Pregnancy is not only happy news for a woman who wants to be a mother. It is also the beginning of a very important period when not only her well-being, but the health of the unborn baby depends on her.
The body of the expecting mother now requires additional building material for the development of the fetus, such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. According to the Institute of Medicine of National Academies, the need for certain vitamins and microelements increases to 185% during pregnancy and breastfeeding. For example, the need for folic acid is increased by 50%, vitamin B1 – by 85%, iron – by 60%. Therefore, she may be prescribed an additional intake of vitamins during the first visit to the prenatal clinic, in order to prevent a lack of valuable microelements derived from food.
Nature takes care of the unborn baby when it is only developing in the mom’s tummy. The nutrients are delivered to the fetus in the first place, and the body of the pregnant woman receives what is left, or even uses its own reserves. Often, pregnant women have troubles with their teeth; their immunity decreases, they suffer from an anemia. However, there is no guarantee that the baby will receive enough nutrients it needs from the mother’s body. There may be a risk of impaired fetal growth, miscarriage or premature birth in this scenario. According to statistics, about 1 out of 33 newborns have birth defects.
A natural source of vitamins and other valuable substances is food, but getting microelements in sufficient amounts only from food is not that simple. A woman would have to consume huge amounts of high-quality food every day: 2 kg of cabbage, 0.5 kg of walnuts, 5 avocados, 10 oranges… All while fully ingesting folic acid! You should consider that heat treatment, long-term storage, improper technologies of cultivation or production, and many other factors reduce the content of vitamins in foods. Obviously, even a full and balanced diet cannot meet the increasing needs of a woman and a fetus during pregnancy in most cases, so it is advisable to take prenatal vitamins.