Nutrition plays a key role in maintaining a healthy environment where your baby can develop and grow. It also helps to ensure that you remain healthy while you are pregnant. Pregnancy intensifies nutritional needs for women because your baby receives his or her nourishment from you. Most doctors agree that increasing daily calorie intake by about 300 calories and incorporating nutrient-dense foods, such as proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are the first steps toward healthy nutrition for you and your baby. In addition, vitamin supplements complement your dietary intake and help to ensure a well-balanced approach to your nutrition.
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Morning sickness and heartburn may limit what foods you eat during your pregnancy, which can make maintaining a daily well-balanced diet difficult. Most obstetricians and midwives recommend a daily prenatal vitamin, which is a proactive way to enable your body - and baby - to get the nutrients you may need. While green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits include folic acid, you might not be getting enough through diet alone. Folic acid is believed by some to help reduce birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. Thus, some obstetricians advise pregnant women to take a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
What’s Included in Prenatal Vitamins?
For many pregnant women, an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin offers a wide range of the nutrients you may need. drugstore.com offers many types of prenatal vitamins, allowing you to find one that best suits your needs. When evaluating these vitamins, it is important to consider what you’re putting into your body. Make sure that your prenatal vitamins include all recommended nutrients. In addition to folic acid, some obstetricians may advise that your prenatal vitamin include vitamins B12, C, D, and E. Calcium is thought by some to help build your baby’s strong bones, and iron may help blood supply. Thus, these nutrients as well as zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are advised by some to be a part of your daily prenatal vitamin.
What Does DHA Do?
The extensive supply of vitamins available at drugstore.com features these nutrients - and, in many cases, more. Some prenatal vitamins are also fortified with DHA, which may support fetal brain and eye development during pregnancy. Other products feature your traditional nutrients as well as fish oil, which may promote healthy development for your growing baby. In fact, a daily prenatal vitamin that includes fish oil offers the equivalent of consuming three servings of salmon, another source of this important nutrient.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about prenatal vitamins, and find the ones that are right for you at drugstore.com. Most doctors recommend that mothers continue taking prenatal vitamins as long as they breastfeed their babies. Prenatal vitamins can be taken before you begin to try to get pregnant to ensure that you have a good folic acid level which prevents neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Prenatal vitamins come in both gummy and capsule forms, so you should be able to find one that works best for you.