The First Month Of Pregnancy: What Nutrients Are Most Important
The first month of pregnancy: What are the most important nutrients in prenatal vitamins?
It’s important to have a balanced intake of nutrients and vitamins during pregnancy – there are some that actually help form vital and important body systems and organs, many of which begin developing in the earliest stages of pregnancy.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states these are the most important nutrients you need:
One of the most important nutrients is Folic Acid, this B vitamin is in charge of creating your baby’s neural tube which is the structure that forms the brain and spinal column. When a neural tube doesn’t fully develop it can lead to spina bifida.
Folic acid supplements significantly increase the likelihood of healthy neural tube growth. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long held the position that folic acid can reduce neural tube defects by at least 50 percent. The neural tube closes within the first 4 weeks after conception, which is often before or right after a woman realizes she’s pregnant.
Because folic acid is so effective (however, only if you’re getting enough at just the right time) the CDC recommends that all sexually active women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily (either in a prenatal vitamin or an individual supplement).
Iron is another important nutrient since it supplies the baby with blood and oxygen, it helps to build the placenta, as well as giving you the extra volume of blood you will need throughout the pregnancy. Pregnant women are prone to anemia which is why taking an iron supplementation can help to insure that you have the proper amount of red blood cells in your body.
Both you and your baby will need plenty of Calcium to ensure both bones and teeth are able to form properly. If you don’t get enough Calcium yourself, your baby will take it right from your bones during your pregnancy and during breastfeeding which is why some women can have temporary bone loss. No need to worry, just make sure you are taking in enough as recommended by your doctor.