Good nutrition is always of the utmost importance for women; however, during pregnancy, nutrition becomes even more vital. You've often heard people say that pregnant women are eating for two, and there is a lot of truth to the expression. Developing babies get all of the nutrients that they need to form tissues and organs from their mothers. As a result, pregnant women must pay careful attention to what they're eating to ensure that their babies are getting the proper nutrition.
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Because nutrient requirements change during pregnancy, it can be challenging for women to get the proper nutrition that they and their babies need through diet alone. As a result, most OB-GYNs and midwives typically recommend that pregnant mothers take prenatal vitamins on a daily basis. These products contain more of the essential nutrients for fetal development than standard multivitamins to help meet the needs of expectant mothers and their babies.
Prenatal Vitamin Options
Prenatal vitamins come in many different forms. Some products are traditional tablets, while others are gel capsules that are easier to swallow and to digest. If you are having trouble with your gag reflex due to morning sickness or have always had trouble swallowing pills, gummy vitamins may be the ideal solution for your needs. There are even powdered prenatal formulas available that you can mix with a beverage and drink.
What Is In Prenatal Vitamins?
Every prenatal vitamin is different, but many contain similar nutrients that have been established as important during pregnancy. Some prenatal vitamins contain iron because many women develop anemia during their pregnancy due to an increased need for iron to support their baby’s iron need. Anemia causes fatigue, weakness and bruising. Other nutrients that are commonly found in prenatal vitamin formulas are DHA for infant brain and eye development and vitamin D for fetal bone development.
Why is Folic Acid Important?
Prenatal vitamins are often recommended for use prior to pregnancy. If you're planning to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid on an ongoing basis before you conceive to ensure you have plenty of folic acid available in your body. This is due to the fact that studies have found that folic acid helps with the development of the spinal cord, and deficiencies of the nutrient have been linked to an increased risk of spina bifida and birth defects.
Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins While Breastfeeding?
If you plan to breastfeed, proper nutrition will remain important after delivery. Many doctors recommend that women continue to take their prenatal vitamins until their children are weaned or at least for a few weeks to months following delivery. There are also post-natal and breastfeeding vitamins available here at drugstore.com that may be beneficial to you during the postpartum period.
When selecting a prenatal vitamin, it's important that you follow any recommendations given by your OB-GYN or midwife. Every woman and every pregnancy are different, so what's right for you may not be the same as what was right for your mother, sisters or friends. No matter what type of prenatal vitamin your doctor recommends, you'll likely find a product to meet your needs here in our collection at drugstore.com.