Why there is so buzz about prenatal vitamins?
Well, when they say pregnancy and childbirth are like birth of a new woman, they are not actually wrong. It is a process of developing a microscopic organism called embryo into a full-fledged human body and the transformation is amazing. A woman has to take care of her health properly, in order to provide proper nourishment for the baby growing inside the womb. A healthy and well-balanced diet provides the necessary nourishment and supply of food to the embryo. However, the need of the body gets multiplied during the pregnancy and it is not possible to fulfill it completely through the diet. Supplementary prenatal vitamins play a major role in providing proper sustenance to the baby. Dr. Rita Bakshi of International Fertility Centre underlines the importance of prenatal vitamins and call it “the most essential and mandatory part of the pregnancy”. According to her, a majority of “would be mothers” ignore the fact and rely on the conventional methods of nutrition thereby reducing the overall health and resistance power of the mother and the baby.
Why are they needed at all?
As described earlier, the need of a woman for nutrition is multiple times during the pregnancy and eating so much nutritional diet is not possible at times due to problems like nausea. Even if the mothers do not face nausea or digestive problems, the desire to eat gets decreased due to various hormonal changes. Food supplements or prenatal vitamins are the easiest and the most convenient source of necessary nutrition.
Are they just like normal vitamins?
No, they are certainly not! Prenatal vitamins are the special category of vitamins fortified with additional calcium, iron, minerals and folic acid. Folic acid is very much essential because of its strength of sustaining the pregnancy. It makes the embryo strong and highly resistant to problems. Iron supports the development by ensuring adequate supply of blood and oxygen to the embryo. Calcium and minerals enable strong bones and structure of the body.
Women who do not eat meat and fish require special supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin-D to ensure brain development and calcium absorption for stronger bones. A prenatal vitamin should generally contain Folic acid, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Folic acid, Calcium, Vitamin B-6, C and D, Zinc, and Copper.
Do I still need good food?
Surely yes! These prenatal vitamins are not a substitute to a normal diet; they are actually a complement to it. Eating a balanced square-meal with an excellent support of the supplementary vitamins would help a lot in getting complete nutrition. The experienced doctors at clinics like IFC would study the diet patterns minutely and then prescribe a complete and comprehensive diet plan supported by a prescription of prenatal vitamins.
They can be in the form of tablets to swallow, health drinks or chewable tablets according to your preference. Normally these additional supplements start with the detection of the pregnancy and continued until the third trimester. In some cases, a doctor like D. Rita Bakshi of International Fertility Center recommends them in the lactation period.
Prenatal vitamins are the basic building blocks of a solid pregnancy and should never be overlooked!