Pregnancy increases a need of certain vitamins and minerals. In order to avoid unnecessary use of vitamins and possible overdose of certain substances, as well as the increased likelihood of the occurrence of allergies for the child, you have to know what substances are essential for a healthy pregnant woman.
Folic acid. Folic acid is important for the early stages of pregnancy. A sufficient quantity of it significantly reduces birth defects associated with emerging neural tube likelihood. Folic acid should be taken during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as well as the 3 months before pregnancy. If your doctor does not say different, a recommended daily dose is 400 micrograms of folic acid. In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it is not recommended to take any other vitamins, only folic acid.
Iron. The need for iron increases in the middle of pregnancy, when the fetus is growing extremely rapidly. It is recommended to take 30 mg of iron for prevention of anemia. If the hemoglobin level in the blood is too low, the dose can be higher – 60-80 mg per day. The absorption of iron is enhanced by vitamin C, so you can take you iron tablets with orange or grapefruit juice. Dairy products, coffee, magnesium and calcium reduce the absorption of iron, so iron should be taken at least 2 hours after a having these.
Calcium. Your baby is rapidly growing, especially in the third trimester. This increases the need of calcium. If you diet does not include enough of dairy products, it is recommended to take 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Even if you take enough of dairy products, you should still get 500 mg of calcium every day.
Omega -3. Omega -3 fatty acids are important for baby’s brain development. Omega -3 fatty acids are found naturally in oily fish, eggs, flaxseed oil, etc. You should use sufficient amount of these products and additionally you can use omega -3 supplements. Recommended dose of omega -3 acids during pregnancy is 300 mg.