Pregnancy places a high dietary demand on the body since your baby is entirely dependent on what you eat as their sole source of nutrition. Even if you already consume a healthy diet, supplementing with specific vitamins and minerals during pregnancy can be highly beneficial for you and your baby’s health, particularly in the first trimester.
Read on for the six supplements you should consider during pregnancy.
Folic Acid is required for a baby’s cells to divide during pregnancy and form the neural tube.
A lack of folic acid can cause the spinal cord to fail to close properly (NTD), however supplementing with folic acid reduces this risk by 70%. According to the WHO, women of chilbearing age should supplement with 400ug of folic acid daily up until they are three months pregnant.
Pregnant women need twice as much Iron as non-pregnant women to make more blood to supply oxygen to their baby. Iron deficiency can cause low birth weight and premature delivery in the baby and tiredness, headaches, reduced immune function and increased risk of postnatal depression in the mother. Pregnant women should supplement with 16-20mg of Iron per day during pregnancy.
Vitamin D3 helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in a pregnant woman’s body as well as her baby’s. Phosphate helps strengthen the baby’s bones and is also vital for many bodily functions such as clotting, kidney function, cell repair and heart rhythm.
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, are critical for foetal development. DHA is a major component of the retina and is also essential for the growth and development of the baby’s brain. Research has shown that it can also reduce the risk of pre-term labour and allergies in infants as well as reducing the risk of pre and postnatal depression in mothers.
According to research, getting enough magnesium during pregnancy can help keep the uterus from contracting too soon. Magnesium also aids in the development of strong teeth and bones in your unborn baby.
Ginger has been found to combat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, helping to relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.
Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements if pregnant or trying to conceive to rule out any potential risks or adverse reactions with other medications. Your doctor may even advise you to supplement with other vitamins and minerals depending on your diet and whether you could be at risk of deficiency.