What Nutrients Does The Baby Need?
Good nutrition is essential for everyone. During pregnancy, however, women must also consider what nutrients are important for the developing baby. Adequate intake of B9, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids are all crucial for having a healthy pregnancy.
Start with folic acid
Not only do B vitamins help with fetal development, but this group can also relieve some uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. B9, or folic acid, is one of the most vital supplements to take during pregnancy. Folic acid aids in the production of red blood cells and reduces the risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida. The nutrient also reduces the risk of pre-term delivery and miscarriage.
Pregnant women should aim to get 400-800mg of vitamin B9 daily, under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Many physicians will also recommend starting a folic acid supplement before pregnancy to ensure the baby has a healthy environment to grow. Some key food sources of the vitamin include lentils, citrus fruits, and dark leafy vegetables.
Develop strong bones and teeth
During pregnancy, the body will take extra calcium from a woman’s bones and teeth if the baby is not getting enough calcium. The nutrient is crucial for building a developing baby’s bones and teeth. Calcium also plays an essential role in brain development.
During pregnancy, women should aim to get a minimum of 1g of calcium daily. Calcium is found in dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. Some foods, such as orange juice, breakfast cereals, and some bread are also fortified with calcium.
Boost health and reduce risks
Omega-3s are known to help the heart, immune system, eyes, brain, and central nervous system. The supplement can also reduce inflammation. This nutrient is essential for the development of the baby’s brain and vision. Omega-3 supplementation has also been linked to a reduced risk of preeclampsia and postpartum depression.
Women should aim to get 500mg daily of omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient is found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies. However, women who are pregnant need to be careful regarding mercury intake. For this reason, a healthcare provider may recommend an omega-3 supplement during pregnancy instead of consuming fish.
Have a healthy pregnancy
Getting the right nutrients during pregnancy is critical. Women who consume adequate amounts of B9, calcium, and omega-3s are at lower risk of certain pregnancy complications. Speak with a healthcare provider or pharmacist for more recommendations regarding what supplements to take during pregnancy.