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RaMa Mama Monthly Doula Share: Prenatal Vitamins...

When a woman finds out she is pregnant, one of the first things that is suggested to do is take a daily prenatal vitamin. Since there are two humans to feed now, and one of them is growing organs and an entire body, it is crucial that mothers get enough of the vitamins and minerals needed to give birth to a healthy baby. So how do we know when we have a good prenatal vitamin?

The key ingredients to helping grow and develop a new baby in its mother's belly are Folic acid, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, DHA, and Iodine. Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects, and brain and spinal cord abnormalities in the baby while decreasing the risk of premature birth. Iron is used to make more blood, and supply oxygenated blood to the baby. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential in fetal growth and development. Iodine is needed in order to harmonize the Thyroid Gland and help with normal brain development. Calcium strengthens developing bones and teeth, and boosts nerve development while helping the heart and nerve development. Vitamin B12 is important in helping to develop the baby's nervous system, and Vitamin D is also important in helping to develop the skeletal system, absorbing calcium from the gut, and activating bone mineralization and growth.

As long as these ingredients are all available to us in the healthiest doses, we have the power to decide what brand of prenatal vitamins we wish to support. It is suggested to take prenatal vitamins up to a month before getting pregnant, but it is crucial that they are taken during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is when the baby develops the most important organs and systems of the body for their entire lifetime. Follow your heart and do the best you can to be consistent in taking them. You will find that they work as allies on this great journey we call birth.

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