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home>>family>>diet during pregnancy>>Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

by: Laxmi Keshav

There is a widespread awareness to encourage about prevention of birth defects and about getting a healthy baby. Women are therefore encouraged to take prenatal vitamins not only throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding, but before getting pregnant as well. You must however remember that prenatal vitamins are just a dietary supplement and not an alternative to healthy food. Apart form prescription vitamins, prenatal vitamins are available over the counter also. Obviously, you can expect over the counter brands to show low absorption rates, or very small proportion of essential vitamins or minerals. The prenatal vitamins prescribed by physicians are usually of better quality and have greater absorption rates. Also all types of insurance plans cover most prenatal vitamins so that they are affordable and accessible to women.

At the time of your first prenatal visit, prenatal vitamins will normally be prescribed if you have not already started taking them. Health care provider will normally recommend only those prenatal vitamins which are appropriate for you. You should take care to take such vitamins along with food, otherwise you are sure to get side effects like nausea. Nutritional deficiencies and neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly are prevented by taking prenatal vitamins. Recent studies suggest that still nearly a third of women in the 18-45 age group are not getting adequate amount of folic acid during pregnancy. Fortified foods do not contain enough folic acid. Pregnant women do not get sufficient folic acid from their diets alone. The average prenatal vitamin contains the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid, and when taken daily is the easiest process for prevention of neural tube defects.

Apart from that, supply of additional calcium is equally important. Historical evidence suggests that a normal woman requires 1200 mg of calcium daily, where as a pregnant requires 1500 mg per day. Ironically, daily prenatal vitamin does not contain sufficient calcium. You must therefore supplement your diet with milk, cheese, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables and the like. Of course excess intake of vitamin A can also be detrimental, which is why the use of prenatal vitamins and diet should be discussed with the prenatal health care provider.

Prenatal vitamins are essential for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and should never be ignored. The importance of taking a daily prenatal vitamin cannot be stressed enough, its your baby's future. If a woman is considering pregnancy, she should consult her obstetrician or midwife about diet, general health, stress, and others factors to be considered.

Get complete guidance here - prenatal vitamins

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About The Author
Laxmi Keshav gathers quality information and resources about fitness, which is updated in real time at his website at http://nutritioinfofacts.info
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