Vitamins for a healthy pregnancy

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Folate 

  • Essential to preventing spina bifida (a birth defect in which the bones of the spine do not form properly around the spinal cord). 

Vitamin B12

  • Prevents spina bifida (works with the folate) and also supports foetal brain development. 

Magnesium

  • Reduces the risk of neural development damage such as cerebral palsy. Also reduces the risk of premature birth and helps maternal cramping (legs etc). 

Calcium

  • Promotes foetal skeletal development, helps prevent premature birt as well as pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. 

Iron

  • Helps prevent premature birth and low birth weight. It also aids in brain development and foetal growth. 

Omega 3

  • This is found naturally in fish oil and helps foetal brain development and foetal vision. It also promotes the growth and development of the central nervous system. 

Choline

  • Helps baby's brain cells develop properly. 

Vitamin C

  •  Helps with the formation of the skin, and is an antioxidant that boosts iron absorption and the immune system as a whole. 

Vitamin D

  • Promotes brain development and good immune function. Also helps prevent poor foetal bone development. 

Omega 6

  • Found in vegetable oils, this helps with foetal brain development and cell membrane formation. 
*Avoid extra vitamin A becuase it has a harmful effect on your foetus and can even cause foetal death in high doses. The FDA recommends that pregnant women get their vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is found in fruits and vegetables and is not considered toxic. 

NOTE:

There are other vitamins and minerals that are essential for your baby’s growth, but if you follow a balanced diet during your pregnancy, you will probably get enough of them and it won’t be necessary to take lots of extra supplements.

For example you can reach your needs by eating iodised salt and fish for iodine; seafood, nuts and seeds for copper; red meat, fish and unrefined grains for zinc; vegetable oil and avocado for vitamin E; dark leafy green vegetables for vitamin K; yellow and orange vegetables, milk and dairy products for vitamin A. If however you have a deficiency and are lacking in one of these vitamins, it is necessary to take supplements.

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