Anyone who is thinking about becoming pregnant or has just found out they are pregnant should be taking a prenatal vitamin.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet may not be enough to support a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are there to make sure that your body and your developing baby are receiving the nutrients required to support and grow a new life

Vitamins required during pregnancy include 600 micrograms of folic acid, 27 milligrams of iron, 1000 milligrams of calcium, 600 international units (IU) of Vitamin D, 150 micrograms of iodine and 200 milligrams of DHA (omega-3 essential fatty acid).

Folic acid is essential for the development of healthy neural tubes, which develop in the first four to six weeks of pregnancy. While iodine supports the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.

Iron is essential for preventing anemia and ensuring that your baby receives ample oxygen supply during development.

A calcium supplement not only assists in healthy bone production in your developing baby but will prevent bone loss in the expectant mother.

Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption, as well as the development of bones, eyes, skin, and teeth of your growing baby.

DHA (Omega-3 essential fatty acid) should be taken as it assists and supports brain and eye development of your baby. This is especially important if fatty fish are not apart of your diet. The DHA can be obtained from a vegetable source and does not necessarily have to come from fish oil.

If you find the prenatal vitamins are aggravating your morning sickness, they can be taken with a meal or in the evenings. It may be easier to sleep through nausea.

A prenatal vitamin should be taken throughout the duration of pregnancy and well into breastfeeding, as these nutrients also support milk production.

If you are considering becoming pregnant in the near future, it is a good idea to invest in a good prenatal vitamin before becoming pregnant. The maturation process of an egg starts three months before the ovary releases it, taking a prenatal vitamin before pregnancy ensures the egg is exposed to essential nutrients and that the vitamin stores within your body are at maximum capacity to support your baby’s development from conception.

Prenatal vitamins are essential in not only supporting your developing baby but you as well

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