Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Suppose you want to run a marathon. What are some of the things you would do? Probably the first thing that pops into your mind is, "I can't run a marathon because I'm too out of shape." Well, getting pregnant and carrying a baby for nine months is like a nine-month marathon and the physical challenges and changes don't stop. So, it's important to be in shape before starting the marathon in order to be able to run the race in top condition, ensuring a winning outcome - a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
To begin your pre-pregnancy training you'll need to take a long hard look at your diet, your lifestyle and how much exercise you're getting. Vitamin intake is a vital part of the training package and one that should be seriously considered. Check in with your trainer (doctor) and discuss some of the options for prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are able to supply a wide array of vitamins and minerals which will be helpful in conception and in birthing a healthy baby.
Prenatal vitamins are intended to be taken before, during and after pregnancy on a daily basis to ensure proper levels of essential nutrients. While they are nutrient packed, prenatal vitamins are really only as good as the diet they are added to - they supplement a healthy diet and are not miracle drugs which make a poor diet suddenly healthy. Prenatal vitamins combined with a healthy diet may reduce the risk of low birth-weight babies and adding folic acid to the diet has been proven to decrease the risk of severe congenital malformations.
Folic Acid, Vitamin A and Omega 3s
Folic Acid taken from prior to pregnancy until the 12th week of pregnancy, in the most crucial first trimester, helps to prevent neural tube defects like Spina Bifida, one of the most common birth defects. During the first trimester the brain and spinal cord are developing and adding folic acid before pregnancy is a good buffer of protection.
Vitamin A taken in excessive amounts can be dangerous; however, taken in a supplement where it is measured accurately ensures adequate intake without worrying about getting too much. Beta-carotene breaks vitamin A down and makes it available when and if needed, so it would be wise to consider a prenatal vitamin which includes this nutrient.
Omega-3s help to support both mother and baby during pregnancy and they are key to the development of the baby's cardiac and circulatory systems, and the central nervous system. They have also been shown to be effective in the development of the brain and eyes. Typically, women who have taken adequate Omega 3s before and during pregnancy have been shown to have babies with higher attention spans and advanced brain development.
Run The Race in Strength
So, this race is a long, hard run. But, if a woman has taken the necessary steps to train her body before the start of the race, she'll run it with confidence and strength - and both she and her baby will win in the end.