What are the food supplements recommended for pregnant women during pregnancy? And what are the best combinations and quantities? Before offering you some information, it is necessary to note that articles like this, although they offer correct data cannot and should not replace expert advice! We tend to consider that the complexes of vitamins and minerals are good anytime for anything “they can not harm, they are just vitamins”!
But especially if we are talking about dietary supplements for pregnant women, it is important for a doctor to recommend these supplements to be beneficial. Every woman will need different amounts and combinations of these food supplements so that this is not a decision that can be made randomly. The supplements are important during pregnancy – they supplement the supply of nutrients that the foetus needs in its development. But to know what supplements must be taken, it is necessary to know the deficiencies in the body of the pregnant woman.
Food supplements are very beneficial for pregnant women, providing the nutrients that the foetus needs, but they do not replace a healthy diet, crucial for a smooth pregnancy, plus a healthy baby and mother. Using supplements still means that the pregnant woman should ensure that she eats all sorts of foods like meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables!
Why are the food supplements recommended for pregnant women? Because they help the body gain the reserves of vitamins and minerals that are so much needed during the pregnancy. Once pregnant, a woman needs substantial reserves in the body and a healthy diet does not provide the total amount required.
What are the recommended food supplements for pregnant women? Generally, you need folic acid reserves – B 9, iron and calcium. But you can find various combinations of vitamins and minerals that provide the necessary dosage depending on the specific needs of women. A particular combination should be taken only after hearing the doctor’s advice – otherwise you risk that the effect is cancelled by a combination; you may even have side effects. The body will not react well if you give it too much of a substance, even if it needs it – there is an alleged “overdose” of synthetic vitamins (the healthy and varied diet already offers the necessary nutrients, so if taken without medical advice, the complex of vitamins, which are in a concentrated form, can be risky).
Folic acid – vitamin B 9 is essential for the harmonious development of the foetal neural tube and for avoiding some defects. It is especially recommended before pregnancy and during the first trimester, when the neural tube is formed. This substance helps the foetal heart development. It is the most commonly recommended supplement in synthetic form because the body absorbs it more easily and efficiently than if found in natural foods.
Iron – even before pregnancy, the mother may have sufficient reserves of iron (blood tests are made), but during the pregnancy the need of iron increases and the body may fail to supply this increased need from the diet, hence the anaemia during pregnancy, including the risks for the foetus. Whenever regular blood tests show a low level, iron supplements will be prescribed.
Calcium is introduced in some dietary supplements for the pregnant woman and is important in the development of the foetal skeletal system, muscles and organs. Sometimes, especially in the third quarter, when the bones are strengthened, the doctor will prescribe a calcium surplus, if necessary. He will prescribe calcium supplements if the mother does not eat enough food that provides this nutrient.
Vitamin D may be required during pregnancy, helping the development of the foetal bone system (it helps maintain the calcium level in the body).
Essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are generally not included in complexes of vitamins and minerals for the pregnant women, but supplements of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may be recommended – it is a fatty acid that helps the brain development of the foetus. This fatty acid is found in fish, but it can be found in the form of supplements as well – especially if you do not eat fatty fish, ask your doctor if you have to take such a supplement.
Here is what you should take into consideration before taking dietary supplements for pregnant women:
They do not replace the diet. Therefore, even before pregnancy, the woman should adopt a more varied diet, which ensures the body’s supply of nutrients. If she adopts such a diet, the body will often have sufficient reserves of certain substances – and the doctor will recommend supplements during pregnancy according to the needs of the body.
Why do we need food supplements for pregnant woman then? Because even a completely healthy diet usually does not provide all the growing needs of the body during pregnancy. The reserves of folic acid and iron are often insufficient, so the body needs synthetic supplements that provide nutrients to the body in a concentrated form so that they are assimilated more easily.
When to take supplements for pregnant women? It is recommended, if we talk about a planned pregnancy, to go see a doctor and take supplements before pregnancy to ensure the necessary body reserves. The supplements with folic acid are most recommended. But if blood tests show a low iron level, supplements may be needed to prevent anaemia. Throughout the first trimester, when the foetus’ vital organs are formed, supplements are useful, but the doctor will recommend certain combinations that will provide the necessary nutrients for the foetus throughout pregnancy.
When are supplements required for pregnant women? Some situations require vitamin and mineral complexes, without which the foetus is at risk. If the mother is anaemic, if she has different chronic conditions, whether she smoked or consumed alcohol in excess before pregnancy, or if she has a multiple pregnancy, if the mother does not ensure all the necessary nutrients: if she is vegetarian, if she can not eat dairy products she does not tolerate certain substances.