Are Pregnancy Supplements Worthwhile?
Should you be taking supplements if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant? This is a question that every woman asks herself when she decides to start a family and itís no surprise; obviously you want to be in the best possible health during your pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Some of the multivitamins and supplements suggested to women who are thinking of falling pregnant or are already pregnant are essential, while others may just be a smoke screen to get you to buy something that you can achieve yourself.
If you have already spoken to your doctor or midwife, then you know how important folic acid is during the first trimester of pregnancy. You should start taking this B vitamin supplement before you fall pregnant or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.
This is the only supplement that you must take. 400 micrograms daily reduces the risk of spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid is essential in cell production including the production of red blood cells. It is also believed that this vitamin reduces the risk of cleft lip, pregnancy complications later on and miscarriage.
Ideally, you should take one 400 microgram tablet every day up to your second trimester to ensure optimum health for your baby.
Vitamin D will always be recommended to you by your midwife. This vitamin regulates your phosphate and calcium which helps your baby grow strong bones and teeth.
If there are any supplements you really should take itís the folic acid and the Vitamin D.
Pre Conception Vitamins
If youíve decided to start a family, youíre probably desperate for a fast result. Unfortunately this isnít the way it works and while some women are lucky enough to fall pregnant straight away, others can take months or even years. The supposed solution is to turn to pre conception vitamins; these vitamins put you in the best health and prepare your body for pregnancy.
Whether they work or not is debatable. Some women say they are the reason they have children today, while others havenít had any success using these vitamins.
Normally these contain folic acid, which you already know is imperative. They also include natural vitamin e to maintain a healthy heart and circulation; they include Inositol which helps influence fertility, L-Arginine which improves blood flow and implantation and N-Acetyl Cysteine which is an antioxidant. They also contain vitamin B12 which is believed to improve your reproductive health.
Most of these vitamins you can get out of eating a healthy well-balanced diet, so if you are keeping your weight under control, doing moderate exercise weekly and eating properly, there should be no reason why you would need these vitamin supplements.
Prenatal Supplement during Pregnancy
There are many prenatal supplements available on the market for during pregnancy and many new mothers worry that theyíre not offering their babies enough nutrients to grow healthy. These supplements often contain folic acid and iron. The iron is normally a low amount because too much iron during pregnancy isnít a good idea.
Once again, if you are eating a healthy well-balanced diet then there is no reason you need these supplements. Many women go through pregnancy by taking only folic acid and have healthy babies.
If during your pregnancy your midwife notices that your iron or calcium levels are low, she may suggest you take a supplement to get them up again. This is a common problem in many pregnancies and you can buy a supplement for that specific thing without taking a range of unnecessary supplements.
Your diet should include fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and pulses and milk, cheese and yoghurt to get your calcium intake. Pasta, rice and potato are also important during pregnancy. Eat a good diet, make sure you get omega three at least once a week and eat wholegrain where possible and you should get all the benefits that you would get from taking supplements.
Article by Paula Frost
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