Baby Guide

 

7 Vitamins and Minerals That Help to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, it is extremely important to monitor your food intake and to be highly sensitive to anything that may be lacking in your diet. For the most part, eating a healthy and varied diet will be able to provide you with all the vitamins and minerals that are essential during pregnancy.

However, you may need to take at least some supplements while you are pregnant. Read on to discover which seven vitamins and minerals are most important for your health and the health of your unborn baby.

1) Vitamin D:

Vitamin D will help to maintain the strength of your baby's bones and help to keep your own bones strong as well. This is because vitamin D has an important impact on regulating the body's calcium and phosphate levels. You will require 10mg of vitamin D on a daily basis for as long as you are pregnant, and after the birth of your baby as well (if you plan to breastfeed).

If you do not take enough vitamin D while you are pregnant, you run the risk of your child developing rickets (a disease involving soft bones and problems with bone development). The best thing that you can eat to boost your vitamin D intake is oily fish, but the best overall source of vitamin D (outside of supplements) is the sun.

If you spend enough time outside in the warmer months, you will probably have an adequate amount of vitamin D in your system. However, some people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, so when you are pregnant it is worth being tested to make sure that your vitamin D levels are not dangerously low.

2) Folic Acid:

Folic acid is vital during pregnancy because studies have shown that it dramatically lowers the likelihood of your baby developing birth defects (such as spina bifida, which affects the spine and central nervous system).

Most doctors recommend that you take around 400mg of folic acid on a daily basis until you are twelve weeks (i.e. three months) pregnant.

However, you will need to take a higher dose of folic acid if you have celiac disease, suffer from diabetes, or take certain medications for epilepsy.  It is also a good idea to start taking folic acid before you become pregnant, but of course this is not possible in the case of an unplanned pregnancy!

In addition to taking folic acid pills, you can get some folic acid from certain foods. Ideal examples include brown rice, cereal, and certain fruits and vegetables (especially leafy vegetables).

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