5 Vital Supplements Required During Pregnancy

Maternal Health Awareness Day (MHAD), marked on Jan 23, 2024, serves as a pivotal occasion for raising awareness, fostering discussions, and driving positive changes in maternal care practices. As we delve into this critical aspect of women’s health, it becomes evident that certain supplements play a pivotal role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and optimal development for the growing baby [1].

Are you an expecting mother? Consider prenatal supplements for a healthy pregnancy journey

Let’s explore the vital supplements that are particularly required during pregnancy to enhance maternal health:

1. Folic Acid
It is a cornerstone in prenatal care, safeguarding against neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Neural tube defects are severe defects of the brain and spine that originate during embryonic development. This essential B vitamin is crucial in the early stages of gestation, contributing to the proper closure of the neural tube in the developing fetus. An adequate intake of folic acid significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects by more than 70 percent [2], such as spina bifida and anencephaly, which can have serious consequences on the baby’s health.

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2. Iron
Several studies show that iron deficiency is a global nutritional problem affecting up to 52% of pregnant women [3]. It is a crucial element for maternal health, significantly combating anemia and ensuring vital oxygen flow during pregnancy. Anemia is characterized by insufficient red blood cells or hemoglobin and is a common concern for expectant mothers. Adequate iron levels are vital for the overall well-being of both the mother and the developing baby, as they ensure a robust oxygen supply. Incorporating iron into an expecting mother becomes instrumental in fostering a healthy pregnancy, preventing complications, and supporting the optimal growth and development of the unborn child.

3. Iodine
Iodine plays a crucial role in maternal health and is essential for thyroid function and cognitive development during pregnancy [4]. The thyroid gland relies on iodine to produce hormones that regulate metabolism and support overall bodily functions. In pregnant individuals, adequate iodine levels are crucial for preventing complications related to thyroid disorders in both the mother and the fetus.

4. Calcium and Vitamin D
The dynamic duo of calcium and vitamin D takes center stage in strengthening the baby’s bones and teeth. Calcium is vital for skeletal development, and vitamin D facilitates its absorption. Together, they contribute to preventing complications such as osteoporosis and support the structural integrity of both the mother and the developing baby. Adequate intake of these nutrients is particularly crucial in regions with limited sun exposure, where vitamin D synthesis may be insufficient.

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5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential for nurturing the baby’s brain and visual development[5]. Found in certain fish, the adequate consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is vital during pregnancy.

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While maintaining a well-balanced diet serves as the foundation, supplements step in to address nutritional gaps, ensuring a smooth pregnancy journey. Seeking personalized advice from healthcare providers is essential, guiding the tailoring of a supplementation plan that aligns with individual needs.

Get yourself checked today. Consult with the specialist today!

(The article is written by Simran Suri, Assistant Team Lead, and reviewed by Dr.Subita Alagh, Senior Executive,)

1. Marshall NE, Abrams B, Barbour LA. The importance of nutrition in pregnancy and lactation: lifelong consequences. [Updated 2021].
2. Folic Acid: the Vitamin That Helps Prevent Birth Defects. Department of Health . [April 2007].
3. Abu-Ouf NM, Jan MM. The impact of maternal iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia on child’s health. Saudi Med J. [Updated 2015].
4. Pearce EN, Lazarus JH, Moreno-Reyes R, Zimmermann MB. Consequences of iodine deficiency and excess in pregnant women: an overview of current knowns and unknowns. [Updated 2016].
5. Coletta JM, Bell SJ, Roman AS. Omega-3 Fatty acids and pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. [Updated 2010].

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