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Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins

What are Prenatal Vitamins?

During your pregnancy, it’s essential that you eat a healthy diet throughout the term. However, it’s likely that you aren’t getting all the vitamins you require, due to food or dietary restrictions. Whether this is true or not, it’s always a good idea to look into taking prenatal vitamins, as they’ll be able to cover any nutritional holes in your diet. While prenatal vitamins contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, the most important ones include folic acid, calcium, iodine and iron.

The Essential Nutrients

Taking folic acid on a regular basis will help in the prevention of neural tube birth defects, a condition that can affect both the brain and spinal cord. This birth defect can develop in the first 28 days prior to conception, a time period when most women don’t even know that they’re pregnant. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, planned or not, women should take 400 mg of folic acid before conception until around the 12th week of your pregnancy. There are many foods that contain folic acid, including leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, citrus fruits and more.

Calcium is important for pregnant women to consume because it increases bone density. As the fetus grows, it needs calcium as well for proper bone growth. Additional calcium ensures that both the mother and child have strong and healthy bones. Added iron in your diet will help blood in you and your baby carry more oxygen. Iodine, the last of the essential nutrients, is critical during pregnancy. This nutrient helps in the functionality of a healthy thyroid. A lack of iodine can not only stunt the physical development of the baby, but it can also cause severe mental disability and deafness. In worse case scenarios, it can lead to a miscarriage or stillbirth.

When taking prenatal vitamins, it’s necessary that you consume ones that carry the full nutritional amount that you need. As mentioned before, you’ll need to take 400 mg of folic acid a day. In terms of the other nutrients above, make sure any prenatal vitamins you take include at least 200 to 300 mg of calcium, 17 mg of iron and 150 micrograms of iodine.

Side Effects?

Are there any side effects to taking prenatal vitamins you should be aware of? Well, some vitamins have been known to cause nausea, particularly in women who already experience nausea during pregnancy. While this can be normal, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. They may prescribe a different prenatal vitamin that better suits your body.

At 12 Baskets Nutrition and Health, we’ve been providing our customers with health and wellness services for over 20 years. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, we’re a trusted health food store that specializes in all things natural, including food, supplements and vitamins, beauty products and more. We’re your trusted Canadian health store, with a staff that’s happy to help the community enrich their quality of life. Be sure to visit any one of our health store locations throughout the Lower Mainlands, or browse through our website at
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