6 Important Vitamins Women Need for a Healthy Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond
In pregnancy, a mother's nutrition becomes all the more important. This is why it is crucial to make sure you’re getting a rich supply of vitamins and minerals to not only sustain and support your body, but your growing baby as well.
Vitamins and minerals support the healthy normal functioning of your body, they provide the building blocks for your baby's organs and tissues, and they contain antioxidants that protect you and baby against the effects of chemicals that may pose a threat to your health.
In this article, I'll discuss six key vitamins you need during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond, and why you and baby need them.
Iron is a mineral that’s vital for women during pregnancy. Your body's requirement for iron doubles when you're pregnant because you need extra iron to provide the blood needed for both you and 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 during 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 proved 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 it can be hard for a lot of women to get their folate through diet alone. This is why 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!
You can find natural bioavailable folate in my Pregnancy Tea, and Prenatal & Beyond Multivitamin.
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 waste from the body, prevents constipation, and regulates bowel movement during pregnancy. And, 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.
You can find natural bioavailable vitamin C in my Iron Support, Pregnancy Tea, and Prenatal & Beyond Multivitamin.
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, you need to be sure that you're preparing your body for childbirth, a healthy labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. You want your body to recover well. Vitamin K helps reduce postpartum hemorrhaging in childbirth, treat blood clotting problems, and prevent neonatal hemorrhaging in newborn babies.
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 because 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.
You can find natural bioavailable vitamin K in my Pregnancy Tea, and Prenatal & Beyond Multivitamin.
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 take away...
The quality of your nutrition matters. The diet of a pregnant woman needs to includeWo food varieties that include 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,