Pregnant women require a higher concentration of vitamins in their body, as compared to other women, since the developing fetus need the nutrients for the growth of their bones, teeth, healthy heart and nervous system. Consuming well-balanced meals with the right proportion of fruits, vegetables and proteins is thus vital for the health of pregnant women. Prenatal vitamins are an important part of prenatal care, which compensate for the vitamin deficiency in the expectant mother.
Facts about Chewable Prenatal Vitamins
Sometimes, mere consumption of a healthy diet is not enough to provide the necessary vitamins, thereby resulting into vitamin deficiency. Taking supplements in the form of prenatal vitamins is a wonderful means of staying healthy during the pregnancy. The greatest advantage is that they, unlike normal vitamin supplements contain a higher percentage of folic acid, iron and calcium, which is very essential for pregnant women.
Various prenatal vitamins of different compositions are available in tablet, powder as well as tonic form for women who cannot swallow pills. Today, chewable prenatal pills are also available in the market, which have no special advantage over the normal prenatal vitamins. Since morning sickness makes swallowing pills difficult, pregnant women can opt for these chewable form of vitamins. The regular vitamins are sometimes too large to handle.
Several women begin taking their prenatal vitamins while trying to conceive itself. Women planning to have a baby should start taking prenatal vitamins, as being in good health increases the chances of conceiving. Several studies have revealed that women receiving 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily, prior to conception and during the early pregnancy period, have reduced risk of babies being born with serious defects.
Nutrients like folic acid are important for the development of the growing baby. Vitamin B9 or folic acid, is mostly found in green leafy vegetables, enriched grains and orange juice. Folic acid facilitates protection of the fetus' spinal column. It also helps the fetus in making DNA building blocks, and triggers faster red blood cell production in the mother. Chewable prenatal vitamins comprise one milligram of folic acid, and ensures proper growth of the fetus.
For women with iron deficiency, these vitamins act as iron supplements, as well. This is because of the extra percentage of folic acid, which aids in masking anemia in the mother's body. It also reduces the risk of contracting diseases, occurring due to Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, for women with a family history of pernicious anemia, it is advisable to take less than 0.4 milligram of supplement folate.
Neural tube defects, which are birth defects involving incomplete development of brain and spinal cord is a serious defect, and can be reduced by 70% with the intake of right amount of vitamins. Various neural tube defects such as spina bifida, anencephaly, encephalocele, etc are some of the grave neural tube defects which can occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy, even before a woman comes to know she is pregnant. Thus, it is very important for even women planning for babies to take vitamin supplements.
These vitamins are beneficial and essential for the growth and development of the baby, however, one must check with the doctor regarding the brand. Prenatal vitamins are not created alike, and differ in their compositions, possessing different ingredients. The brand chosen must contain the correct amount of nutrients essential for the baby. The dosage of vitamins will vary from one woman to another, depending on their physical condition. One should stick to the doctor's prescription and should not stop intake of pills midway, once the course has started. Some of the best prenatal vitamins are NataChew, Natafort, Prenate Advance, Nestabs FA, Prenate Elite and Obegyn.
Doctors say that vitamins play a crucial role in the development of DNA, although they are not completely clear about why folic acid has such a great effect on prevention of neural tube defects. Nevertheless, it is important to note that chewable prenatal vitamins will not compensate for a bad, unhealthy diet. Even with prenatal vitamin supplements, one needs to maintain a healthy diet.