Importance of Prenatal Vitamins
Be sure to talk with your caregiver about which prenatal vitamin they recommend for you personally before you take any prenatal vitamins. It is best to take just one multivitamin preparation than a bunch of separate vitamin and mineral supplements. That way you don't run the risk of taking too much of any one supplement—some vitamins and minerals can be dangerous for you or the baby if taken in too high of a dose.
Talk with your doctor to see if you will need a special formulation for anemia or another nutritional deficiency. You can also discuss whether a tablet, capsule or liquid form of prenatal vitamin will be the best for you.
Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients to support a mother's health and provide her baby with the building blocks necessary for growth. Vitamins and minerals that are especially important during pregnancy include:
- Folic acid - folic acid can reduce the risk of your baby developing a serious neural tube defect (such as spina bifida) by up to 70%. To achieve the greatest benefit, 400 micrograms must be consumed daily before in the months prior to conception, and continuing during pregnancy.
- Calcium - Adequate calcium must be available in the mother's body to be used by the fetus for bone formation. Inadequate calcium can lead to a reduction in the mothers bone density.
- Iron - Iron is an essential part of the hemoglobin production process, it prevents anemia, and lowers the risk of premature labor.