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Pregnancy is a journey of a kind. The development of a new creation, the behaviour and physical changes, etc. Since pregnancy is such a delicate period, so much care and attention is required. This includes the kind of diet or food consumed.
Usually, due to the growth of the foetus, nutrient requirements are on the increase. The woman is now "eating for two". Many times, the food the woman would normally eat may not be able to cater for this increase in nutritional demand, for example, people taking certain medications, vegetarians, etc. It might lead to certain nutritional deficiencies. This is why vitamins or supplements are needed during pregnancy.
These supplements are important, some of which include:
Folic acid: This is very important for pregnant women. Taking about 400 to 600mcg of folic acid every day before and during the pregnancy can help to reduce the incidence of terrible birth defects, such as neural tube defects, cleft palate, heart defects, etc.
Read also: Birth Defects and Healthy Habits in Pregnancy
Ferrous sulfate : This help to supplement iron to prevent iron deficiency and helps to prevent anaemia. Anaemia in pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, anaemia in the infant, low birth weight, etc. Iron is also required for adequate oxygen circulation and foetal development.
Magnesium : This is important in the growth and development of the foetus. It is required in many chemical processes in the body, particularly the immune system, nerves, muscles, etc. Magnesium deficiency can lead to premature labour.
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol): This is required most especially for bone health. Lack of this vitamin in pregnancy has led to an increased risk in developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, etc.
Vitamin C: This is required for development of cells in the body and general development. It is also required for absorption of iron.
Calcium: This works in conjunction with vitamin D for bone and teeth development.
Iodine: This is required for the development of brain and nervous system. Also required for thyroid function.
Vitamin B12 : This is required for the development of the nervous system. It can also prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia.
Many supplements are sold in combination as a pill, such as Pregnacare and other supplements. These supplements are recommended in pregnancy for the safety of the mother and her child, preventing birth defects or congenital abnormalities.
Ensure you discuss vitamin supplementation when you're planning to have a baby or when you're already pregnant, so that the rights amounts to be taken are known to you. Not all vitamins require extra supplementation. It is also important to ensure a healthy and balanced diet before, during and after pregnancy.