Prenatal Vitamins Needed During Pregnancy

Prenatal Vitamins Needed During Pregnancy

 

Learning all the vitamins I needed for pregnancy was not a walk in the park. When I found out I was pregnant I took days searching for a prenatal with everything I needed. As I have Hashimoto’s Disease and also suffered from thyroid disease in the past, finding the right nutrients for my body is key.

Most women that suffer from thyroid disease are deficient in the vitamins they need. When you’re pregnant being deficient in these nutrients is very dangerous.

As I did much research on prenatal vitamins I noticed the brands that I thought I would typically trust were not trustworthy in my eyes. Finding a vitamin brand that I approved of was a challenge.

This is my first pregnancy so just like many soon to be moms, we buy a prenatal trusting it because it’s specifically made for pregnancy. After I spent $40 dollars on a prenatal without thinking because I trusted the brand, I found that it didn’t even have close to what I needed for my pregnancy.

This guided me to do heavy research on exactly what to do since I refused to take the prenatal I bought. I will be discussing the crucial vitamins that must be taken during pregnancy.

The Key Vitamins

1. Folate

This B vitamin (B9) is extremely important for your pregnancy. This vitamin is essential for your body, baby’s growth, and development. It for sure should be taken in the first couple weeks of pregnancy and continued throughout.

Folate helps with DNA creation and the forming of red blood cells. In the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, folate helps with the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. It also helps with the creation of the heart and circulatory system and will decrease the chance of birth defects. Birth defects form in early pregnancy so it is important to be getting enough of this vitamin

You don’t have to worry about overdosing on this vitamin as it is water-soluble, which means your body doesn’t store it. The excess gets expelled in the urine.

Folate can help reduce the risk of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Neural tube defects
  • Heart defects
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preterm Labor
  • Autism in the baby

When it comes to folate you have to be careful because there is a difference between folate and folic acid. Folic acid gained its popularity in prenatal vitamins.

You may be consuming natural folate in your food sources. But when cooking foods with folate it can reduce the vitamin. So many supplements use folic acid which is the synthetic version. Your body can’t just use folic acid, it has to be converted. Many women have a problem with this conversion, especially those that have the MTHFR gene.

Taking folic acid is better than skipping folate altogether, but I chose to use the active form of folate. Experts say that 600 mcg a day from all sources, including food and prenatal vitamins, are needed for a healthy pregnancy.

2. Iron

Iron is a vitamin that will keep anemia at bay during pregnancy. Your body needs iron to make red blood cells which helps transport oxygen through the body. Being pregnant you will need more iron to have in the blood supply to support your baby with oxygen. If you don’t get the right amount of iron, you can be at risk of developing pregnancy-induced anemia. This can cause:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Infant and maternal mortality

The recommended amount of iron is 27mg. Because it does store in the body, make sure you are getting your iron tested.

3. Calcium

You need calcium is to build your baby’s bones and teeth. You should be intaking about 1,000 mg of calcium a day.

Calcium helps with:

  • Healthy heart
  • Nerves
  • Muscles
  • Normal heart rhythm
  • Reduces blood clotting

If you are not getting enough calcium the baby will take the calcium from your bones which can impair your health later on. If you are taking iron with your calcium, don’t take more than 250mg of calcium at the same time.

4. Vitamin D 

This vitamin has shown to help prevent complications during pregnancy such as:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preterm labor
  • Low birthweight

The recommended amount of vitamin D can be confusing as you will see suggested dosages as low as 400 to 2000 IUs. I personally believe you should be supplementing based on your body. Getting tested and then figuring your dosage according to your results is best.

If you have thyroid issues, you will most likely be deficient in Vitamin D. You may need to take dosages between 1000 and 2000 IUs.

4. DHA 

DHA is in fatty fish. It is important for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. DHA is oftentimes paired with EPA. EPA is shown to increase fertility and the likelihood to conceive. It is not always in prenatal vitamins, but is a well known recommended vitamin.

Studies show that babies whose mothers have high levels of DHA at delivery, compared to mothers with lower levels of the vitamin, have increased attention spans and scored higher on intelligence tests as they got older.

Those with high levels of DHA also have a decreased risk of depression and postpartum depression. Please make sure that you don’t get this confused with DHEA because that shouldn’t be taken while you are pregnant.

At least 300mg is the recommended dose of DHA.

5. Iodine 

It is shown around 19 million babies are born with the risk of being mentally disabled, because of maternal iodine deficiency.

Iodine is needed to help your body produce thyroid hormones that help the baby’s brain and physical growth. Many women are deficient in iodine when there are pregnant.

If you are deficient in iodine you can have a chance of:

  • Maternal goiter
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurodevelopmental problems
  • Stillbirth

To make sure you are getting the right amount of iodine ask your doctor to give you a 24-hour urine collection test.

The recommended dosage for iodine is 150 mcg.

The Dangers Of Vitamin A

It seems every prenatal vitamin had a high amount of Vitamin A. This confused me because research states that too much Vitamin A is very harmful to the pregnancy. It is fat-soluble and stores in the liver.

During pregnancy, if too much vitamin A is supplemented, it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Vitamin A is in fruits, vegetables, and meats. Getting it from food is nothing to worry about.

The recommended daily dose is 770 micrograms RAE per day if supplementing.

Brands I Like

If you are interested in the brands I currently use, I will be discussing them in the Thyroid Healing Membership. Always make sure you are taking clean supplements that are not processed and do not contain gluten, soy, artificial flavoring, or sweeteners.

Kara Stavish

Kara is a teacher, coach, online course instructor and the founder of Concepts Of Life & Wellness. She received a bachelors degree in psychology from Penn State University and not long after was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Autoimmune Disease in 2015. As she struggled to feel better, she began an intense search to find healing. After immersing herself into the learning process, she removed her medication and healed her body. From this experience, she now dedicates her life to helping others learn how to feel better and live a healthier life. Her enthusiasm for healing has helped so many people and continues to do so.

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