Most moms-to-be want only the best for their child. The easiest, and first way to do this, is through a prenatal vitamin. But with hundreds of options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose which is the best for you and your child.
Proper nutrition is essential throughout all stages in life, but especially so in pregnancy. The baby you are growing gets it's nutrients from you- whether you have enough to share or not. It is critical during the first few weeks of pregnancy that you have the nutrients necessary to support your little one. Unfortunately a lot of women become pregnant and are already at a nutrient deficiency in one or more vitamins or minerlas- thus prenatal vitamins are especially important.
When choosing a prenatal vitamin, take a look at the label you're considering and keep these vitamins in mind:
Folic Acid: at least 600 mcg. Folic acid is important to the development of baby's neural tubes and folic acid helps to prevent malformation and spina bifida.
Calcium: 150mcg. While this nutrient is crucial for women as it helps prevent bone mass loss, it's even more important when you are growing another set of bones for your child. All women need 1,000mg per day, but if your doctor is concerned you aren't getting enough, he may recommend additional supplements.
Iodine: 220mcg. Iodine helps your baby's thyroid and brain develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pregnant women take about 220mcg of iodine- start salting up those foods!
Vitamin B6: 19mcg. Feeling nauseous? This vitamin helps reduce the effects of morning sickness.
Omega 3 fatty acids: Most prenatal vitamins don't contain this nutrient- a healthy fat found in many types of fish. But it's been proven that Omega 3 helps aid in baby's brain development, both before and after birth. It's the mega omega!
Additional nutrients to be aware of:
Vitamin A: No more than 10,000 IU as more can be toxic.
Vitamin D: 600 IU. Your body craves vitamin D and it helps to grow your baby's bones and keeps mama strong.
Zince: 11mg. Helps support your immune system and healthy cell division.
A good thing to keep in mind is you might have a tough time stomaching your vitamin. Some prenatals tend to be large and hard to swallow. Others can even make morning sickness worse.