What Are The Best Prenatal Vitamins?
Pregnancy is not a condition that can be taken nonchalantly. One important thing to bear in mind is that with pregnancy, a pregnant woman becomes responsible for another life. What is to become of the fetus is a decision that bears on a pregnant woman.
During the prenatal stage (before the pregnant woman gives birth), her daily nutritional requirements will inevitably increase because she no longer just feeds herself but also the child inside her womb. Some vitamins and minerals are essential for creating a healthy environment for the fetus inside her womb such as folic acid, calcium, vitamins C and D among others. Women who observe a nutritious diet religiously will encounter little to no problems in meeting this daily dietary requirement for her and her child. However, it is a fact that 1) not all women are attuned to a healthy diet 2) some women are finicky when it comes to what foods they eat (i.e. vegetarians, and meat-lovers, and 3) some women are allergic and sensitive to certain foods (i.e. women who are allergic to seafood, women who are lactose-intolerant). It might seem that the best thing for a pregnant woman to do is to eat more than she used to. Nevertheless this is not the best solution as one might think especially for women with health and weight issues.
For those women who are unable to satisfy the nutritional requirements needed to maintain her health as well as her child’s, prenatal supplements provide the additional requirements for vitamins and minerals. Specifically, prenatal vitamins help prevent birth defects in babies such as “spina bifida” wherein the baby is born with an unclosed spinal cord which may lead to paralysis later on.
The condition is due to an inadequacy in folic acid. A pregnant woman needs at least 400 mg of folic acid a day in excess of that which she gets from food. Prenatal vitamins can also help prevent loss in bone density and aid in the easy flow of oxygen in the blood. There is also evidence of the power of prenatal vitamins in cancer prevention. A conclusive study done by Dr. G. Koren and colleagues show that prenatal vitamins help reduce the incidence of child leukemia to 36%, nerve tissue cancers to 47%, and a 27& reduction in brain tumors.
Not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Some are specific and target certain vitamin or mineral inadequacies (i.e iron deficiency). Although some prenatal vitamins are prescribed, some are also purchasable over the counter in various drugstores. It is important to determine which one suits you and your baby best because anything in excess can bring harm to you and your baby.
To be safe, consult your physician especially if you have health issues or look for prenatal supplements which have at least 400mg of folic acid, 30g of iron, 200mg of calcium, 4000 IU of vitamin A, 2.2 mcg of vitamin B-12 , 70mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of Vitamin D, , and 10 mg of vitamin E. The best prenatal vitamins also include at least 15 mg of zinc, 1.5 mg of thiamine, 1.6 mg of rivoflavin, 17mg of niacinamide, and 2.6 mg of pyridoxine.