6 Important Vitamins for Healthy Pregnancy & Childbirth
In pregnancy, it's crucial to make sure you’re getting a rich supply of vitamins and minerals to support not only your body, but your developing baby. Your nutrition becomes all the more important when your pregnant.
Vitamins and minerals support normal healthy functioning of your body systems, provide the building blocks for your baby's organs and tissues, and contain antioxidants that protect you and baby against the effects of chemicals that may pose a threat to your health.
This article discusses key vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy, and their important roles.
Iron is a mineral that’s vital for you and your baby's growth. Your body's requirement for iron doubles when you're pregnant because your body needs iron to make extra blood for you and your baby. Getting enough iron can prevent you from feeling tired, exhausted, developing poor concentration and brain fog.
Your body is responsible for providing blood, oxygen and nutrients to your baby. And because iron is crucial for the production of oxygen-transporting hemoglobin in your red blood cells, it is necessary to get adequate amounts, especially uring pregnancy.
Iron reduces the risk of maternal anemia, low birth weight, and iron deficiency. It also prevents premature delivery, low birth weight, developmental delays, and cognitive impairment.
Many studies have shown that sufficient amounts of folate can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida in babies, by up to fifty percent. In these defects, the embryonic neural tube doesn't close properly during the first weeks of pregnancy, leading to incomplete development of baby's brain and spinal cord.
Natural folate helps the neural tube close.
But truth is, it can be hard for a lot of women to get a sufficient amount of folate through diet alone. For this reason, taking a quality supplement rich in natural folate before conception and throughout pregnancy is wise.
I should remind you that all folate supplements are not created equal. There is a huge market of synthetic folate, "folic acid" being targeted to pregnant women. Even doctors are prescribing women this unatural version. Don't fall for it!
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is needed for many purposes during your pregnancy, like immune system support, wound healing, tissue repair and helps your baby’s bones and teeth to develop. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system, prevents you and baby from developing infections, and helps your body’s production of collagen (a structural protein that is main component of bones, tendons and cartilage).
It also prevents the buildup of cholesterol, removes toxic wastes from your body, prevents constipation, and regulates bowel movement during pregnancy. Most importantly, vitamin C helps improves your capability to absorb and use iron, which prevents anemia or iron deficiencies.
Vitamin C is water soluble and your body cannot store it, so you need to have a fresh supply of this nutrient everyday through the food you eat.
There are many studies that associate low blood levels of Vitamin C during pregnancy to preeclampsia. Some studies reveal that Vitamin C deficiency can cause mental impairment in newborn babies.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining the health of you and baby's nervous system. This vitamin is essential for baby’s neural tube formation, brain and spine development. Together with folate (B9), it works to produce DNA synthesis, red blood cells, and help to prevent spina bifida and other spinal and central nervous system birth defects in your baby, too.
B12 helps improve your energy, mood and stress levels by aiding the metabolization of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also helps maintain your normal central nervous system and neurological functions by regulating the synthesis of myelin and fatty acids.
5. Vitamin K
During pregnancy, it is necessary to prepare your body for labor and healthy postpartum recovery. Besides, your body needs to recover back to its normal conditions.
Vitamin K helps treat blood clotting problems, prevent neonatal hemorrhaging in newborn babies and reducing postpartum hemorrhaging in childbirth.
Another important role of Vitamin K is that it assists the formation of proteins in the liver. During pregnancy, the need for protein in your body increases, as the fetal growth depends on the supply of proteins. Vitamin K helps the protein formation process, which enables you, the mother, to give birth to a healthy child.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties and preventing free-radicals (damaged cells) in your body. It is used by your cells for carrying out vital functions of the body. Vitamin E helps to strengthen your immune system and promotes the widening of blood vessels.
Vitamin E is very useful for the treatment of neo-natal jaundice, IUGR (Intra Uterine Growth Retardation), and toxemia of pregnancy.
The diet of a pregnant woman needs to include different food varieties, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These provide proper nutrients required for the development of your baby and your wellness as mom too.
Do you need my support?
I offer holistic prenatal coaching that includes knowledge on what to eat and drink, and timing of meals for your specific needs to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth experience.
Love and health,