Pregnancy is a phase where health is a priority. While there may be times when we monitor our health closely to overcome an illness or adopt a healthier lifestyle, pregnancy is the one phase where health, diet, and body-balance must be tracked over all else.
Almost every pregnant mother consumes supplements during her pregnancy. This is not just a fad. It is imperative that supplements be taken to ensure a healthy pregnancy, and better health following it.
Why does Mother-to-be Need Supplements?
Among the most common pregnancy care tips is the regular intake of supplements. You need to take them diligently because:
- The body has a greater need for nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, and fats during this time. Since all of these may not be provided through diet alone, supplements ensure an adequate balance of each.
- The mother is eating and providing for two people instead of one. Supplements ensure that both get the desired nutrients required.
- There are certain ailments and deficiencies in the mother that can be passed on to the baby. Supplements can help lower the chances and allow the baby better health.
- Some pregnant mothers have special supplementary needs caused by nutritional deficiencies, dietary restrictions, and conditions like smoking. Supplements can help address them well.
Supplements – What’s Safe
Supplements are prescribed according to the unique needs of each mother. These are some of the safest supplements advised:
- Vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are among the most common supplements prescribed before and after conception. Some of these are continued during breastfeeding. Prenatal vitamins are usually multivitamins that have a combination of various vitamins and minerals required by the body.
- Iron and folic acid: These are often considered together since they are administered almost universally to all pregnant mothers. Folic acid helps boost the production of red blood cells and strengthens DNA, actively promoting the growth and development of the fetus. Iron is critical to help boost red blood cell count and improve the health of the placenta. It also helps transport oxygen to the baby.
- Vitamin D: This is an important nutrient required to help build bone health and promote cell division in the baby. Deficiencies of this vitamin have shown serious complications, including premature birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
- Magnesium: It can help build immunity, the health of muscles, and nerve function in the baby. Complications like hypertension and premature labor can occur as a result of its deficiency.
- Fish oil: Fish oils boost brain health and development in the baby. It can also help prevent depression in the mother.
- Ginger: This is a commonly advised herbal supplement that is extremely beneficial for morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy.
Supplements – What to Avoid
Not every supplement is beneficial or safe. Some supplements cause more complications than do good to mother and baby. Some of these include:
- Vitamin A: Although vitamin A is important to build immunity and vision in the baby, it can be easily absorbed by the body and stores itself in the liver. Excessive amounts can lead to liver damage and congenital disabilities. Be extremely cautious about the quantities consumed.
- Vitamin E: Although an important nutrient, there are strong recommendations against taking these supplements during pregnancy to avoid rupturing the amniotic sack.
- Black cohosh: This herbal supplement is commonly taken to help control abdominal cramps and hot flashes. However, it can lead to preterm labor.
- Other herbal supplements: Supplements like Goldenseal, Dong Quai, and Yohimbe can have potential side-effects that can be dangerous.
Words of Caution
Some definitive words of caution when taking supplements include:
- Never self-prescribe. Always consult your gynecologist and follow their advice diligently. No two cases are the same, so avoid medication that helped your friends or family during pregnancy. Take only what’s necessary for you and your baby. Importantly, stick to the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
- Supplement naturally. Although you may be on medication, there is no substitute for natural foods. Have a healthy, balanced diet that can give you as much nutrition as the body needs. These nutrients are natural and without any side-effects.
- Be vigilant. Talk to your doctor the moment you feel any signs of discomfort or uneasiness. It could be due to your supplements.
- Live well. Sleep, rest, and exercise are as important as any dietary needs. Ensure a healthy and active lifestyle advised by your doctor to enjoy a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Pregnancy care tips can help you experience more comfort during your pregnancy. However, you need a gynecologist and dietician who can see you through your term optimally. Ovum Hospitals is the best maternity hospital in Bangalore, offering quality care. If you are looking for the perfect gynecology hospital in Bangalore, Ovum hospital is the one for you.