Nutritional Supplements During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body’s needs increase. Problems related to nutrient deficiencies arise in a pregnant individual who does not meet the needs.

The pregnant individual should first continue her pregnancy with a special nutrition program with various and healthy foods in her diet. With the control of the physician, additional supplements may be required with tests and symptoms if experienced.

Supplements that are especially necessary during pregnancy:

  • Folic acid

Folic acid intake during pregnancy is especially important in the first 3 months. Because the baby’s brain and spinal cord system occurs together with the neural tube in the mother in the first 3 months. If the mother’s folic acid level is not sufficient, a neural tube defect may be seen and a problem may occur in the baby. It is also necessary to reduce the risk of congenital (congenital) problems such as cleft palate and heart. A daily intake of at least 400 mg of folic acid is necessary for pregnant individuals.

  • Iron

Maternal blood volume increases approximately 50% during pregnancy. Accordingly, the need for iron also increases. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen in the blood, and iron is necessary for the baby to receive oxygen and develop healthily. Pregnant individuals with anemia can take high-dose iron supplements prescribed by a physician. Those who do not have iron deficiency can meet it with nutrition. The daily iron requirement of pregnant individuals is 27 mg.

  • Fish oil (Omega 3)

Fish oil contains 2 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are absolutely necessary for the baby’s brain development.

Although observational studies have shown improvements in infant cognitive function from using fish oil during pregnancy, some controlled studies have shown no consistent benefit.

Fish with low mercury content such as salmon and sardines should be consumed at least 2 or 3 times a week to meet the DHA and EPA intake. Sea fish, not farm fish, should not be consumed. Because there are not enough nutrients in farmed fish.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium plays a very important role in systems such as muscle, nervous and immune systems in the human body. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of chronic high blood pressure and premature birth.

Some studies show that magnesium supplementation will reduce the risk of these conditions, but we do not have a clear result.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy; It has been associated with cesarean section, preeclampsia, preterm delivery and gestational diabetes.

With pregnancy screening tests, the physician should look at vitamin D and supplement it if it is missing.

  • Calcium

Calcium needs increase during pregnancy. In its deficiency, bone development may be impaired in the baby, and it may cause bone softening and dental caries in the mother.

In addition to the daily requirement of the pregnant woman, 500 mg/day calcium is considered appropriate. The increased need for calcium can be obtained from natural sources through nutrition. However, deficiency can be seen due to low vitamin D levels, especially in vegetarian pregnant women. In such cases, supplementation may be required under the supervision of a doctor.

  • Vitamin B12

Due to vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy, megaloblastic anemia, distributional anomalies and problems in the nervous system occur. Its nutritional sources are only animal foods and are not found in plant foods. Accordingly, pregnant women who have limited access to vegetarian or animal foods may require supplementation under the control of a doctor.

As I said at the beginning of my article, first of all, the needs should be met naturally, that is, with adequate and balanced nutrition. If it cannot be taken adequately with nutrition or if the body cannot use the relevant nutrient, tests should be done by the physician and the necessary supplement should be given.

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