While many of us take the odd vitamin pill when we’re feeling run-down, now is the time to make supplements a top priority. A woman’s nutritional status has a huge impact on her pregnancy. It’s becoming clear that the nutrients received in the womb can have a lasting effect on your baby’s health, affecting everything from her IQ to the risk of her developing certain conditions, such as diabetes, in later life. As well as choosing the right vitamins, it’s important you take all supplements in the most beneficial way.
While the best way to get essential nutrients is through a healthy diet, there are some vital baby boosters, including folic acid and vitamin D, that you won’t find enough of in food alone. In fact, а research has found that the majority of expectant mothers are lacking certain key vitamins and minerals.
Ideally, supplements should be taken from at least three months before conception. This is how long it takes for an egg to mature prior to release and fertilisation. However, it’s never too late to start topping up your nutrient levels. Pills can be taken at any time of the day, as long as you’re consistent. If morning sickness is a problem, then taking them after dinner might be a better option. It’s better to take supplements with food as some can make you feel nauseous on an empty stomach and some need fat to absorb properly. Vitamin C also promotes iron absorption.
The shelves of your local chemist might be loaded with pills, but how do you go about choosing which is best for you? The best multivitamin and mineral supplement for pregnancy will contain calcium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron and folic acid, all of which are vital for healthy development.
While a prenatal multivitamin and mineral will cover most of your body’s
requirements, most experts agree it’s a good idea to take an omega-3 oil
supplement, too. The essential fatty acids are important to your baby’s brain
development and vision. Cod liver oil is a no-no, as it contains vitamin A, too
much of which can harm your baby.