Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins have become a necessity for pregnant women because of the many benefits that they can provide. They have gained so much popularity because of compelling research and studies that show how pregnant women and developing babies can benefit from them.
Although pregnant women must ensure that they eat the right types of food, sometimes, the vitamins and minerals gained from diet alone are not enough to meet the daily requirements. Prenatal vitamins exist to fill in the gaps and provide additional health benefits to the mother during pregnancy.
Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
Having the right amount of nutrients for two is very important because deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can have a negative impact on the baby’s development and may even cause stunted growth, malformations, and other birth defects. That is why taking prenatal vitamins instead of regular multivitamins is more advisable because they have a special formulation that aims to support pregnancy and the developing baby.
Prenatal vitamins primarily consist of a balanced blend of folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B, C, D, DHA, and other supporting minerals. The benefits of prenatal vitamins actually depend on the formula and the content, so to better understand the benefits, let us take a look at how each component can help pregnant women and their growing babies.
Folic acid is an important promoter of fertility, which is why it is a good idea to take folic acid if you are thinking of having a baby. It will help develop your body and condition it for childbearing.
When taken during pregnancy, folic acid protects you and your baby by fighting against congenital abnormalities. It saves the baby from developing neural tube defects while also supporting the spinal cord development. Additionally, folic acid helps support brain development and improves cognitive abilities.
Folic acid is very important during pregnancy, as lack of or an insufficient amount increases the risk of babies suffering from mental abnormalities.
Another important component of prenatal vitamins is calcium. It helps develop blood clotting abilities in the baby and is also related to the physical fetal development and maintenance of the mother’s bones and muscles.
If you are pregnant, it is essential for you to take calcium because you need to store a sufficient amount in your body so that you will not feel weak or broken during any stage of your pregnancy. It also helps your baby to develop healthy muscles as well as fetal bones and teeth.
Aside from maintaining physical strength, calcium is also necessary to sustain both your and your baby’s normal heartbeat and to regulate your nerves. It keeps various functions of your body in order and may also prevent pre-eclampsia, which usually occurs during pregnancy.
Being pregnant will require you to have 50 percent more blood than normal. In order to build maternal redblood cells, which are needed to support fetal cell development, the intake of sufficient amounts of iron is necessary.
Iron is an important component in prenatal vitamins because it acts as a building block for your baby’s cells and also supports your baby’s nutrient transport mechanism and oxygen.
Another important function of iron is that it helps minimize the risk of anemia, infant mortalities, and stillbirths. It also helps support your immune system by responding actively against disease-causing bacteria and warding off sickness.
DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, is the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain. It is another important ingredient of prenatal vitamins because it may help prevent preterm labor as well as postpartum depression. It also helps after childbirth and is recommended for nursing mothers because DHA helps enhance the baby’s vision, brain, and nerves through the mother’s breast milk.
According to research, the DHA content in prenatal vitamins boosts the cognitive and neurodevelopment of babies in the womb. It helps develop and improve the baby’s brain and attention span.
The presence of DHA also helps maintain a healthy nervous system for both mother and baby. Additionally, DHA helps support the development and enhancement of the baby’s eyesight.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are also crucial for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Every prenatal vitamin available these days has its own formulation, but it is important to check if it contains common essential vitamins such as vitamin B6, C, D, and zinc, among others. These vitamins and minerals aid in metabolism and help in performing other principal functions.
Vitamin B6 is known to provide relief from nausea and supports the formation of new blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters.
Vitamin C helps heal wounds, rebuild tissues, and repair brittle bones.
Vitamin D gives an overall positive impact on the body, and together with calcium, it helps build fetal bones and teeth.
Zinc is one of the most effective minerals in aiding healthy reproduction and also acts as a healer in a pregnant woman’s body.
Since there are so many variations of prenatal vitamins from different brands, it is important to check the ingredients to ensure that you get sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that you need for a healthy pregnancy and a perfectly normal and healthy baby.
The important thing is for you to take a prenatal vitamin that can fill in the nutritional gap and give you and your baby what food alone cannot provide.