During 9 months and 10 days of pregnancy, pregnant women need to create their own healthy habits and diet for their babies to develop best. Getting a full range of minerals and vitamins through pregnancy multivitamin sources is one of the easiest ways to help meet woman’s nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Why are vitamin supplements for pregnant women essential?
Adequate and healthy nutrition during pregnancy is an important condition for the fetus to grow and develop. Therefore, supplementing vitamins and minerals for pregnant women is a prerequisite to help ensure health for both mother and baby.
Studies show that prenatal vitamin supplementation reduces the risk of premature birth and pre-eclampsia. The use of multivitamins for pregnant women cannot completely replace the daily diet but they help prevent micronutrient deficiency due to increased nutritional needs throughout pregnancy.
What are the main ingredients in pregnancy multivitamins?
Multivitamins for pregnant women include essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, omega 3, vitamins A, D, E, C, B, etc, specifically:
DHA / EPA
These are two unsaturated fatty acids belonging to the Omega 3 group, involving in the composition for brain development of the fetus. Supplementation with DHA and EPA during pregnancy helps the fetus’ brain develop better, improves cognitive function in babies, reduces the risk of premature birth and depression in pregnant women.
According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization WHO, pregnant women should be supplemented with 200mg of DHA and EPA daily from the beginning of pregnancy, especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy when the fetal brain develops most significantly.
This is a B vitamin that plays an important role in DNA synthesis, red blood cell production and supporting fetal growth and development.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, found in pregnant vitamins or foods. When added to the body, it will be converted into the active form of Folate.
Pregnant women should take 400 – 600mg of folate or folic acid daily to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and congenital abnormalities such as cleft palate, heart defects, etc. Up to half of the pregnant women do not follow the plan; therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA) recommends that all women of childbearing age should consume at least 400mg of folate or folic acid every day to prepare good health for pregnancy.
Iron, which is the raw material for the synthesis of hemoglobin – the component of red blood cells, is important for the transport of oxygen in the blood. During pregnancy, the total blood volume of a pregnant woman can increase by almost 50%, so the need for iron increases significantly.
Iron deficiency is a major cause of anemia in pregnant women, which leads to an increased risk of preterm birth, maternal depression and anemia in the newborns.
The recommended daily intake of iron is 27mg, which can be provided through diet and multivitamins for pregnant women. For pregnant women with anemia or iron deficiency, consult a doctor to increase the dose of iron if needed.
Calcium and vitamin D
Calcium is essential in pregnancy because it is the main material that helps build and develop strong bones and teeth for the fetus. Calcium supplementation helps reduce hypertension disorders during pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia, limit the process of postpartum osteoporosis for pregnant women.
Moms should combine calcium supplements with vitamin D, helping increase the efficiency of calcium absorption into bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps boost immune function, supports vision development and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and premature delivery.
The current recommended amount of vitamin D for pregnant women is 600IU/day.
This is a mineral involving hundreds of chemical reactions in the body, and it plays an important role in immune, muscle and nerve function.
Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy may increase the risk of chronic hypertension and early labor.
Vitamin A is important for fetal vision development and immune function. The limit of vitamin A consumption of pregnant women is no more than 10,000 IU/day. Excessive vitamin A intake increases the risk of birth defects and liver damage.
In addition to the above main ingredients, the multivitamins for pregnant women also contain other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, E, zinc, copper, iodine, etc, which are also necessary for the development of children.
To ensure health in pregnancy, in addition to multivitamin supplements, mothers need to pay attention to the following pieces of advice:
No smoking, drinking alcohol and using stimulants: these may increase the risk of birth defects.
Drink plenty of water: Pregnant women can drink water, milk, juice and try to drink more than 2 liters of water per day.
Do not eat raw foods such as fish salad, raw beef, etc to limit digestive disorders or infection with pathogenic bacteria.
Avoid foods containing heavy metals: marine fish such as sharks, swordfish, etc contain high levels of heavy metals such as mercury which will poison the child’s developing nervous system.
Light exercise: Light exercise helps limit the risk of obesity, excess fat after birth.
Above is the useful information that pregnant women need to know during pregnancy. Remember that vitamin supplements for pregnant women are essential, helping meet the nutritional needs of the fetus and pregnant women during pregnancy. Ensuring a healthy diet and having enough vitamins and minerals supplements will create the best conditions for the babies to develop both physically and mentally.