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Pregnancy Supplements

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Pregnancy Supplements | Vitamins For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy Supplements - Iron & Folic Acid

Now onto the more commonly known pregnancy supplements: iron and folic acid. Anemia is the most common blood condition that pregnant women develop and can put you and your baby at higher risk for several complications, including pre-term birth and low birth weight. Therefore an iron supplement is vital during pregnancy. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, you need double the amount of iron than normal because your total blood volume will double over the course of your pregnancy. So, taking an iron supplement to produce more blood is a must for moms-to-be. Iron also helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and to your baby, so you need more iron to make more blood to supply more oxygen to your baby! If you don't have enough iron stores or don’t get enough iron during pregnancy, you could develop an iron deficiency or anemia; this is because your body continually uses iron for the baby's development (iron is also important in fetal brain development). Take care of both yourself and your baby by making sure there is enough iron to go around.

An appropriate time to begin iron supplementation is after about 12 weeks of pregnancy when the iron requirements for pregnancy begin to increase. A dose of 30 mg/day is suggested and approximately half of your iron intake will go toward the development of the fetus and placenta. The other half will be used to increase the amount of blood in your circulatory system. This is vital to protecting you during childbirth, as a typical vaginal delivery will lose approximately a pint (500mL) of blood and, for a cesarean section, it’s closer to two pints (1,000mL). Having low blood volume can lead to complications during delivery and postpartum recovery.

Our instant dissolve Iron supplement is 27mg of quickly absorbed iron if you have a deficiency. We also have an iron complex that is a well-rounded pregnancy supplement as it includes folic acid and Vitamin B, along with the recommended 25mg of iron. You are at increased risk of developing anemia during pregnancy if you have two closely spaced pregnancies, are having twins, triplets, etc.; are vomiting frequently due to morning sickness, or have a prior history of anemia. Heme iron which you get from meats like beef and chicken absorbs better than the nonheme iron found in beans and greens, so if you are vegetarian or vegan an extra boost of iron during pregnancy might be necessary.

Folic acid is also needed to prevent anemia during pregnancy as it helps the body make healthy new red blood cells which then carry oxygen to all the parts of your body. If your body does not make enough red blood cells, you cannot carry enough oxygen to your body, which makes you pale, tired, or weak. Folic acid is a form of folate (a B vitamin) that everyone needs. If you can get pregnant or are pregnant, folic acid is especially important as it protects unborn babies against serious birth defects. You can get folic acid from vitamins and fortified foods, such as bread, pasta, and cereals, however, a supplement is often recommended during pregnancy to ensure optimum levels are maintained. Not only does folate plays an important role in the production of red blood cells but it is key to your baby's neural tube development into their brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is also used by your body to make new cells and produce DNA making it vital for normal growth and development throughout your life. There’s no guarantee that you will get enough folic acid from food alone, so a supplement is important.

If you have morning sickness in early pregnancy, it may be difficult to eat enough fortified foods to get the folic acid you need.

Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should get at least 400-600 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid daily before conception and for at least 3 months afterward. A higher dose supplement might be needed if you have kidney disease and/or are on dialysis, have sickle cell disease, have liver disease, or take medications to treat epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, or inflammatory bowel disease. Besides our Iron complex that includes 400 mcg of folic acid, we also have a straight 1000mcg folic acid supplement that uses instant dissolve technology for quick absorption. Studies show that maternal folic acid supplementation greatly reduces a baby's risk of serious neural tube defects and significantly decreases the risk of congenital heart defects. Research also shows that folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy may help prevent cleft lip and cleft palate.

There is a lot of information about what you should or shouldn’t do and should or shouldn’t eat during pregnancy, but the important thing is to make sure you are healthy and replenishing your own supplies and reserves so that your body can continue doing its extraordinary job of creating a human.



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