From sudden cravings to all the bodily changes, the list of must-deal-with’s when you’re pregnant is endless. But when it comes to your health and your baby’s nutrition, you can’t take shortcuts—no matter how sleep-deprived you might be.

Now, all moms know that every pregnancy requires healthy eating, proper sleep, and exercise. But sometimes these things just aren’t enough to keep your baby healthy before it’s their time to come out.

Why? Well, as soon as you conceive, your body’s nutrient demands increase drastically. The good news is it can absorb most of its required macronutrients through the food you eat. So it becomes extra important during those precarious pregnancy months to take in enough carbohydrates, protein, and fat through sources like dairy, lean meats, healthy fats, and greens.

The bad news? It won’t always be enough—and that’s where pregnancy vitamins and supplements come in handy.

WHY DO YOU NEED PREGNANCY VITAMINS?

Here’s how it shakes out: your body distributes all of the nutrients from your food to your different body systems, so they could carry out their functions properly. But when you’re pregnant, you have a whole other human being inside of you to nourish and feed. It’s inevitable that the nutrients you take in from your meals won’t be enough to split between the two of you.

These nutrients are essential for the development of your baby’s bones, tissues, nerves, and organs, so it’s not like you could just go without them for 9 months. On top of that, you need ‘em for a healthy delivery free of deficiencies.

So, what do you do? Do you just stuff yourself silly until you get your recommended daily dose? Well, you can—but in case that’s too costly and inefficient, you could also just opt for vitamin supplements.

4 VITAMINS TO TAKE IF YOU’RE PREGNANT


1. FOLIC ACID
HOW IT WORKS: It’s a common misconception that prenatal vitamins should be taken only upon conception. But to make sure that fetal development is at its best during the critical stages (AKA the first three months of pregnancy), prenatal vitamins, such as folic acid, should be taken at least 3 months before you even try to get pregnant. According to specialists, the risk of your baby developing neural-tube defects sky-rockets during the first 4-6 weeks, and the best way to counter that is through folic acid supplements.

TIP: The egg starts maturing three months before its release from a woman’s reproductive system. For best results, take folic acid upon the egg’s maturity and possible fertilization.

TRY: Doppelherz Aktiv Omega3 + Folic Acid + B6 + B12, P720

2. IRON
HOW IT WORKS: After conception, a woman’s body gets ready for placental formation. At the 5-week mark, the need for oxygen supply from mother to fetus starts to increase, to aid in the development the umbilical cord. Without enough red blood cells in your system, these essential processes might slow down, increasing the risk of low birth weight and infant anemia.

TIP: Luckily, there are a lot of iron supplements you can choose from to prevent these issues. To make sure your baby gets the right amount of iron needed for their development, take at least 27 mg of iron per day (the recommended dose), depending on your body’s nutritional needs.

TRY: Piping Rock Daily Multi with Iron, P450

3. CALCIUM
HOW IT WORKS: At 13 weeks, a fetus starts to develop bones, muscles, and nerves. After birth, calcium helps strengthen your baby’s teeth and bones, making it a key player in your little one’s overall development. But did you know that calcium also helps regulate your insulin and blood sugar during pregnancy? Taking calcium supplements during pregnancy reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes—a common side effect of low insulin levels.

TIP: NCBI suggests taking Ca + vitamin D supplements, especially during the second half of pregnancy, to avoid complications caused by diabetes.

TRY: Piping Rock Absorbable Calcium 600mg Plus D, P675

4. OMEGA-3
HOW IT WORKS: Omega-3 is essential for any pregnancy, as this fatty acid is responsible for your baby’s neurological development. Ideally, you should be acquiring enough omega-3’s by eating fish and seafood. But because of the presence of certain toxins like mercury and dioxins in these foods, it might be safer to get your required omega-3’s from purified supplements. They’re 100% guaranteed to be clear of any harmful substances that may affect your child’s prenatal growth.

TIP: To reap its full benefits, the American Pregnancy Association recommends taking at least 300 mg of active omega-3’s per day during the last eight weeks of your pregnancy.

TRY: Puritan’s Pride Omega-3 Omega-3 Fish Oil (1200mg, 200 Softgels), P1,320

You got this, mom!

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