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Prenatal Vitamins: Five Reason It’s Worth Taking Them

Prenatal vitamins are a special formulation of supplement designed specifically for women who are pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeeding. Some women question whether they really need to take prenatal vitamins, and it does come down to personal choice. But there are benefits to taking them. Here are five reasons why it’s worth taking your prenatal vitamins.

Folic Acid

Research has proven beyond reasonable doubt that increasing intake of folic acid helps prevent the development of conditions such as spina bifida and other neural tube defects in growing babies. It can also help fight congenital abnormalities and support brain function of the baby. Folic acid also helps reduce the chances of other birth defects and may reduce the mother’s chance of preeclampsia. A prenatal vitamin comes made up with the recommended daily dose of folic acid, so if you’re taking prenatal vitamins, you wont need to think about folic acid as well.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential vitamin required for the development of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps with the development of a healthy heart, muscles, nerves and blood clotting. If you’re calcium deficient you are at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia and high blood pressure. If you don’t have enough calcium in your system for both you and the baby, your baby will get the calcium first, leaving you at risk of a deficiency. While you still need to eat calcium-rich food, prenatal vitamins will provide some of the daily recommended amount.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another vitamin that’s essential to healthy foetal development. It helps prevent a bone condition known as Ricketts, which involves weakend and softened bones in children. Recent research has found a link between Vitamin D deficiency in women and increased chances of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. The best source of Vitamin D is sunshine, so 20 minutes a day in the sun (sans sunscreen) will help with this, but topping up with your prenatal vitamin will have you covered.

Iron

This is another super-important vitamin in pregnancy. Your blood volume increases significantly when you’re pregnant, so iron deficiency is not uncommon. Your body needs approximately twice as much iron while pregnant, compared to pre-pregnancy. Iron moves oxygen from your lungs through your body and to the baby’s body, so it has a pretty important role to play. Ensuring you’re not deficient in iron will reduce your risk of low birth weight, premature birth and infant mortality.

Peace of Mind

It takes little effort to take your daily vitamin, and the benefits far outweigh the effort required. Taking a daily vitamin can offer you peace of mind that you are getting what you need to help grow a healthy baby. Combining your prenatal vitamin with a healthy diet will mean you can rest assured that your baby is getting everything they need.

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