Do you know why prenatal vitamins & good nutrition matter during pregnancy?
by Sai Sagireddy
Many statistical data, tables, as well as statements of facts in this article are from Dr. James B. Adams of the Arizona State University in Tempe.
Blood vitamin levels, if unsupplemented, usually decrease during pregnancy (Adams et. al. 2022). Some of these include vitamins A, C, D, K, B1, B3, B5, B6, Folate, Biotin, and B12. As such, if the intake of vitamins is not increased from preconception to pregnancy, the risk for pregnancy complications and infant health problems are increased. Some risks include anemia, depression, gestational diabetes, Cesarean Section, premature rupture of membranes and hypertension (Adams et. al. 2022). These risks can be reduced with two simple measures: the regular consumption of prenatal vitamins and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Why are prenatal vitamins so important?
A pregnancy demands increased nutritional needs to promote the health of both the mother and the baby. As blood levels of the vitamins decrease, prenatal vitamins are necessary to ensure adequate intake. The USDA established Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for total vitamin intake from food and supplements (there is no national consensus on optimal usage).
Click on the two tables below for a detailed list of health problems potentially caused by a lack of various vitamins found in a prenatal vitamin supplement.
Why is good nutrition so important?
A healthy, balanced diet is one that gives the body all the nutrients it needs and includes fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean proteins. The USDA provides many recommendations for pregnant moms to maintain a balanced diet through their publication, "Tips for Pregnant Moms," such as:
The publication also includes a daily checklist for expectant moms to follow.
Overall, prenatal vitamins and good nutrition matter during pregnancy. By following these healthy practices, risks for complications and ailments can be reduced for both the mother and the baby.