Pregnancy And Nutrients: Key Dietary Supplements For Expectant Mothers

15 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Your body undergoes enormous changes during pregnancy and typically needs some extra nutritional support to stay robust during this stressful time. One good way to obtain all of the nutrients you require is to take dietary supplements. This article examines some of the key supplements women often find helpful while they are pregnant.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays a significant role in the development of your fetus. In particular, having a sufficient amount of folic acid in your system helps to prevent brain and spinal cord defects. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that both expectant mothers and women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Women of childbearing age should take the supplement to avoid having a folic acid deficiency harm the fetus before the woman realizes she is pregnant.


Iodine is a critical dietary supplement that help the fetus's brain develop normally. Most women do not obtain enough iodine through their food, so a supplement is recommend, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your supplement should contain about 150 micrograms of iodine. When combined with the amount of iodine the average woman ingests through her diet, this will bring you up to the recommended levels of iodine intake per day.

Vitamin D

This key vitamin helps prevent birth defects and also inhibits the possibility of premature labor. You obtain a certain amount of Vitamin D through your diet and by exposure to sunlight, but these amounts are often inadequate. One medical study indicates that women who are expecting and are at least 12 weeks pregnant should take 4,000 international units, or IUs, of vitamin D every day. The study, which followed the progress of 500 pregnant women who took Vitamin D supplements, did not report any side effects on the subjects of the test. This level of supplementation was also connected to a lower risk of premature labor.


Probiotics, which contain are beneficial bacteria, are another supplement that can produce positive effects for both the expectant mother and the fetus. Some evidence shows that probiotic intake can reduce the odds of the child developing allergies. Taking probiotics may also reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication.

Although taking dietary supplements is usually helpful for pregnant women, it's not something you should do without consulting your obstetrician. Always discuss the matter with your physician before embarking on a supplement plan. To learn more, contact a company like George L Stankevych MD with any questions or concerns you have.