You’re essentially working overtime growing a little human being, and while a healthy, balanced diet is very much needed to ensure you’re compensating for this additional energy expenditure, adequate supplementation is imperative to make sure you’re meeting your higher prenatal nutrient needs.
Supplementation does vary depending on the individual woman, and it is recommended that all supplements are approved beforehand by your doctor or medical professional.
With this said, many women have experienced specific nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy that have shown to be highly dangerous to both the baby and the mother if gone unnoticed.
Five Important Prenatal Nutrients
While there are many nutrients that you can supplement with to support your pregnancy, we’ve listed the top five nutrients of a prenatal vitamin below that no soon-to-be-mother should go without:
Amongst all of the B-vitamins, Folate, or B9, has been called the ‘pregnancy superhero’. Folate has been shown to support the prevention of neural tube defects and anemia. Moreover, it has also been shown to support the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries such as spina bifida and anencephaly for the baby during pregnancy.
While medical professionals recommend supplementing with folate before, during and after pregnancy, it has been shown to be especially essential for the healthy development of the fetus during the earlier stages of pregnancy. Here are some delicious B6 rich pregnancy smoothie recipes for pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association recommends Fairhaven Health’s selection of supplements.
Anemia, or the condition where your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells typically due to low iron levels, has been shown to cause serious complications during delivery.
A lack of red blood cells or dysfunctional red blood cells can lead to reduced oxygen flow to organs, as well as the baby. By implementing iron supplementation into your daily routine, you can avoid anemia by maintaining these healthy iron levels.
During pregnancy, a mother’s body actually uses calcium from her own bones to support the development of her little one. This is why calcium supplementation is imperative during pregnancy; in addition to supporting the bone development of the baby, it also helps to prevent bone loss in the mother.
Calcium has also been shown to support the nervous, circulatory and muscular systems, as well as help develop normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities.
Vitamin D impacts a pregnant woman’s blood pressure, brain function, immunity and mood which is why it is important for women to ensure they are consuming sufficient Vitamin D within their diets. Moreover, Vitamin D deficiencies have been shown to lead to abnormal bone growth and fractures in newborns, as well as complications during delivery. The American Pregnancy Association recommends Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3.
Within the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s thyroid becomes active, and the only source of thyroid hormone to the baby is directly from the mother. Thyroid hormones are required for healthy brain function and brain development, so it is crucial that the mother supplements with iodine ensure she avoids any deficiencies in this nutrient.
Iodine deficiencies have been linked to irregularities in brain development and complications during delivery.
Want to Know More?
- Pregnancy Nutrition
- 3 Ways to Make Taking Prenatal Vitamins Easier
- Natural Sources of Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy
- Role of Vitamin B in Pregnancy