Getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals is important for the health of a developing baby while mom is pregnant.
Eating healthy can often supply a good amount of these vitamins and minerals. But, it’s not always easy for an expecting mom to eat enough. Sometimes she may not even feel like eating at all. Prenatal vitamins can help deliver the much needed vitamins and minerals to the developing baby and mom.
It is important to start taking a prenatal supplement with folic acid, iron, calcium, and DHA before pregnancy because the baby starts developing it’s vital body systems, including the brain and heart, before mom even knows she is pregnant.
Folic Acid During Pregnancy
Folic Acid is very important before and during pregnancy because it helps to prevent neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are:
one of the most common birth defects, occurring in approximately one in 1,000 live births in the United States. An NTD is an opening in the spinal cord or brain that occurs very early in human development. In the 3rd week of pregnancy called gastrulation, specialized cells on the dorsal side of the fetus begin to fuse and form the neural tube. When the neural tube does not close completely, an NTD develops. (source wikipedia)
Folic Acid can be found in nuts, citrus fruits, beans, green leafy vegetables, and foods that are fortified in it. But this is often not enough.
Iron During Pregnancy
Iron is another essential mineral for both mom and baby. Here is why:
- During pregnancy a woman has up to 50% more blood in her body. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin which carries the oxygen in red blood cells to other cells.
- Most women begin pregnancy with not enough iron stores.
- Iron helps the growing baby and placenta.
- Insufficient iron has been linked to preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality.
Eating foods such as spinach, lean beef, cooked dried beans, oat bran, barley, edamame and other soy products, can help add iron to the diet. Again, this is often not enough.
Calcium During Pregnancy
Calcium, which is found in many dairy products, is also important while pregnant. The baby will take calcium from mom to build it’s own strong bones and teeth. If mom isn’t getting enough, she will start losing her own bone density.
Calcium also helps baby grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles and develop blood-clotting abilities.
DHA During Pregnancy
Up to 70% of energy supply during fetal development is devoted to brain development during pregnancy.
DHA has been shown to aid in the visual and brain development of the baby. The baby depends on the mother for it’s supply of DHA and if mom is deficient, it can impact brain development in the fetus.
Brainstrong Prenatal Supplement with DHA
I have been using a natural DHA prenatal supplement by Brainstrong that has the highest level of folic acid and DHA available without a prescription. It has up to 75% more DHA than other leading over-the-counter prenatal vitamins and costs less than most co-pays.
The DHA in Brainstrong is:
produced directly from microalgae so it’s a vegetarian source of DHA. It’s grown under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions and contains no fish oil, mercury or ocean pollutants, has no fishy aftertaste, is sustainable, and it has no known side effects.