Women have higher nutritional needs when pregnant than during any other time in their life. The increased nutrients they consume help to support the development of the fetus they are carrying without causing their own body to become deficient. Doctors recommend prenatal vitamins to ensure women have they consistently have the correct levels of minerals and vitamins in their body.
How Vitamins Help
A complete balanced diet can provide women with what they need without the aid of vitamins. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for anyone to achieve this preciseness throughout a forty-week gestation period. The busyness of modern lives, morning sickness and other illnesses like the flu reduce appetites and make watching a diet difficult.
What They Offer
The recommended vitamins for moms include calcium, folic acid, iron and Omega 3 DHA. Calcium develops the bones, muscles and teeth of the fetus and encourages better heart health and blood clotting abilities. The mom benefits from calcium too because it reduces their risk of hypertension and prevents damage to their teeth and bones from becoming calcium deficient.
Folic acid prevents several types of birth defects, Omega 3 DHA is an antioxidant and iron increases the production of blood. Anemia begins when red blood cell counts drop too low and this can lead to fatigue and many other complications.
What to Expect
Some changes occur when women begin taking prenatal vitamins. The side effects can include temporary stomach upset, constipation and queasiness. The problems usually subside once the body becomes accustomed to the vitamins. Taking the supplements first thing in the morning along with a glass of water and a couple of crackers can help to calm the stomach. Adequate water consumption, a daily walk and the addition of more fiber in the diet usually resolves any constipation.
Pregnant women should discuss the use of vitamins and the importance of them with their doctor. If planning to breastfeed, many medical experts recommend that the mother continue to take the supplements to boost their milk production. Doing so will also help to keep the mother and baby properly nourished. An obstetrician can prescribe prenatal vitamins to their patient or the woman can shop for their own at the pharmacy or online.