Pregnancy is a very critical period and due care ought to be taken in regards to the health. The changes and developments that take place in the womb and overall body put a lot of stress on the energy and nutrient reserves of the body. Iron and folic Acid are considered to be the most important supplements during pregnancy. These, along with many other micro nutrients have been suggested of late to be taken as supplements during this period. Let us look at the important required supplements during pregnancy.
· Iron: An increased vascular mass of the blood and the growing placenta would mean that the body consumes up the iron reserves. Hence Iron needs to be supplemented to ensure that the process is not affected. The recommended intake of the Iron per day is 27mg. Iron-rich food ought to be consumed and there are iron supplements available which would bridge the deficiency.
· Folic Acid: Folic acid helps to helps to prevent neural tube defects. The recommended daily intake is 600 mcg a month before the conception and three months after it. Foods that are folate-rich like leafy vegetables, whole grains etc are recommended. Folic acid supplements are recommended to be taken along with this food intake.
· Iodine: Deficiency of Iodine would adversely affect the normal growth as well the mental development of the baby. The recommended daily intake is 220 mcg. It is one of the most important supplements during pregnancy. Iodised salt and bread (iodine is added to it) are advised to be consumed along with Iodine supplements to meet the requirement of pregnant women.
· Vitamin D: The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 15 mcg. This helps to absorb calcium and can be naturally obtained from the sun. The level of intake for vitamin D supplements would vary among individuals based on their existing vitamin D deficiency. IT is advised to consult a Doctor and determine the amount of Vitamin D supplements to be consumed.
· Calcium: Calcium is required for the developing bones, muscles, teeth, heart, and nerves. The recommended intake is generally met through the regular food intake. However, for those pregnant women who avoid dairy products or have a deficiency of Vitamin D are advised to take calcium supplements during pregnancy.
· Vitamin B12: This is important for the neurodevelopment and is mainly present in animal products like Milk, meat etc. The pregnant women who do not consume these products are recommended to take Vitamin B12 supplements.
Omega Fatty acids, Vitamin B6, and few herbal supplements are also recommended to be taken as supplements during pregnancy. Caution ought to be exercised to ensure that none of these supplements be taken in excess which would, in turn, have an adverse affect.