Prenatal vitamins, a type of nutraceuticals, are recommended to pregnant women because they are an important part of pregnancy nutrition. They provide several benefits to both pregnant women and the baby they are carrying. When pregnant, a woman’s body has increased nutritional demands. In particular, there may be specific minerals and vitamins that women need and are not getting enough of from a typical diet.
Prenatal vitamins are available in two major forms: chewables and liquids. Standard prenatal vitamins often are comprised of iron, phosphorus, Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid and other types of nutrients that a baby and his or her mother might require.
Benefits of Using Prenatal Vitamins
Helps to reduce the risk of the child developing neural tubes and spinal defects
Getting enough folic acid early in pregnancy and before conceiving can help reduce the child’s risk of neural tube defect development. Taking enough folic acid before and after the start of pregnancy reduces risk of defects like abnormal brain development and cleft spine. These defects are shown to appear 70% less frequently in babies that get enough folic acid in the womb.
Helps to reduce the chances of preeclampsia development
When pregnant women take sufficient amounts of folic acid early during pregnancy, the risk of developing preeclampsia is reduced. Preeclampsia is a condition that is usually characterized by excess protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and excess fluid retention. Preeclampsia is severe when blood pressure is high, which may lead to the necessity for emergency c-section.
Prevention of iron deficiency anemia
Pregnant women are known to need lots of iron. The body uses iron nutrients to help make hemoglobin for both the mother and the child. Iron also helps in improving the movement of oxygen from the child’s lungs to the rest of the mother’s body. By taking prenatal vitamins that consist of iron, you help in preventing iron deficiency anemia which is a condition marked by extreme fatigue.
Helps to reduce the risk of low birth weight, pre-term delivery, and infant mortality
Using prenatal vitamins helps a future mother to get enough iron when pregnant, as we discussed above. Using this vitamin frequently also helps to reduce the risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and infant mortality.
Reduces risk of developing rickets
Rickets is a condition that involves softened and weakened bones in children. It is a condition that is caused by a vitamin D deficiency. It can lead to deformities and bone fractures in young children. Taking vitamin D helps to promote phosphorus and calcium absorption. In the case you fail to get enough vitamin D during pregnancy, there is a chance your baby will born with vitamin D deficiency and risk suffering from abnormal bone growth, rickets or delayed development.
Prenatal vitamins also help in providing your child with enough calcium, and can put your mind at ease knowing you have met your child’s nutritional needs.