Eating right during pregnancy is mega important. Like really vital for nurturing a healthy baby and mama. But with so many pregnancy nutrition rules, it can get kind of confusing and overwhelming fast! Before you go bonkers, let’s break it down to the essential nutrients preggos really need more of. Here are 5 all-star vitamins and minerals to help maintain tip-top maternal health:
The VIP Folate
Alright all you soon-to-be mamas, listen up. Folate (aka folic acid) should be topping your prenatal vitamin rockstar list. This essential B vitamin helps prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine when taken before conception and in early pregnancy. We’re talking about the next level vital for fetal development.
Folate also helps produce new cells, so mama needs extra to accommodate a growing babe. Most docs recommend women start supplementing 400-800 mcg of folate at least a month before pregnancy. But hey, better late than never, if you’re already preggers, try to achieve optimal maternal health with Specialist Obstetrician!
Fun fact: A developing fetus needs lots of mineral iron to form their blood supply and other tissues. So in turn, mama needs way more iron to share with baby! When you’re expecting, your iron needs to jump by up to 50%.
Unfortunately, the vitamin C in my OJ every morning doesn’t cut it. Most mamas-to-be need an additional iron supplement of 30-60 mg on top of a balanced diet. Too little iron during pregnancy zaps your energy and can lead to stuff like anaemia. No one wants that! So rev up on iron-rich foods plus a prenatal vitamin to stay energized.
The Calcium Extravaganza
Did you know baby needs around 30 grams of calcium just to build their tiny growing skeleton? Well, they have to get that supply from somewhere! The calcium in Mama’s body works overtime during pregnancy to help form the baby’s bones and teeth.
That’s why pregnant women need around 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Goodbye plain almond milk, hello extra cheesy pizza! Jokes aside, ensure you get adequate calcium from dairy, leafy greens, supplements, or all of the above. Your wee one will thank you for strong bones.
Omega-3s For Winning
You’ve probably heard omega-3 fatty acids are clutch for heart and brain health. Well turns out they’re essential for a baby’s development too. These healthy fats help build a baby’s nervous system and retinal tissues. They’re also linked to lower risks of preterm births and postpartum depression.
That’s why experts recommend at least 250–300 mg of omega-3s like DHA daily for expecting mothers. Load up on fatty fish, nuts, and seeds – or just grab a fish oil supplement as an insurance policy to meet your levels. Consider omega-3s a must for both of your well-being.
The Magical Magnesium
Don’t sleep on the mineral magnesium during pregnancy! It plays a role in so many vital stuff: bone growth, regulating blood pressure, aiding enzymes and metabolism, and muscle and nerve function. Oh and helping build DNA and RNA. NBD!
Unfortunately, the typical Western diet often lacks enough magnesium. Pregnant women need at least 350–400 mg daily from food and supplements. Get your fill from dark leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, yoghurt and more magnesium-rich sources. Your body and babe will thank you!
There you have it mamas – the crème de la crème nutrients for staying healthy during pregnancy! Prioritizing these all-star vitamins and minerals ensures you and your growing baby get all the key building blocks you need. Consult your doctor and add any supplements needed for optimal levels. Your nutrient intake matters more than ever before – so eat well for two!