A baby draws all its nutrients from the mother. So, unless the mother is well nourished and has a nutritious diet, the baby cannot grow to be perfectly healthy. Insufficient nutrition can result in birth defects, underdevelopment of vital organs and premature births.
It is very important that an expecting mother consumes multivitamin supplements in order to make up for any vitamin deficiencies in her diet. Therefore, it is important to take prenatal vitamins that provide the required composition of all vitamins.
Ideal Composition of your pre-natal vitamins
Ideally, prenatal vitamins should have a composition of 400 mcg folic acid, 400 IU vitamin D, 200 to 300 mg calcium, 70 mg vitamin C, 3 mg thiamine, 2 mg riboflavin, 20 mg niacin, 6 mcg vitamin B12, 10 mg vitamin E, 15 mg zinc and 17 mg iron. Each of these vitamins plays a vital role in developing different body organs.
While balanced vitamin consumption can boost baby’s health and prevent defects, excessive supply of vitamins can cause side effects such as vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness in the mother. So, it is important to regulate intake and consume optimum amounts of supplements.
Different doctors have different opinions on the intake of these pills. While some doctors believe that 400 mcg of folic acid is sufficient for wholesome growth, others attest that micro vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D and E are important as well. However, all doctors agree that it is important for a pregnant woman to have 4000 mg of folic acid supplement in the first trimester.
Besides vitamins, calcium is a very important nutrient that the baby has to receive in order to aid bone growth. 1000 to 1500 mg of calcium is required per day. However, calcium should be consumed through natural foods such as meat and dairy products since multivitamin supplements do not contain such high concentrations of calcium.
Furthermore, a pregnant woman stands the risk of calcium deficiency, which results in reduced bone density, because of the high calcium demands of the baby. Presence of calcium in multivitamin supplements prevents such undesirable repercussions. Another option is to take a separate calcium supplement in addition to multivitamins.
Multivitamin supplements should also contain around 30 mg of iron since this nutrient performs a very important function; it carries blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. So, since the baby eats and breathes through the mother’s blood, optimum iron content in the mother is necessary in order to provide good nourishment for the baby. Any vitamin supplement without iron is incomplete for prenatal use.
Vitamin supplements are as essential for the mother as they are for the baby. So, take them without fail. However, talk to your doctor if you feel nausea or uncomfortable when you take them. The doctor can suggest intake of these multivitamins in a different form to avoid such side effects.