If you’ve been pregnant before, or you are, you would agree with me that it’s not one of the best times, as far as your health is concerned. You have to contend with aches, pains, and emotional ups and downs. But no matter how challenging this phase of life is, you sure still long to be a mother over and over. And if course, you ant the best for your children. While pregnant, you do everything to ensure that you and your unborn child(ren) are healthy.
One of the challenges a number of mothers don’t anticipate is the ever increasing demand for nutrients that pregnancy requires. It is a thing, really! Every time you beat, you eat for two, or even more. *smiles*
This brings us to the discourse on nutrition and prenatal supplement for pregnant women and their unborn children. There are essential vitamins and minerals needed at this stage of life. Let’s talk about them.
Folic acid, a member of the B vitamin family is one that ensures normal development of your baby. It can be obtained naturally from a number of foods we consume, dark leafy vegetables especially. Consuming folic acid in the first trimester of pregnancy prevents neural tube defects from occurring, among other essential functions. What about prevention of congenital heart disease? Folic acid does this too, especially when taken before and during pregnancy. Studies say that women with a history of birth defects are advised to take beyond the average dose of follicles acid, as high as about 4000 µg, compared to 400 µg, the regular dose. Really, the importance of folic acid cannot be overemphasized. For the desired good health of mum and children, lay the foundations with folic acid.
This mineral, iron, is essential for the production of red blood cells. Remember the expected baby needs to synthesize its own blood? It also prevents premature delivery and improves the mother’s resistance to infection. Dietary iron can be got from some varieties of meat, as well as some vegetables and fruits. It is advised to either consume a supplement that has vitamin C in it or have your meals with vitamin C containing foods to enhance its absorption.
Vitamin D is highly important for consumption before and during pregnancy. It is advised 600 IU of vitamin D is consumed daily while pregnant because it helps to ensure efficient absorption of calcium. The developing bones of babies need calcium in order to prevent bone-related disorders such as osteomalacia during pregnancy. Vitamin D also supports the immune system and keeps you infection-free while pregnant. Vitamin D can be got from sunlight, dairy, and fatty fish such as salmon or tuna.
Vitamin A is popular for its eye-loving quality, however, that is not the case here. During pregnancy, vitamin A reduces the risk of premature births, spontaneous abortions, anemia, and maternal death. And even back to what it’s popular for — eye health — vitamin A prevents vision related defects in the fetus and promotes overall immunity. Amazed already? That’s not all, because it is also effective for normal development of the spinal cord and structures within the ear. During pregnancy, a daily consumption of about 800 µg of vitamin A is required.
Talk of a reliable production of red blood cells and assurance for normal DNA replication and neurological health, and you have Vitamin B12 come to the rescue. This vitamin also combats fatigue. The daily requirement of vitamin B2 by a pregnant woman is approximately 2.6 µg, and more when breastfeeding. Wondering where to get B-12? Try dairy, eggs, and varieties of meat.
Vitamin C ensures the oral health of a pregnant woman, and it is required for the production of collagen.
As important as vitamin C is, it shouldn’t be overtaken during pregnancy. The safe recommendation is about 85 to 100 mg because higher doses have been suspected to cause preterm birth. What else? It’s best got from dietary citrus.
Did you know that a daily 60 µg of vitamin K is enough to ensure that do bleeding disorders during delivery are prevented? Do you want some vitamin K included in your diet? Try eating dark leafy vegetables such as spinach.
You definitely don’t want to develop issues such as kidney disease, osteoporosis, and other calcium-related disorders. 1000 mg daily of this essential mineral, calcium, is enough to protect your health, and ensure your baby gets protected too.
Iodine is an undeniably important micro-mineral which plays roles in metabolism, growth and overall normal cellular development. During pregnancy, a deficiency of iodine can contribute to negative outcomes such as stillbirths, genetic deformities, or mental retardation in seemingly healthy babies. The recommended daily intake of about 220 µg daily is advised, either through iodized salt consumption or in prenatal vitamins.
Common Pregnancy Signs
In the early stage of pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may cause headaches.
Constipation is a common early symptom of pregnancy. A rise in progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines, which can lead to constipation.
Mood swings are common in the first trimester. The flood of hormones in the body in early pregnancy can cause unusual emotions.
Fatigue and tiredness are topmost among the early symptoms of pregnancy.
A small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is sometimes one of the first symptoms of pregnancy.
Early in pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may trigger frequent, mild headaches.
Faintness and Dizziness
As blood vessels dilate and blood pressure reduces, there may be feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness. Early in pregnancy, faintness may be triggered by low blood sugar.
This is probably the most obvious early symptom of pregnancy. Some women might only experience a much lighter period compared to their usual, not a total stop.
Let’s Discuss some Pregnancy Facts!
- At about four months into the pregnancy, a baby begins to urinate inside of its mother.
- Because of water weight and other extra fluid, the feet of pregnant women swell.
- A baby has all of their fingerprints by 9-12 weeks in the womb.
- Nine in ten women experience a change in skin tone during pregnancy.
- The heart grows during pregnancy — It works harder and pumps more blood for that growing baby.
- Some pregnant women lactate in late pregnancy at the sound of someone else’s baby crying.
- Pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell to enable them to steer clear of foods they shouldn’t eat because of their growing baby.
- Three out of four women develop a linea nigra during pregnancy. The linea nigra is a dark, vertical line that runs down the abdomen. It may or may not vanish after birth.
- Pregnant women have less oxygen in their blood, which is what makes them more forgetful.
- Humans are the only mammals who do not ingest their placenta after birth.
Pregnancy is quite a sensitive stage of both a woman and her baby’s life. It is a discourse that is worth the time and effort, and as for the baby, the foundation of its life. Knowing what obtains not only makes life easier, it also makes it healthier. Let`s educate the world!