales in your favor, and your baby's too. Researchers at the University of Maryland have noticed that many commonly prescribed prenatal vitamins do not dissolve well resulting in insufficient absorption of the nutrients.

The March of Dimes reports that birth defects of the spine, skull, and brain, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, are more likely to occur if the mother does not get sufficient folic acid during the first few weeks of her pregnancy - even before she knows she is pregnant.

Prenatal vitamins can reduce risk of childhood cancers and omega fish oil intake has been linked to higher IQ in offspring. New research from the Boston University School of Medicine is recommending higher intakes of vitamin D as so many are deficient. The women's levels of vitamin D were related to the frequency of milk consumption and prenatal vitamin use.

Increased zinc and vitamin B6 levels can boost immunities needed after pregnancy and sufficient B6 has been shown to provide infant growth advantages. This B vitamin can prevent neural tube defects when taken early in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Zinc supports normal growth and development during pregnancy.

Calcium and magnesium supplementation are so important during pregnancy. A good prenatal vitamin should include folic acid and calcium, among other nutrients that are important to a healthy pregnancy and baby. In the last trimester of pregnancy, skeletal growth is highest and the fetus draws calcium directly from the mother's stores. In addition, clinical trials have shown that adequate calcium during pregnancy lowers blood pressure and may reduce the incidence of premature births. Magnesium promotes the health of bones and may help maintain normal blood pressure and muscle comfort during pregnancy.

Folic acid is the most commonly prescribed prenatal supplement for the months prior to becoming pregnant as well and it is essential for the health and growth of the baby, especially for brain functions.

The female body's requirement for vitamin C increases during pregnancy as this vitamin promotes the normal growth of the baby and supports building strong bones and teeth. It also supports the absorption of another key nutrient during pregnancy: iron.

Iron is recommended to prevent the mother suffering from anemia due to the demands that the baby puts on her iron consumption. Iron is an important mineral and is responsible for helping the mother and the baby's blood to carry oxygen. Iron deficiencies can lead to severe birth defects for the baby.

Women have an increased requirement for biotin during pregnancy, and a biotin deficiency may occur in as many as 50 percent of pregnant women. This deficiency may increase the risk of birth defects.

Adequate amounts of vitamin A help to promote the health of the baby by promoting normal growth and development of the embryo and fetus, and supporting genes that determine the sequential development of organs in embryonic development. Beta-carotene is a nutrient from plants that the body converts into vitamin A.

Prenatal vitamins can be taken after pregnancy to provide a well-balanced supplementation program. With a mother's hectic schedule and lack of time, prenatal vitamins are a perfect choice for an after pregnancy supplement regimen.

The correct prenatals are essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Doing your research on prenatal vitamins can be very rewarding and time well spent to ensure an easy and successful pregnancy.
About the Author
Some prenatal supplements can cause horrible morning sickness, be hard to swallow and really not deliver the proper amount of vitamins. We have reviewed several prenatals. For more free information and to see our choice of prenatals Click Here:
Prenatal Vitamins
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