Many women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant become diligent in taking care of their bodies and unborn babies. Not only do some pregnant women abstain from alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes (if they smoke), they start to establish healthier eating habits and take prenatal vitamins. Nutrition is critical before, during and after pregnancy and women should first consult their doctor who can provide exact guidelines for them when they become pregnant.
In fact, a doctor who knows a woman’s medical history is the best person to advise her on what prenatal vitamin is best for her body and her baby. Additionally, women should consider other factors when selecting a prenatal vitamin such as the ingredients and costs. Here a few things to keep in mind when getting ready to take prenatal vitamins:
Why Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal Vitamins provide the nutrition of minerals and vitamins that women do not obtain through food alone. Women who have special dietary needs and those who don’t eat a balanced diet need supplemental nutrition. For those women who have morning sickness, vitamins help to provide the supplements they need.
In fact, taking prenatal vitamins ranks near the top of the most important things a woman can do for her body and the healthy development of her unborn baby. During pregnancy, women can require additional vitamins, sometimes up to two times more than when not pregnant (i.e., folic acid).
Miscarriage has been linked to low levels of vitamin B-12 which also prevents certain kinds of anemia that are not related to an iron deficiency.
Some women experience gall bladder problems during pregnancy which can be relieved by s-adenosyl-methionine, which is also known as SAM-e.
Leg cramps can be common during pregnancy so foods that have magnesium (fruit, grains and leafy greens) will help but sometimes aren’t enough. Thus, the prenatal vitamins that contain magnesium and calcium as well as B-1 and B-6 will provide some relief.
Specific Health Needs
Sometimes women have special needs of their own that must be addressed. For example, women who are anemic may need a prenatal vitamin that contains more iron than other prenatal vitamins have.
Women who acquire gestational diabetes during pregnancy need to take what their doctors consider the best prenatal vitamins. Vitamins with vitamin B-6 and chromium helps to control blood sugar levels.
Highlighted Ingredients of Prenatal Vitamins
Folic Acid – Folic acid is critical during the first 45 days after a baby is conceived to help grow a normal brain and spinal cord. In fact, if a woman is planning on becoming pregnant, she should begin her regimen of taking prenatal vitamins even before conception. Many women don’t know the exact moment they become pregnant and as such, they may miss the critical time period of when their baby needs the folic acid. It is recommended that a woman take 0.4 milligrams a day before pregnancy, and then 0.8 milligrams a day during the actual pregnancy.
Calcium – Calcium helps a baby’s healthy bone development and preserves a woman’s bones. The baby will actually take calcium from a woman’s bones if he or she is not receiving enough, thus leaving the woman more susceptible. Pregnant women should take around 1,000 mg calcium daily.
Iron – Iron can be lacking in women, pregnant or not. As the body produces more blood during pregnancy the regular levels of iron a woman has becomes lessened and thinned. As mentioned, anemia is a risk if not enough iron is consumed (30mg – 40mg daily is recommended).
The typical or average cost of prenatal vitamins is about $0.30 per day. If purchased in bulk, generally women can save money as does buying generic brands. Remember to consider the number of vitamins that are necessary each day. For example, if a woman needs to take 4 a day and the average cost is $0.30 per pill, then she will be spending $1.20 daily. Doctors can help women choose a vitamin that is healthy and also cost-effective.
Sources: www.life123.com/parenting/pregnancy/prenatal-care/what-are-the-best-prenatal-vitaminswww.costhelper.com/cost/child/prenatal-vitamins.html, www.the-vitamin-and-supplement-guide.com/bestprenatalvitamins.html