16 January 2012

You may difficult to choose the best multivitamin prenatal product for you and baby. Well, don’t worry about that. I give you the most valuable information in choosing prenatal vitamin. There are three major ingredients that doctors say need to be found in every prenatal vitamin :

  1. Folate or Folic Acid- Helps to prevent neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious abnormalities that affect the brain and spinal cord.
  2. Calcium- Helps strengthen bones and teeth for both mother and baby. Calcium is also important for your muscular and nervous system to run normally.
  3. Iron- Helps support in the development in blood cells and muscle cells for both mother and baby. Iron helps to reduce anemia, a problem where the mother is lacking healthy red blood cells.

Why You Need Folic Acid
This type of nutrient helps to prevent various problems from happening during pregnancy, includes serious birth defects such as brain defects, spinal cord defects which are called neural tube. One such condition is spina bifida, which is a term used to describe the condition in which the baby's spine is born not closed in as it should be. Spina bifida will lead to nerve damage of these nerves and in many cases, the child will suffer from paralysis to all or parts of his body. Incontinence is also like as is mental retardation in children with spina bifida.

Many babies have this defect develop just 28 days after they are conceived. Many women do not know that they are pregnant at this time. Any woman that is of child baring age should get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. As for prenatal vitamins, a large dose of folic acid throughout the first trimester can help to curb spina bifida and other conditions like it.

You can get folic acid from your foods. You can get it from green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and citrus fruits. Together with your prenatal vitamins, eating a healthy diet rich in folic acid can help to lower your baby's risks of these types of birth defects.

Why You Need Calcium
During the baby's development, the baby will need a rich source of calcium during the development of their bones. During this time, if the child is not able to get the calcium from its nutritional supply, it will require it from other places, such as the bone density of the mother. As you age, your body uses more and more calcium from these sources. Conditions like osteoporosis develop when the body must use the bone's store of calcium for everyday use. In other words, without these nutrients available to the baby during their development, it could weaken the mother's ability to keep from having weaker bones later.

Why You Need Iron
Many women become anemic during pregnancy. Anemia is the result of not enough iron in the blood. As your baby develops, your body's requirement for iron rich blood also increases. Iron helps you and your baby's blood to move oxygen throughout it. Without enough iron, your body is likely to be weakened. You may even feel very tired. Iron is found in many foods such as meats, walnuts and deeply colored greens like spinach.

Too much iron also dangerous for both you and the baby. Most prenatal vitamins will have a strong source of iron at a safe level. Some doctors will require that you take additional iron supplements above and beyond that of what is in your prenatal vitamins if you are considered anemic or borderline.

What Else Do You Need?
Do look at the labels of the prenatal vitamins that you are taking. Below is a list of other ingredients that you should consider when looking into prenatal vitamins. Based on new research for infant development, these ingredients should be a must have in your prenatal vitamin.
  • DHA- Is an omega-3 fatty acid, promote a baby’s brain and eye development. Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in fish which many pregnant women choose not to eat due to the high mercury content found in fish.
  • Probiotics- Have been found to possibly reduce excessively large birth sizes and reduce obesity later in a child’s life. It has also shown to help the mother reduce excessive weight gain during pregnancy and helpful for reducing weight after pregnancy. On top of this probiotics have shown to reduce early childhood eczema by 46%.
  • Co-Q10- CoQ10 is an enzyme, reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy and helps to promote healing after delivery.
  • Ginger- Helps to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. Ginger also contains cholesterol lowering qualities.
  • Vitamin B6- vitamin B6 has been found to reduce miscarriages and also increase the chance of conception. Vitamin B6 can also help with nausea.
  • Vitamin D3- Helps with bone health and density. Reduces preeclampsia and depression.
  • Choline- choline increase the size of brain cells and can make brain cells faster at firing electrical signals. The study showed that choline supplementation during pregnancy could affect a baby’s lifelong learning and memory.
  • Inositol- Inositol was found to help reduce the chance of neural tube defects. The study found that on top of Folic Acid Inositol helped to further reduce neural tube defects.
  • Vitamin A- Has been found to help with embryonic development and with infection resistance. Too much Vitamin is dangerous, doses over 10,000 IU cause fetal poisoning.
Recommended Daily Amount of Multivitamin Prenatal
Ingredient Dose
CoQ10 150-200mg
Probiotics many prenatal vitamins do not contain. Look for a blend of at least 5 or more
Calcium at least 750mg
Choline 20-25mg
Folate/ Folic Acid at least 400mcg, but 800-1000mcg would be best
Vitamin B 6 Most research suggests 25-50mg
DHA 50-200mg
Vitamin A Most doctors recommend getting no more than 5000 IU which is a 100% of your daily value
Inositol 20mg-25mg
Vitamin D3 Look for a 100% of your daily recommendation, 400 IU
Iron Some people may need more and some may need less, 25-30mg is what most doctors recommend

Not all prenatal vitamins are equals. Some are lesser in quality and therefore should be compared from one brand to the next. Follow the recommendations by your doctor about how much you should take as well as how often. Eat a healthy diet, too. While prenatal vitamins do offer some helpful nutrients, no vitamin can do what prenatal vitamins will do for your body. A diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is extremely important for baby's development.

What to Avoid In Prenatal Vitamins
Do not take prenatal vitamins that contain over 10,000 IU of Vitamin A, because of the possibility of fetal poisoning. Another thing to look for when looking into prenatal vitamins are the other ingredients found at the bottom of the ingredient list. Dyes, sweeteners, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils should be avoided.


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