With conception, the stress of being able to feed their babies begins in expectant mothers. The concern arises of both protecting themselves and being beneficial for their babies. For this reason, it is critical to fill the vitamin stores by paying attention to a balanced and regular diet! During pregnancy, your body’s needs increase. Extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients are needed to keep your body in order and support your baby’s development. You will need to take additional supplements to your diet during pregnancy, even if it should be obtained from food naturally as much as possible. Foods that are particularly important are:
Iodine: Thyroid tissue is a tissue that regulates our metabolism in our body. Iodine is involved in the production of thyroid hormones. It helps the development of the brain and nervous system of babies and children. Your need for iodine increases during pregnancy, and it’s up to you alone to meet your developing baby’s needs. During pregnancy, iodine deficiency causes hypothyroidism and brain damage in the baby and early childhood, as thyroid hormone production decreases. For this reason, pregnant women and children should be protected from iodine deficiency. Adding iodine to table salt is one of the regulations made to eliminate this deficiency. Mental retardation due to iodine deficiency can be prevented. In our country, iodine has been added to table salt and it is closing the deficit to a great extent. Those with thyroid disease should definitely consult their pre-pregnancy follow-up doctors, and if they are using it, their medication dosage and nutrition should be adjusted.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements during pregnancy: With your pregnancy, you may be getting balanced and adequate nutrition for both you and your baby. However, it is still difficult to get all your needs from food. Pregnancy and lactation period is a special period and daily vitamin and mineral requirements increase. For this reason, multivitamin and mineral preparations specially prepared for pregnancy and for increasing needs during pregnancy are beneficial. This becomes even more important in patients who have a co-morbidity, are vegetarian, smoke or drink alcohol, or have multiple pregnancies. You should definitely share this information with your doctor. There are also substances that are rare in multivitamin and mineral preparations and therefore you must take them with food. These; calcium, omega-3 and Vitamin D. As with everything, too much of vitamin supplements is harmful! High doses of certain substances, such as Vitamin A, should be avoided as they can be harmful to the baby. In the first months of pregnancy, it can be difficult to swallow these pills when the expectant mother already has nausea and vomiting. But especially in this period, since it is much more important in these patients, it should be tried to be swallowed even if it is difficult. Vitamin B6 in it will help relieve nausea. You can also crush it and consume it in your favorite food.
Pregnancy and omega-3: Omega-3 has important benefits on your baby’s nervous system, brain development, and retinal layer formation in the eye. Omega-3 also plays an important role in a healthy pregnancy process for the expectant mother. It also has a reducing effect on the risk of pregnancy poisoning (preeclampsia), postpartum depression and premature birth. Insufficient dietary omega-3 intake during pregnancy may cause the baby to be born with a low birth weight and increase the likelihood of premature birth and cesarean section. Omega-3 also has long-term positive effects on the baby. In the studies conducted, in the babies of mothers who received enough omega-3, compared to those who did not; focusing attention and visual perception are better and their development is also 2 months ahead. The effects of omega-3 include less developmental and behavioral problems in these babies, and less frequent breast and prostate cancers in adulthood. The period that the baby especially needs is the last 3 months of pregnancy. Although it is recommended to take at least 250 mg of omega-3 daily during pregnancy, more attention should be paid to supplementation in the last trimester. Omega-3 is mostly found in fish and fish oil products. These are fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna and salmon), omega-3 fish oil tablets. Omega-3 sources other than fish are; eggs, fruit and green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oil and walnuts. You can also meet your omega-3 needs from 2 walnuts per day. The important thing about omega-3 tablets sold in pharmacies is that you prefer those that are not made from fish liver, because fish liver contains high levels of retinol vitamin A and this substance can cause birth defects. Therefore, omega-3 tablets obtained from the body of the fish, not the liver, should be preferred. Especially in the tablets for pregnant women, this has already been paid attention to, so you should choose them.
Vitamin D during pregnancy: Vitamin D plays a role in calcium and phosphorus mechanisms. These elements are important in the bone and tooth development of the baby as well as the mother-to-be during pregnancy. If there is a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, growth retardation and skeletal disorders may be seen in the unborn baby and may be born with a low birth weight. These babies are born with low bone density and when they reach the age of 8-9, their bone mass is low compared to their peers. They are also at risk of osteoporosis (bone loss) in the later years of life. Again, depending on vitamin D deficiency, the risk of pregnancy poisoning (preeclampsia) increases in the expectant mother. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for pregnant women is 4000 IU for expectant mothers who do not have sufficient exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D can be taken in very small amounts with food. The main source is exposure to sunlight and synthesized in the skin. A contradiction arises at this point. Vitamin D supplementation is absolutely necessary for pregnant women. Instead of taking vitamin D as a daily tablet, vitamin D can be used in ampoule form, which is quite cheap. You can drink these ampoules once a month. This will meet your monthly needs. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be mixed with olive oil and drunk. This use can be used in all individuals and children except pregnancy.
Pregnancy and calcium: Your developing baby during pregnancy needs calcium for bone, tooth development, nervous system and muscle development. If the expectant mother cannot get enough calcium through diet, the calcium in her bones is released into the blood and used by the baby. While this affects the health of the expectant mother, it can also cause significant problems for the baby. The increased need for calcium, especially during pregnancy, cannot be fully met by diet. Multivitamin supplements contain small amounts of calcium. For this reason, you should pay special attention to taking it with food. Try to consume more milk and dairy products, yogurt, cheese, whichever you like. Excess calcium intake in the form of supplements makes it prone to constipation and kidney stones. For this reason, do not use it without consulting your doctor.
Pregnancy and magnesium: Calcium works together with magnesium in the musculoskeletal system. Calcium causes muscles to contract, while magnesium causes relaxation. For this reason, we benefit from magnesium in the threat of premature birth. In case of magnesium deficiency, the risk of pregnancy poisoning and growth retardation may increase. Magnesium is also found in bones and teeth, controls blood sugar and insulin, and is involved in regulating heart rhythm. It is also helpful in preventing leg cramps, a common ailment during pregnancy. Supplementation can be started by your doctor to relieve these cramps that occur in the following weeks of pregnancy.