August 16, 2022

If you have ever attempted to go on any kind of diet that involved reading the information on the nutritional labels of your food you are all too familiar with the fact that those little words and symbols can start to look like Greek after a while. If you’re not a doctor or a nutritionist you probably have no idea of what Vitamin B or Folic Acid.

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If you’re not a doctor or a nutritionist you probably have no idea of what Vitamin B or Folic Acid are, much less why they’re important. The first step to conquering pregnancy nutrition is understanding what you’re eating, how much you should eat, why you’re eating it and how it’s going to help your baby.

Important Vitamins During Pregnancy

More often it is because mothers have chosen to consume extra pregnancy vitamins in an attempt to “help” their baby or they have forgotten to tell their physician about other vitamins and supplements they take on a regular basis.

vitamins during pregnancy
vitamins during pregnancy

Be sure when you go in for your prenatal appointments that your physician knows exactly what vitamins, medications and supplements (including herbal) you take, regardless of how insignificant you may believe them to be.

Vitamin A During Pregnancy

Vitamin A helps the development of baby’s bones and teeth, as well as their heart, ears, eyes and immune system (the body system that fights infection) so is an vitamins during pregnancy. Vitamin A deficiency has been associated with vision problems, which is why your mom always told you to eat your carrots when you were a kid!  If you do not take vitamins during the pregnancy the baby could have an hemangioma but this is prevented easily Getting enough Vitamin A during pregnancy will also help your body repair the damage caused by childbirth.

Vitamin A deficiency has been associated with vision problems, which is why your mom always told you to eat your carrots when you were a kid! Getting enough Vitamin A during pregnancy will also help your body repair the damage caused by childbirth.

Pregnant women should consume at least 770 micrograms (or 2565 IU, as it is labeled on nutritional labels) of Vitamin A per day, and that number almost doubles when nursing to 1300 micrograms (4,330 IU). Be aware, however, that overdosing on Vitamin A can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Your maximum intake should be 3000

Be aware, however, that overdosing on Vitamin A can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Your maximum intake should be 3000 mcg (10,000 IU) per day.

Vitamin A can be found in liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale spinach collard greens, cantaloupe, eggs, mangos and peas.

Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy

Also known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 helps your baby’s brain and nervous system develop. It also helps Mom and baby develop new red blood cells. Oddly enough, B6 has been known to help alleviate morning sickness in some pregnant women.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1.9 mg of this pregnancy vitamin per day of Vitamin B6. That amount rises slightly when nursing to 2.0 mg per day.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, as well as bananas, baked potatoes, watermelon, chick peas and chicken breast.

Vitamin B12 During Pregnancy

pregnancyVitamin B12 works hand in hand with folic acid to help both Mom and baby produce healthy red blood cells, and it helps develop the fetal brain and nervous system.

The body stores years’ worth of B12 away, so unless you are a vegan or suffer from pernicious anemia the likelihood of a B12 deficiency is very slim.

Pregnant women should consume at least 2.6 mcg (104 IU) of B12per day, nursing mothers 2.8 mcg (112 IU).

Vitamin B12 can be found in red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy foods. If you are a vegan you will be able to find B12 fortified tofu and soymilk. Other foods are fortified at the manufacturer’s discretion.

Vitamin C During Pregnancy

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and build a healthy immune system in both mother and baby. It also holds the cells together, helping the body to build tissue. Since the Daily Recommended Allowance of Vitamin C is so easy to consume by eating the right foods supplementation is rarely needed.

Since the Daily Recommended Allowance of Vitamin C is so easy to consume by eating the right foods supplementation is rarely needed.

Pregnant women should consume at least 80-85 mg of Vitamin C per day, nursing mothers no less than 120 mg per day.

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, raspberries, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli and tomatoes, as well as in many cough drops and other supplements.

Calcium During Pregnancy

Calcium builds your baby’s bones and helps its brain and heart to function. Calcium intake increases dramatically during pregnancy.

Women with calcium deficiency at any point in their lives are more likely to suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis which directly affect the bones so especially now this is one of the most vitamins during pregnancy.

Women with calcium deficiency at any point in their lives are more likely to suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis which directly affect the bones so especially now this is one of the most vitamins during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1200 mg of these pregnancy vitamins a day, nursing mothers 1000 mg per day.

Calcium can be found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and, to a lesser extent, ice cream, as well as fortified juices, butters and cereals, spinach, broccoli, okra, sweet potatoes, lentils, tofu, Chinese cabbage, kale and broccoli. It is also widely available in supplement form.

Vitamin D During Pregnancy

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, leading to healthy bones for both mother and baby.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should consume at least 2000 IU of Vitamin D per day. Since babies need more Vitamin D than adults babies that are only breastfeeding may need a Vitamin D supplement, so if your doctor recommends this don’t worry. You haven’t done anything wrong! Formula is fortified with Vitamin D, so if you are bottle feeding or supplementing with formula your baby is probably getting sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient.

You haven’t done anything wrong. Formula is fortified with Vitamin D, so if you are bottle feeding or supplementing with formula your baby is probably getting sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient.

Vitamin D is rarely found in sufficient amounts in ordinary foods. It can, however, be found in milk (most milk is fortified) as well as fortified cereals, eggs and fatty fish like salmon, catfish and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in sunshine, so women and children found to have a mild Vitamin D deficiency may be told to spend more time in the sun.

Vitamin E During Pregnancy

Vitamin E helps baby’s body to form and use its muscles and red blood cells. Lack of Vitamin E during pregnancy has been associated with pre-eclampsia (a condition causing excessively high blood pressure and fluid retention) and low birth weight.

On the other hand, Vitamin E overdose has been tentatively associated with stillbirth in mothers who “self medicated” with supplements.

Pregnant women should consume at least 20 mg of Vitamin E per day but not more than 540 mg.

Vitamin E can be found in naturally in vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach and fortified cereals as well as in supplemental form. Natural Vitamin E is better for your baby than synthetic, so be sure to eat lots of Vitamin E rich foods before you reach for your bottle of supplements.

Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Also known as Folate or Vitamin B9, Folic Acid is a vital part of your baby’s development. The body uses Folic Acid for the replication of DNA, cell growth and tissue formation.

A Folic Acid deficiency during pregnancy can lead to neural tube defects such as spina bifida (a condition in which the spinal cord does not form completely), anencephaly (underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele (a condition in which brain tissue protrudes out to the skin from an abnormal opening in the skull).

All of these conditions occur during the first 28 days of fetal development, usually before Mom even knows she’s pregnant, which is why it’s important for women who may become or are trying to become pregnant to consistently get enough Folic Acid in their diet.

Pregnant woman should consume at least 0.6-0.8 mg of Folic Acid per day as this is one of the most critical pregnancy vitamins that we currently know of.

Folic Acid can be found in oranges, orange juice, strawberries, leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pasta, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds, as well as in supplements and fortified cereals.

Iron During Pregnancy

Iron helps your body to form the extra blood that it’s going to need to keep you and baby healthy, as well as helping to form the placenta and develop the baby’s cells.

Women are rarely able to consume enough iron during their pregnancy through eating alone, so iron supplements along with prenatal vitamins are often prescribed.

Women who are pregnant should have at least 27 mg of iron per day, although the Center for Disease Control suggests that all women take a supplement containing at least 30 mg. The extra iron rarely causes side effects; however, overdosing on iron supplements can be very harmful for both you and your baby by causing iron build-up in the cells.

Iron can be found in red meat and poultry, which are your best choice, as well as legumes, vegetables, some grains and fortified cereals, one important thing is to have your body strong and healthy during pregnancy, because the baby takes everything you have for him so you need to make sure to take care of yourself,

Niacin During Pregnancy

Also known as Vitamin B3, Niacin is responsible for providing energy for your baby to develop as well as building the placenta. It also helps keep Mom’s digestive system operating normally.

Pregnant women should have an intake of at least 18 mg of Niacin per day.

Niacin can be found in foods that are high in protein, such as eggs, meats, fish and peanuts, as well as whole grains, bread products, fortified cereals and milk.

Protein During Pregnancy

Protein is the building block of the body’s cells, and as such it is very important to the growth and development of every part of your baby’s body during pregnancy. This is especially important in the second and third trimester, when both Mom and baby are growing the fastest.

Pregnant and nursing women should consume at least 70g of protein per day, which is about 25g more than the average women needs before pregnancy.

Protein can be found naturally in beans, poultry, red meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, cheese, tofu and yogurt. It is also available in supplements, fortified cereals and protein bars.

Riboflavin During Pregnancy

Also known as Vitamin B2, Riboflavin helps the body produce the energy it needs to develop your baby’s bones, muscles and nervous system. Women with Riboflavin deficiency may be at risk for preeclamsia, and when baby is delivered it will be prone to anemia, digestive problems, poor growth and a suppressed immune system, making it more vulnerable to infection.

Pregnant women should consume at least 1.4 mg of Riboflavin per day, nursing mothers 1.6 mg.

Riboflavin can be found in whole grains, dairy products, red meat, pork and poultry, fish, fortified cereals and eggs.

Thiamin During Pregnancy

Also known as Vitamin B1, thiamin helps develop your baby’s organs and central nervous system.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should consume at least 1.4 mg of Thiamin a day. Nursing mothers who are Thiamin deficient are at risk for having babies with beriberi, a disease which may affect the baby’s cardiovascular system (lungs and heart) or the nervous system.

Thiamin can be found in whole grain foods, pork, fortified cereals, wheat germ and eggs.

Zinc During Pregnancy

Zinc is vital for the growth of your fetus because it aids in cell division, the primary process in the growth of baby’s tiny tissues and organs. It also helps Mom and baby to produce insulin and other enzymes and is a critically important vitamins during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should have an intake of at least 11-12 mg of Zinc per day.

Zinc can be found naturally in red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, grains, oysters and dairy products, as well as fortified cereals and supplements.

Bear in mind that the Recommended Daily Allowances are just that-recommended. None of those pregnancy vitamins  number has been formulated on a case-by-case basis, so if your doctor recommends something else for you listen to what they have to say. After all, they managed to run up that student loan somehow!

14 thoughts on “Important vitamins during pregnancy

  1. I am being asked by my pregnant women about the beriberi she is experiencing right now. Having this kind of problem wouold affect our baby which 5 months old?

  2. When buying baby bottles, make sure that it is not made in China and also make sure that it is phtalate-free..*”

  3. I love the in depth information. It is so important that women get the right amount of vitamins and minerals during and before pregnancy. This will really help them have a happier healthier pregnancy. Your baby will be greatful too. Nice info for sure.

    It’s also important to be doing exercise during pregnancy for an easier labor and healthier pregnancy. You can find the 10 best exercises pregnant women should do on my blog.

  4. eating right and regular aerobic exercises will do the trick..as well as knowing whether what we do is actually good for us or not

  5. i am five months pregant and i was told i tested postive for sickle cell was and my blood count is very low 10.09 i am scared and i was given ifa and vitaplex tabs to be taken two times daily i am still scared out of my mind.will that help me build my blood cell neded or if any one has gone through the same thing pls help

  6. dont know any thing about pregnacy but this site seem to help but i love coke soo much hope the caffeine in is not really dangerous

  7. The important vitamins during pregnancy are vitamin A & beta Carotene, vitamin D , vitamin C, vitamin E, Thiamin/ B1, riboflavin/B2, niacin/B3, pyridoxine, folic acid, calcium, iron, protein and zinc. A pregnant women should only take vitamin supplements so that the baby will healthy and it protect the baby to any illnesses. A balance diet is the best way to receive nutrients, but vitamin supplements can also be beneficial. Supplements do not replace a healthy diet but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients. Vitamin supplements work best taken as a part of a healthy diet and not as a substitute.

  8. Pregnant women should only take vitamin supplements on a health care provider’s recommendation. One of the most important nutrients for pregnancy is folic acid, and it’s important that you do take these supplements when you’re pregnant. A balanced diet is the best way to receive nutrients, but vitamin supplements can also be beneficial. Supplements do not replace a healthy diet but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients. Vitamin supplements work best when taken as part of a healthy diet and not as a substitute for a healthy diet.

    1. Yes, I have to agree that your eating needs to be very good when you are pregnant. Every single study that I have seen on pregnancy and vitamins seems to support supplementation but it is supplementing and never replacing the good fresh food that you need to eat

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