Prenatal vitamins have gained much popularity in recent years due to compelling research showing the benefits to both mom and baby. Additionally, the first-hand experience of moms across the globe who have taken on prenatal vitamin supplements and delivered healthy babies in contrary to those who relied solely on direct nutrition from food have supported scientific research.
Prenatal Vitamins are designed to support childbearing and are essential for babies as well as moms. Prenatal vitamin supplements are rich, beneficial and can be the safest option for you to manage your pregnancy period.
Prenatal vitamins consist of a proportionate blend of Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, sometimes DHA, Vitamin A, B, C, D, and some other supporting minerals. Let us rack up all the benefits they offer composedly in your critical days.
The formulas and sources of ingredients can make prenatal vitamins very different. In addition to very comprehensive formulas, some companies have started sourcing all-natural ingredients and do not use artificial colors or preservatives, positioning themselves as Natural Prenatal Vitamins. Additionally, the rising trend of Halal prenatal vitamins and Kosher Prenatal Vitamins are gaining popularity as that meet the need of special interest consumers following specific religious practices. By definition, Halal prenatal vitamins and Kosher prenatal vitamins do not contain pork or alcohol-based ingredients but also use cruelty-free techniques when using any animal sources. Because of this, this wave if Halal Prenatal Vitamins and Kosher Prenatal Vitamins are starting to have a mass-market appeal given the lack of animal cruelty associated with these certifications.
1. Folic Acid
Folic acid is sometimes considered a safeguard of a woman and her baby during pregnancy. It is also considered an important catalyst to fuel fertility in the first place.
“The beneficial effect on fertility continued to increase as women consumed higher amounts of folic acid. It looks like folic acid is a major player in reproduction.”
Since folic acid in prenatal vitamins has to deal with pre-pregnancy matters as well, it is recommended that you start taking them as soon as you plan on having a baby.
Folic acid intake should be concentrated more in the first trimester when the nervous system of the fetus is developing. Folic acid is one of those ingredients that can be sourced from multiple sources. Hence, Halal prenatal vitamins, Kosher prenatal vitamins and Naturally sourced Prenatal Vitamins ensure Folic acid is sourced from humane and natural sources.
Benefits of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women
- It may improve fertility in women
Folic acid boosts women’s fertility by diminishing ovulatory disorders. If you are thinking of having a baby, a good intake right away will help your body develop the right conditions for childbearing. Later, when you are actually conceiving, it serves in the development and subsistence of your baby.
- It fights against congenital abnormalities
Folic acid combats birth defects in the baby and saves the fetus from developing neural tube defects called spina bifida. It also supports spinal cord development in your baby and paves way for healthy childbearing in the future.
- It supports brain
Folic acid supports brain development of the fetus. It improves cognitive abilities. If a sufficient amount of folate is not consumed, mental abnormalities are likely to take place in the child.
800 mcg is the recommended dosage every day.
Calcium is another significant content in prenatal vitamins. It is related to physical fetal development and maintenance of the mother’s bones and muscles. It also develops blood clotting abilities in the baby.
You need to take calcium when you are pregnant, not only for your baby to develop health and strength, but also to store sufficient amount of calcium in your own body, so that you don’t feel weak or broken at any stage.
Calcium is one of those ingredients that can be sourced from multiple sources. Hence, Halal prenatal vitamins, Kosher prenatal vitamins and Naturally sourced Prenatal Vitamins ensure calcium is sourced from humane and natural sources.
Benefits of Calcium for Pregnant Women
- Calcium supports strengthening bones and muscles
Be it the mother or the baby in the womb, calcium is essential to upkeep physical strength. Prenatal Vitamins contain a healthy amount of calcium to sustain mother’s bones from breakage. It boosts healthy muscle functioning and develops fetal bones and teeth.
- It may sustain a normal heartbeat
Calcium is necessary to keep a lot of body functions in order during pregnancy. It sustains the mother’s and fetus’s normal heartbeat and regulates nerves harmoniously.
- It may help prevent pre-eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia is sort of a disorder which occurs during pregnancy. Under this condition, protein from the kidney flows into the uterus. It causes hypertension, which is dangerous for healthy fetal development. A recommended heavy portion of calcium daily helps prevent the disease.
The recommended ideal intake of calcium — if you are in U.S — is 1200 mg a day.
Your body starts acting differently when you are having a baby. The body consumes high and demands higher volumes of vitamins to keep up with normal body functions.
Iron is an important component in prenatal vitamins which is as much essential in a pregnancy diet as an intake of normal nutritious food on a routine basis. It acts as a building block for your baby’s cells. It supports oxygen and nutrient transport mechanism in the baby.
Benefits of Iron for Pregnant Women
- Iron makes haemoglobin
When you are pregnant, you need 50 per cent more blood than normal. Intake of sufficient amount of iron is, therefore, necessary to build maternal red-blood cells to support fetal cell development and other needs.
- It helps improve anaemia
A mild form of anaemia is naturally present in every woman. It may get worse if not cut off through proper nutrition. Anaemia hinders normal fetal growth. It disturbs fetal heart rate patterns and also may cause preterm and low-weight babies. It always leaves a very high risk of infant mortalities and stillbirths. Iron in your diet helps minimize all these risks.
- It maintains a healthy immune system
When you are conceiving, your immune system gets weaker and fails to fight back severe potential bacteria which may cause you to fall ill. Iron, to a certain degree, supports your immune system to respond actively against disease-causing bacteria and ward off sickness.
Minimum 30 mg of Iron should be consumed in a day when you are conceiving.
4. DHA — Omega 3
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is another important ingredient found in prenatal vitamins. It is the most abundant fatty acid found in the brain.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., prenatal diets do not essentially include DHA. Its absence may cause setbacks to healthy fetal development. The proper amount of DHA included in a routine pregnancy diet may help prevent preterm labor and postpartum depression which impair women the most.
A healthy intake of DHA, either directly or through prenatal vitamins, is necessary for both pregnant and the nursing mother. This is because DHA works for the enhancement of a child’s vision, brain, and nerves via breast milk after initially developing them in the womb.
DHA is usually encapsulated in a soft gel which is usually sourced from gelatin, a pork-based ingredient. Hence, Halal prenatal vitamins, Kosher prenatal vitamins and Naturally sourced Prenatal Vitamins ensure encapsulation ingredients are sourced from humane and natural sources.
Benefits of DHA for Pregnant Women
- DHA helps improve brain and cognitive development of the fetus
DHA becomes even more important in the third trimester when brain development in the fetus takes place. Researches have shown that DHA content in prenatal vitamins boosts commendable cognitive and neurodevelopment in the fetus. DHA develops and improves a child’s brain and make it respond quickly. It also improves the attention span.
- It helps support the development of the central nervous system in the baby
In 2009, a study at the American Psychological Association claimed that “a diet in which DHA and EPA are deficient negatively affects the nervous system.”
The presence of DHA in diet maintains healthy nervous system regulation for both the mother and her child.
- It helps support the development and enhances a child’s eyesight
DHA stipulates sight development in the baby. It enhances vision through breastfeeding after the baby is born. It is, therefore, very important that you continue to take prenatal vitamins that are rich in DHA to support development and enhancement.
200mg a day is the recommended dosage for pregnancy and lactation days.
5. Vitamins and Minerals
Every brand and every portion of prenatal vitamins includes certain vitamins and multivitamins that are crucial for a wholesome pregnancy diet. The most commonly used vitamins which fortify pregnancies include Vitamin A, B3, B6, C, and D. Other minerals that are used include potassium, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Vitamins and minerals support body metabolism and also perform certain other paramount functions.
Assessing the sources of these ingredients is just as critical as looking at the formula itself. Halal prenatal vitamins, Kosher prenatal vitamins and Naturally sourced Prenatal Vitamins ensure these vitamins are naturally sourced.
Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals for Pregnant Women
- Vitamin B6 gives you relief from nausea and vomiting in your initial days of pregnancy. Moreover, it helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It also supports the formation of new blood cells, antibodies, and neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin C is known for its potential repair miracle. When your body experiences internal depreciation in certain parts and organs due to fetal expansion, Vitamin C comes to rescue. It heals wounds, rebuilds tissues and repairs brittle bones.
- When you are pregnant you need vitamin D for two reasons. The first reason is its overall positive impact on the body. The second reason is that it gets merged with calcium to build fetal bones and teeth. Moreover, it also helps to maintain maternal bones.. Vitamin D deficiency also leads to a number of serious pregnancy complications including pre-eclampsia. If sufficient intake of Vitamin D is not managed either directly or by prenatal vitamins, weak bones and a weak immune system could be the consequence for the rest of your baby’s life.
- Zinc helps in reproduction. It acts as a healer in a woman’s body when she is bearing the fetus and supports tissues and organs to function properly. Zinc boosts cell growth by combining with other potential vitamins and improving the immune system. Every pack or prenatal vitamin essentially contains zinc, as it is one of the most effective minerals to aid healthy reproduction.
In a nutshell, a prenatal vitamin is a comprehensive solution to serve your dietary needs when you are expecting. It is highly recommended to start using a reliable prenatal supplement during pregnancy. Good luck!
Dr. Dina Khairie is a medical specialist who has spent nearly a decade in key positions at NoorVitamins. After receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from St. John’s University in New York, she began her career working as a supervising clinical pharmacist in the community pharmacy arena.