Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy is essential for the proper development of the baby. During the nine months of pregnancy, the mother’s needs for energy and certain nutrients are increased. To avoid a nutritional deficit that could have consequences for the fetus, one of the best options is to take nutritional supplements as a method of prevention. However, there is also the risk of overdosing these minerals and vitamins. We explain what supplements are recommended to take during pregnancy and how you should take them.
Reasons to take supplements during pregnancy
Acquiring nutritional supplements through the internet is simple. You can find them in online drugstores and herbalists such as LindaVita and there are compounds especially for pregnant women. However, it is important that you know what supplements are really necessary during pregnancy and how you should take them.
During pregnancy, the fetus receives nutrients exclusively through the mother’s placenta . It has been observed that if the mother’s diet is insufficient in protein, calcium, fruit and cereals, there is an increased risk of miscarriage and perinatal death, even if the amount of calories ingested is sufficient. Regarding micronutrients, there is no doubt about the relationship between folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency and neural tube defects such as spina bifida. However, it is not the only nutrient that we have to pay attention to during pregnancy. Iron, calcium or iodine are some of the nutrients that may require to besupplemented during pregnancy . We give you all the details below.
Regarding folic acid supplements , it is generally recommended to take a supplement of 0.4 mg of folic acid per day in the case of all women seeking pregnancy. If the woman has a history of neural tube defects, this amount increases to 4 mg daily. In addition, it is important that pregnant women consume foods that contain folic acid . Folic acid is found mainly in green leafy vegetables , fruits, whole grains, legumes, yeasts, and nuts.
It should be noted that folic acid supplementation should be started one month before pregnancy and should be maintained at least until the end of the first trimester. However, in many cases it is chosen to maintain it throughout the pregnancy to prevent the possible deficit.
Iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein that is responsible for the transport of oxygen through the body. The reason for considering iron supplementation during pregnancy is that iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in pregnant women. This is because hemoglobin and iron levels drop
There is a decrease in hemoglobin and serum iron levels, while the woman’s ability to transport iron increases.
For this reason, the general recommendation is to take low-dose oral iron supplements during the second half of pregnancy for women who are not at risk of iron deficiency. On the contrary, in the case of women who have already had previous anemias, iron supplementation should start early in pregnancy.
The Iodine is an essential nutrient for our body can synthesize hormones thyroid. These hormones play a very important role in the development and functioning of all organs, especially the brain, which develops in the prenatal stage and early childhood. An iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause irreversible neurodevelopmental problems . The risk is higher if the deficit occurs during the first half of pregnancy.
For this reason, it is recommended to use iodized salt when cooking and taking a supplement of 200 µg / day. This supplementation should be started before pregnancy and should be maintained until lactation.
Calcium is an essential mineral for good bone health. It is also involved in the transmission of the nerve impulse and in blood clotting. In this case, the recommendation is that pregnant women include 3 servings of foods rich in calcium in their diet . Calcium supplementation is only recommended in cases where there is a risk of deficiency but not in a generalized way.