Pregnancy and prenatal vitamins

Vitamin supplementation is considered beneficial for pregnant women. This is so because vitamins play some very crucial roles in the body which are also essential during pregnancy. We are now going to look at some of the vitamins required during pregnancy and state the role they play;

Folic acid

Folic acid is essential during pregnancy as it prevents neural tube defects which result in birth defects such as spina bifida as well as maintaining good health of the placenta.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential during pregnancy as it helps keep your bones and teeth healthy. If a mother has low vitamin D there are high chances that she will give birth to a child that has soft bones and is subject to suffer from a condition known as rickets. Vitamin D maintains good bone health as it is responsible for the regulation of calcium and phosphate which are both building blocks of bone.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for a pregnancy mother as it is an anti-oxidant that protects tissue from damage and also aids in the absorption of iron from food. Iron is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin which is the compound that transports oxygen in blood. A baby needs enough hemoglobin so as to ensure proper development during the gestation period.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential during fetal body formation and is vital in formation of red blood cells as well as muscle cells.

Thiamin

Thiamin is essential during pregnancy as it raises the body’s energy levels and maintains function of the nervous system.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is essential in maintaining energy supply to active cells of the body as well as keeping integrity of the skin.

Niacin

Niacin is important during pregnancy as it promotes good health of the skin. Niacin also aids in maintaining good digestion in the GIT of the expectant mother. Good digestion will ensure that the developing fetus will always get the nourishment that is essential during prenatal development.

Pyridoxine

Pyridoxine is important during pregnancy as it plays a role in the synthesis of red blood cells. Red blood cell synthesis increases during pregnancy as the developing child will need lots of oxygen which will be derived via the placenta.

There are also vitamins such as vitamin A supplements which need to be avoided during pregnancy as too much vitamin A can result in vitamin toxicity which can harm the baby and cause some serious defects to the baby.
It is also advisable that pregnant women are not to use vitamin supplements as a substitute for a natural diet. It is always better to derive essential vitamins from natural foods as there will be less risks of vitamin over dose. It is therefore important that pregnant mothers take vitamins according to doctors’ advice. Over use of vitamins may have adverse effects on the body and such adverse effects may not be visible from the onset but after a long period the effects may become visible at a time when correction is almost impossible.

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