What Supplements Are Safe During Pregnancy

What Supplements Are Safe During Pregnancy? (Answered!)

Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant? If so, you may wonder what supplements are safe to take during this delicate time. With so many choices on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine what is safe for you and your developing fetus.

Knowing which supplements are safe to take during pregnancy is crucial, as the wrong supplement choice can harm you and your developing fetus. 

Some safe supplements to take include:

  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Folate
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Fish oil
  • Probiotics
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • These supplements are essential not only for you but also for your baby's development. Taking them in their recommended dosage is vital.

    Besides pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, these supplements are also important for breastfeeding mothers.

    With that said, this blog post will discuss in detail the supplements to consider during pregnancy. We will also provide insight on how to know if you need to take supplements during pregnancy, the type of supplement to avoid during pregnancy, and more.

    Let's get started!

    Does pregnancy increase the need for nutrients?

    The need for nutrients during pregnancy

    During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes, and your nutritional needs for both macronutrient and micronutrients increases significantly to support the healthy growth and development of your child.  

    For instance, during pregnancy, your body's need for protein increases from the recommended 0.36 grams per pound (0.8g per kilogram) of body weight for non-pregnant women to 0.5 grams per pound (1.1g per kilogram).

    The requirement for micronutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, and trace elements, increases far more than the need for macronutrients. Hence, pregnant women need to have a balanced diet that contains a variety of nutrient-rich foods to help meet their increased nutritional needs. 

    If your diet lacks certain nutrients, you may need vitamin and mineral supplements to fill the gap. 

    Consulting a healthcare professional is always a good idea before taking any supplements during pregnancy.

    How do I know if I need to take supplements during pregnancy?

     

    Supplements during pregnancy

    Generally, women of reproductive age should take prenatal vitamins regularly to help prevent potential congenital disabilities. Nevertheless, women should consult a healthcare professional, such as an obstetrician, to determine if they need to take supplements during pregnancy. 

    During a prenatal visit, the healthcare professional will likely ask about your diet and any dietary restrictions you may have. 

    They may also recommend certain laboratory tests, such as blood tests, to check for any nutrient deficiencies. 

    Based on this information, they can determine if you need to take supplements to meet your increased nutritional needs.

    What supplements are safe and effective when pregnant?

    It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements during pregnancy. With that said, the following supplements are safe and effective for pregnant women.

    Prenatal vitamins

    A Prenatal vitamin is a specially formulated multivitamin designed to meet pregnant women's increased need for micronutrients. 

    Compared to regular multivitamins, they contain many essential nutrients that a growing fetus needs, such as calcium and vitamin D, which help promote your baby's teeth and bone development.

    While Prenatal vitamins are especially recommended to meet the increased need for micronutrients in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, they can be taken by women who are trying to get pregnant, too.

    Furthermore, studies also show that taking prenatal vitamins could potentially reduce the risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a dangerous complication characterized by high blood pressure and perhaps protein in the urine. 

    Although Prenatal vitamins can help prevent nutritional deficiencies by providing extra micronutrients for women before and during pregnancy, they should not replace your healthy eating.

    Prenatal vitamins are usually prescribed by doctors and can also be purchased over the counter.

    Folate

    Folate, also termed folic acid, is an essential B vitamin that helps prevent certain birth defects in your growing fetus's brain, spine, heart, and mouth. 

    Hence, if you are planning to become pregnant, taking at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid per day and 600 micrograms when you become pregnant is essential.

    If you are at high risk of having a baby with neural tube defects (brain and spine defect), it is crucial to speak with your healthcare provider about how you can safely take 4,000 mcg of folic acid supplementation per day to help prevent an NTD. 

    It is recommended to take it at least three months before conception and through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. 

    While adequate folate can be obtained from foods such as Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, and foods fortified with folic acid, many women don't consume enough folate-rich foods, making supplementation necessary. 

    However, it is crucial to know that taking too many multivitamins or prenatal vitamins may harm your health. Hence, consult your healthcare provider to help determine the appropriate amount of folic acid for you and your baby.

    Looking for a 100% Natural supplements option? Check out whynotnatural.com, B vitamins dietary Supplements.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is another vital supplement that plays a crucial role in helping your body to absorb calcium facilitating bones and teeth development in your baby. 

    Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia, cesarean section, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. Therefore, getting the recommended daily dose of 600 international units (IU) or higher per day is essential. 

    Pregnant women should also aim to get Vitamin D from natural sources such as 

  • sunlight
  • fatty fish like salmon
  • Milk and cereal fortified with vitamin D
  • Egg yolks
  • Besides helping in calcium absorption, Vitamin D also plays a vital role in immune function and cell division during pregnancy. Your immune system protects your body from infection.

    It is helpful to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that you and your baby's Vitamin D needs are met.

    At whynotnatural.com, we provide 100% Natural vitamin D supplements that meet the need of pregnant women and their babies.

    Iron

    Iron plays a crucial role in the body, specifically in the production of hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. 

    Iron is especially essential for pregnant women because their body's need for iron doubles compared to before pregnancy. 

    During pregnancy, more blood is needed to carry oxygen to support the growth of the fetus and prevent anemia in the child. 

    Besides its role in preventing anemia, another reason Iron is also essential in pregnant women for its role in helping to prevent infections, fatigue, prevent premature birth, and low birth weight.

    Pregnant women should aim for 27 milligrams per day. Most prenatal supplements have this amount. 

    However, it is important not to exceed the recommended iron intake to avoid adverse side effects such as constipation, vomiting, and abnormally high hemoglobin levels, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.

    Also, when eating healthy and Iron-rich foods, avoid consuming calcium (in dairy products like milk), coffee, tea, egg yolks, fiber, and soybeans since they can block your body from absorbing Iron.

    Good sources of iron from food include

    • Lean meat, poultry, and seafood
    • Cereal, bread, and pasta fortified with iron
    • Beans, nuts, raisins, and dried fruit
    • Leafy green vegetables

    Magnesium

    Magnesium plays a vital role in hundreds of chemical reactions within the body, including in the development of the baby's bones and teeth. 

    It is critical for immune, muscle, and nerve function. During pregnancy, deficiency in this mineral may increase the risk of chronic hypertension and premature labor. 

    Research suggests that supplementing with magnesium may lower the risk of complications such as fetal growth restriction and preterm birth. 

    The recommended daily dose of magnesium for pregnant women is 350-400 milligrams per day.

    Magnesium is naturally found in many foods, including

    • Nuts 
    • Spinach
    • Beans, like black and kidney
    • Peanut butter
    • Avocadoes
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Potatoes
    • Yogurt
    • Fortified foods such as cereal
    • Fish like salmon and halibut

    Fish oil

    Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are beneficial for developing the baby's brain and eyes. 

    Pregnant women should take at least 200 milligrams per day of DHA. It is recommended that women eat 8 - 12 ounces of seafood low in mercury per week. 

    However, it's important to note that pregnant women should avoid certain types of fish high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, ray, barramundi, orange roughy, gemfish, ling, and southern bluefin tuna.

    Good sources of DHA and EPA include:

    • Tuna, Herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, halibut, catfish, shellfish shrimp, and tilapia
    • Orange juice, milk, and eggs fortified with DHA and EPA.

    Probiotics 

    Probiotics are living microorganisms that are believed to promote digestive health and the immune system. 

    The question is, how does gut health relate to pregnancy and your growing child?

    An infant's gut microbiota starts forming during pregnancy and continues to develop throughout the first years of life. Therefore, many expectant parents turn to probiotics as a supplement during pregnancy.  

    Studies suggest that taking probiotics is generally safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that taking probiotics may reduce the risk of postpartum depression, gestational diabetes, infant eczema, and dermatitis.

    Research on probiotic use during pregnancy is ongoing, and more about the role of probiotics during pregnancy in maternal and fetal health is sure to be discovered.

    It is always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen.

    Calcium

    Calcium is a mineral that plays a critical role in developing your baby's bones, teeth, heart, muscles, and nerves.

    During pregnancy, consuming 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day is essential, which can be obtained by taking prenatal vitamins and consuming foods high in calcium. 

    Good sources of calcium include 

    • Broccoli and kale
    • Milk, cheese, and yogurt
    • Orange juice fortified with calcium

    While calcium requirements don't increase during pregnancy, ensuring that you're getting enough is very important because its insufficiency can lead to the body taking calcium from the mother's bones, leading to health conditions such as osteoporosis later in life. 

    Osteoporosis causes bones to become thin and brittle, making them more prone to fractures.

    With that in mind, if you suspect that you are not getting enough calcium through diet alone, in addition to taking a calcium supplement, you might benefit from taking Vitamin D supplements, too. 

    Vitamin D supports your bone health, teeth, and immune system.

    If your doctor recommends boosting your calcium intake and taking calcium supplements, consider trying whynotnatural.com Organic Vitamin D3 with K2, which provides 10,000 IU per serving and moves the calcium you consume away from arteries and brain to your bones and teeth.

    Choline

    Choline is an important nutrient that plays a critical role in developing the baby's brain and spinal cord. 

    Pregnant women should aim for at least 450 milligrams per day of choline. However, some experts believe 450 milligrams per day might not be enough and suggest that an intake closer to 930 mg per day may be more optimal.

    It's important to note that before taking any supplements, pregnant women should consult a healthcare professional for guidance on the appropriate dosage and frequency. 

    Choline can be obtained from various food sources, such as

    • Beef
    • Eggs
    • Chicken
    • Milk
    • soy products
    • peanuts

    Although the body produces some choline naturally, it may not be enough to meet the increased needs during pregnancy. Hence, it is essential to include choline in your diet as it is not typically found in most prenatal vitamins.

    What vitamins and supplements should be avoided during pregnancy?

    What vitamins and supplements should be avoided during pregnancy

    During pregnancy, women must be aware of the vitamins and supplements to avoid, as some can harm both them and the developing fetus.

    For instance, consuming excessively high doses of vitamins A, B6, C, D, or E during pregnancy can be harmful to your health. 

    Consulting a healthcare provider before taking any supplements will ensure your safety and the well-being of your baby.

    Other supplements to avoid, according to the American Pregnancy Association, include:

  • Saw palmetto
  • Goldenseal
  • tansy
  • Dong Quai
  • red clover
  • Ephedra
  • Yohimbe
  • Angelica
  • Roman chamomile
  • Pennyroyal
  • Takeaway: What to take and what to avoid for a healthy pregnancy

    From our discussion above, you can see the enormous importance of taking supplements as an expectant mother. We discussed in detail the importance of taking some supplements considered safe during pregnancy, including

    • Prenatal vitamins
    • Folate
    • Vitamin D
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Fish oil, etc.

    Among other key points discussed, we mentioned some vitamins and supplements to avoid during pregnancy while emphasizing the importance of taking only the recommended dosage of the right supplement because taking them in excess could harm you and your baby. 

    With that said, remember that it's always best to consult your healthcare professional to ensure that you and your baby get the best nutrition during this critical time.

    Get your essential supplement and more at whynotnatural.com. We have approved high-quality organic vitamin supplements that meet the need of pregnant women and their babies. 

    Our vitamins and minerals are what dietary supplements should be: 100% natural and available in liquid form. 

     

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