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why do you need to take prenatal vitamins

What are prenatal vitamins? Eating a healthy diet is always a wise idea -- especially during. It's also a good idea during pregnancy to take a prenatal vitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in the mother's diet. contain many and minerals. Their, iron, iodine, and
are especially important. Folic Acid, Iron, and Calcium Folic acid helps prevent neural tube, which affect the and spinal cord. Neural tube defects develop in the first 28 days after, before many women know they are pregnant. Because about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it's recommended that any woman who could take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily, starting before and continuing for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. ho has already had a baby with a neural tube defect should talk to her provider about whether she might need folic acid supplements and discuss their dose. Studies have shown that taking a larger dose (up to 4,000 micrograms) at least one month before and during the may be beneficial for those women, but check with your doctor first. Foods containing folic acid include green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, and many foods which have been fortified with folic acid. Even so, it's a good idea to take a supplement with the right amount of folic acid as a backup. is also important for a pregnant woman. It can help prevent her from losing her own bone density as the baby uses calcium for its own bone growth. Iodine is critical for a womanвs healthy function during pregnancy. A deficiency in iodine can cause stunted physical growth, severe mental disability, and.

Not enough iodine can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. Iron helps -- in both the mother and baby -- carry oxygen. For pregnant women, taking prenatal multivitamins may be a waste of money, a new review of previous research suggests. Instead of taking multivitamin and, pregnant women should focus on improving the overall quality of their diets, and should take just two vitamins: and, according to the review, conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom. "We found no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal multinutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements, generic versions of which can be purchased relatively inexpensively," the authors wrote in the report, published July 11 in the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Although multivitamin supplements are frequently marketed to pregnant women as a means of giving their babies the best possible start in life, such marketing claims do not actually translate into better health for mothers or babies, the researchers said. [ However, eating healthy foods before and during pregnancy is essential for the health of mothers and their unborn children, because vitamin deficiencies have been linked to various and birth, the researchers said. Those complications include a pregnancy-induced, high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, restricted fetal growth, skeletal deformities, low birth weight and birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord, the researchers said. Currently, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet that includes foods from five groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods and dairy.

Pregnant women also need more folic acid and iron than women who are not pregnant, and so taking prenatal vitamin supplements, which contain these and other nutrients, can help ensure pregnant women are getting these extra amounts,. But, "a well-rounded diet should supply all of the other vitamins and minerals" a pregnant woman needs, according to the group. In the review, the researchers looked at previous research examining the effects of taking multivitamin supplements, which the researchers said are heavily marketed to to guard against all sorts of health problems. These supplements typically contain a combination of multiple vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, along with folic acid, iodine, iron, copper, zinc and, the researchers said. The researchers also examined published research examining the potential health benefits during pregnancy of taking individual vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin D and iron, along with vitamins C, E and A. With the exception of folic acid and vitamin D, the authors of the review found no evidence that women who were well-nourished had gained any clinical benefit from taking the other supplements examined. The researchers found that the recommendation to take was supported by the strongest scientific evidence, compared with the evidence for other vitamins and minerals. The researchers also found some scientific evidence showing a benefit from taking vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy, but that evidence was less clear-cut, the researchers said.

The researchers still recommended that pregnant women take a daily dose of 10 micrograms of vitamin D, which equals 400 international units, throughout pregnancy and breast-feeding (This is also the average dose of vitamin D found in prenatal supplements in the U. S. ) However, Bruce W. Hollis, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) who was not involved with the study, said he thinks that this dose of vitamin D is not sufficient to provide optimal benefits for pregnant women's health or their children's health. [ A growing body of research, including his own studies, has suggested that taking as much as 4,000 international units of vitamin D per day during pregnancy is linked to health benefits such as a lower risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia, and a in children, he said. Dr. Carol Wagner, also a professor of pediatrics at MUSC who has conducted supplementation during pregnancy, agreed that pregnant women should take much higher doses of vitamin D than what's recommended in the new review. Both she and Hollis said that vitamin D does not occur in many foods, except fish or milk, for example, and therefore it is hard to get it in sufficient doses from one's diet. "One glass of milk provides 100 international units" of vitamin D, Wagner told Live Science. Originally published on Live Science. 9 Uncommon Conditions That Pregnancy May Bring 7 Ways Pregnant Women Affect Babies 7 Baby Myths Debunked

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