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June 29, 2018

Ever since we were younger, we were taught both at home and at school that taking our vitamins is essential to a long, healthy life. And as much as possible, we were told to get these vitamins and minerals naturally from the food we eat, but as we grew older, we found out how hard that is (especially when you're always on the go), so we often opt for substitutes like supplements. 

In this short article, we will share with your 3 must-take vitamins for pregnancy, and how they help to optimize health for both us and our baby.

 

1.) Folic Acid

Folic acid is essential for pre-natal moms because it helps in the healthy development of your unborn baby by preventing birth defects. Around the first 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, neural tube defects occur (neural tube is a part in the embryo that evolves into the brain and spinal cord of the baby), which can result in a possible birth defect.

Taking the recommended amount of folic acid can cut the risk of neural tube defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida, thereby ensuring that the baby would be born normal. Prenatal mothers should consume at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily either a month before pregnancy or during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Folic acid also aids in the process of cell division and aids in the production of red blood cells, both of which are the foundations of a loving, happy baby being welcomed into the world. 


Folic acid can be found in the following:

  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Brocolli
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Whole grain products

 

2.) Iron

Iron is essential in making hemoglobin, or the protein that carries oxygen from our lungs to different cells and tissues in our body. During pregnancy, the amount of blood volume increases, and because of this, our body needs more iron for the production of more hemoglobin. Our baby needs healthy blood cells in order to produce oxygen which ultimately fuels the development of their organs. In addition, iron also helps the prenatal mother produce more oxygen to aid healthier bodily functions for herself.


Iron can be found in the following:

  • Lean red meat
  • Chicken, turkey
  • Oily fish
  • Peas, beans
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread,
  • Dried fruit
  • Green vegetables
  • Some cereals (check the nutrition label to be sure)

 

3.) Calcium

Healthy bones make for a strong, active baby, as well as having a strong mommy to support the baby. Calcium aids in the development of the unborn baby’s bone density, as well as avoiding loss of bone density on the mother’s end. Calcium also lowers the risk of preeclampsia (a condition on pregnant women having high blood pressure who have previously not experienced high blood pressure before), which is also accompanied with a high level of protein in urine and often also swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. For mothers who are experiencing low birth weight issues, calcium also aids with healthily increasing birth weight since a healthy birth weight would aid in a healthy brain development for the baby, as well as minimize mortality rate for newborn babies.


Calcium can be found in the following:

  • Dairy products
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Canned fish with bones
  • Calcium-fortified foods like soy milk

 

Aside from folic acid, iron, and calcium, pregnant mummies should also take healthy amounts of iodine (to prevents stunted physical growth, severe mental disability, and deafness on the baby) and Omega 3 (aids in baby’s brain development and decreases mother’s risk for depression during pregnancy) in order to make sure that they're in tip-top shape, and their baby's delivery goes as smoothly as possible.