Prenatal vitamins are good for your future baby

The iron

Iron controls your risk of anemia (a common problem during pregnancy) and supports the baby’s physical growth.

If you test positive for anemia during pregnancy, consider taking an additional iron supplement. Healthy iron-rich foods include soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, iron-fortified cereals, and chicken livers.

DHA (omega-3)

DHA is the epitome of “brain food”. In the first year alone, the baby’s brain will double in size. Part of this growth is due to fats in the baby’s diet before and after birth.

DHA is a special type of fat that can aid in the development of the myelin sheath, a covering that surrounds the many axons in the brain. This myelin helps nerve cells communicate faster, allowing your little one to think quickly and make more connections.

If that’s not enough, DHA plays a role in healthy visual development and may reduce a baby’s risk of asthma and allergies.

If you’re looking to add more DHA (omega-3) to your diet, try fatty fish (like salmon and tuna) and omega-3 fortified eggs. Vegan and vegetarian moms, don’t forget to add flax, hemp and chia seeds to your diet.

Iodine

This nutrient is crucial for baby’s brain development. However, most foods are relatively low in iodine. Iodized salt is a good bet, but if you prefer to stick with sea salt, make sure your prenatal vitamin meets your daily needs.

Folic acid

Probably the most important vitamin to take while the baby is in the womb, folic acid prevents neural tube defects in the brain and spinal cord.

Since the brain and spinal cord develop early in pregnancy, it’s best to take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid before you get pregnant and for at least 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Looking for folate-rich foods? Try leafy green vegetables, nuts, rice and eggs.

Are you embarking on the adventure of bringing new life to the world?

Even before baby is conceived, you may be wondering (and worrying) about the development of this little person.

(Get used to the worrying part. Just because baby isn’t on stage yet doesn’t make you any less of a mom!)

To promote healthy baby development, do your best to eat healthy before, during and after your pregnancy.

Start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant and throughout your pregnancy. Doctors recommend starting them months before the TTC.

Many of the baby’s most crucial developments happen in the first month of pregnancy (perhaps before you even realize you’re expecting!), so it’s important to consider your nutrition as early as possible to fortify the reserves. nutrients from your body.

You can even take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding because they work wonders for your hair and nails.

In my work as a developmental psychologist, I discovered that physical and cognitive development often go hand in hand. Early development in the womb is no exception!

The nutrients provided by a healthy diet and prenatal vitamins are not only crucial for a baby’s physical development, they can also have lasting effects on cognitive development.

So what’s the difference between prenatal vitamins and standard multivitamins? I’m so glad you asked, mom! Prenatal vitamins are generally higher in folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B, iodine and DHA (omega-3).

Here’s how these 8 vitamins and minerals are important for your future child.

Vitamin B

Also important for vegetarian moms, vitamin B12 is linked to baby’s mental functioning. Similar to folic acid, deficiencies of this vitamin are linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects.

To improve your chances of absorbing more of the nutrients you’re trying so hard to absorb, make sure your prenatal vitamin contains B6, a vitamin that reduces morning sickness (allowing more nutrients to stay with you and your baby). baby throughout the day).

Blocking side effects

If you think your prenatal vitamin may be upsetting your stomach, try taking it at night with food. Remember, the key to healthy baby development is a healthy, balanced diet. Just think of your prenatal vitamins as a nutritious cherry on top!

Calcium

Not all prenatal vitamins provide calcium, a nutrient needed for baby’s bone growth (and yours too). If you don’t regularly eat calcium-rich foods like leafy greens, dairy products, fortified plant-based milks, and fortified cereals, consider a calcium supplement or calcium-based antacid.

Bonus: If you suffer from morning sickness, a calcium antacid can do wonders for your troubled stomach. (Is this why pregnant moms are infamous for their ice cream cravings?!) Take an antacid with your prenatal vitamin to reduce the chances that your vitamin is actually the cause of your morning sickness.

Vitamin D

Research indicates that taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy is linked to a reduced risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and preterm birth.

Plus, vitamin D will help your body absorb calcium more easily, a necessity for baby’s bone development.

For foods high in vitamin D, try portobello mushrooms, salmon, and fortified milks and cereals. Better yet, take a relaxing walk outside for some sunshine.

trying to get pregnant, child development, fertility, health, pregnancy

Patricia J. Callender