Most women know that they need to stop drinking alcohol, cut down on caffeine and give up smoking when they get pregnant, but many ladies still aren’t quite clear on what represents optimum nutrition when they’re pregnant.
When you’re growing a baby inside you, it’s a really good idea not only to eat a healthy balanced diet but to ensure that you get a little extra in the vitamin and mineral department too. By taking the right supplements, you can help your baby to grow strong and healthy from the inside out.
So, which vitamins and minerals should you be taking?
Studies have shown that many pregnant women are deficient in a iodine which is a trace mineral. Studies have also shown that mothers who were deficient in iodine while pregnant tend to have children with lower IQs in elementary school than those who were not, so adding a little more iodine (150 mcg) into your diet is probably a good idea.
If you’re pregnant or you’re trying to conceive, you’ve probably been told time and time again that you need to take folic acid and you do because it protects against a wide range of birth defects such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Of course, they don’t give a 100 percent guarantee against them because they can be caused by medical negligence too, but they will decrease the odds of you needing medical malpractice help significantly. Ideally, you should be taking between 600mcg and 800 mcg daily for the biggest benefits.
It is difficult to get enough vitamin B12 from the average diet today, even if you are a meat eater because the food chain is so depleted of this important nutrient that, along with folic acid has shown to help protect against various Neural Tube Defects. So, if you want to protect your baby, you want to boost your energy during pregnancy (it’s really good for that too), and you want to avoid anemia, start supplementing with B12 right now.
During pregnancy, you should be taking around 60 mcg of selenium daily to protect your immune system and potentially lower your risk of miscarriage. The evidence that it can do so is looking good although more studies need to be carried out. If you don’t want to take a supplement, then eating a small 25g portion of Brazil nuts each day will give you everything you need to grow your baby.
Taking 270 milligrams of magnesium throughout your pregnancy will help your body to repair itself and build up a healthy baby. There is evidence to suggest that a deficiency in magnesium can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia and a baby that doesn’t grow as well as he should.
While you’re pregnant, you should definitely make an effort to get outside in the sun more (remember your sunscreen), so that your body can make plenty of vitamin D. It may also be a good idea to supplement your diet with a Vitamin D pill of 10 mcg daily because your body needs to be able to produce enough for you and the first few months of your baby’s life too. Vitamin D is important for strong bones and good mental health, so don’t leave it out.
If you take these vitamins and minerals regularly during pregnancy, not only will you grow a healthy happy baby, but you’ll feel much better yourself too!