A healthy diet plays a significant role in the evolution of your pregnancy. Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are rich in nutrients is crucial for you and the baby.
Still, an array of vitamins and minerals are more important than others, such as folic acid and vitamin D. Therefore, in many cases, doctors recommend supplements during pregnancy. In fact, you are advised to eat foods containing high amounts of these two nutrients, but also take supplements, because folic acid or vitamin D deficiency is the primary cause of many terrifying birth defects.
What supplements you should NOT take
On the other hand, pay particular attention to vitamin A supplements, as you should never take supplements of this vitamin during pregnancy because they can be extremely harmful to the baby. So, if you take multivitamin supplements, make sure they do not contain vitamin A. If you tell your doctor that you are pregnant when you visit him/her to get your prescription, he/she will know what to recommend you.
What supplements you should take
- Folic acid
One of the most important nutrients during pregnancy is folic acid. In fact, this nutrient can prevent several serious birth defects, such as spina bifida or neural tube defects.
Still, you have to know that you should also take folic acid before you get pregnant, when you are trying to conceive a baby. 400 micrograms of this nutrient is the minimum recommended dosage beginning with this period, until the third month of pregnancy. If the pregnancy is not planned, then start taking these supplements once it is confirmed.
Experts also recommend including foods that contain high amounts of folate or folic acid in your daily diet, besides the supplementation. For instance, consume many green leafy vegetables, cereals, and brown rice. Also, opt for fatty spreads – butter is a great choice.
When to increase the dosage: the women who know that they are at a higher risk to deal with neural tube defects issues during pregnancy are advised to increase their folic acid dosage. Generally speaking, they should grow this dosage at five milligrams per day, but they must discuss with their doctor about this aspect. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to go with an even higher dosage.
However, you should pay particular attention to this point in the following circumstances:
- Neural tube defects encountered during past pregnancies
- One of the partners has a neural tube defect
- Family history of this issue (no matter if it’s the mother’s or father’s family)
- Mother diagnosed with diabetes mellitus
- Vitamin D
Many pregnant women have bone or teeth problems during pregnancy, and they take calcium supplements. However, calcium can never be assimilated by your body without vitamin D. Also, this vitamin plays a vital role in the regulation of phosphate.
The fetus needs high amounts of vitamin D while in the uterus so that it takes it from mother’s body. Therefore, you are advised to take a dosage of 10 micrograms of this vitamin per day, throughout the entire pregnancy.