You might have recently become pregnant. You may also be wondering, “can prenatal vitamins make me gain weight”? Most moms expect some weight gain when they become pregnant. They take the opportunity to show off their cute baby bumps during their first pregnancy. Often, during the second pregnancy, it’s the opposite. Mothers hope to gain as little weight as much as possible so they can return to their previous body as soon as possible.
New reports are circulating on the internet and other sources that prenatal vitamin makes pregnant mothers gain weight. I am concerned that inaccurate information is causing undue anxiety. I’d like to disperse any rumors and provide accurate information.
In this article
An Insight into the Weight Gaining Theory
The human body require calories to provide energy and fuel the body. We usually gain calories from various foods that we consume. If you take in more calories compared to usage levels, then weight gain is inevitable. It is no different whether you are expectant or not. Prenatal vitamins have little calories. There is no data showing that prenatal vitamins cause weight gain.
As pregnant women, however, the body requires more calories, which is normal. An expectant mom needs around 2000 calories daily. Pregnancy only needs the addition of about 300 calories per day.
Are Prenatal Vitamins Required or Should I Use Regular Multi-Vitamins?
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Yes, you require the prenatal-vitamins during your pregnancy period. During gestation, the body needs more minerals as well as vitamins, even more than normal. After all, this period is about growing another human being.
The vitamins acquired through eating healthy, balanced diets are regularly insufficient even when someone is not pregnant. As such, you will likely lack the vitamins once you get pregnant. The unborn baby depletes the vitamins a mom is having.
The prenatal vitamins provide the body and baby with the needed nutrients. However, the minerals are hard to find enough in the food you take. Folic acid iron and calcium are the most needed nutrients that are not usually in most diets. The nutrients prevent some complications, which mostly occur in the pregnancy duration. The problems include neural tube defect, cleft palate, pre-term labor, or even spina bifida.
The regular multi-vitamins contain the same vitamins as well as minerals. Nevertheless, the quantities in prenatal and regular vitamins differ. The nutrient requirements of your body vary when you are pregnant. Hence, you may require all the vitamins. However, routine multi-vitamin may not provide the vitamins needed in the pregnancy period.
When to Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins
The appropriate time to begin taking the vitamins is around three months before conceiving.
It’s impossible for you to know the time you will be pregnant. Thus, we propose you increase folic acid as well as iron intake when trying to be pregnant. It’s also vital that you take enough of the nutrients in the first three months of your pregnancy.
As with numerous life stages, conceiving is not something that gets planned. So, should you be pregnant by surprise, begin to take the prenatal vitamins immediately.
Mothers must continue using prenatal vitamins after giving birth. In the breastfeeding period, the body demands more nutrients. Quality of the diet taken has impacted on quality of the breast milk you give the little one. Likewise, prenatal vitamins assist in making the best milk for newborns.
You will benefit from the vitamins in your first months, even when choosing against breastfeeding. Most mothers lose significant amounts of blood in the birth process. The situation causes them to have low iron levels. This may lead to fatigue when energy is needed the most.
What will happen if I Fail to Take Prenatal Vitamins?
If you fail to use prenatal vitamins, you will be putting your baby as well as yourself at risk. The fetus will take what it requires from you first. This leaves your body depleted of nutrients that it needs to function.
In the case of total depletion, it could cause serious health problems. For instance, when calcium intake becomes insufficient, you will lose your bone density. Furthermore, less Iron may also cause you to feel weak or dizzy. The condition may cause falling, and in the process hurt either the baby or even yourself. Similarly, if you also have little minerals for the baby, it will lead to complications.
Though we encourage healthy balanced diets, it’s intelligent to not only depend on your foods alone. You may need supplements that both of you require during pregnancy.
Types of Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamins A, E, as well as C. The elements in the vitamins differ with the products. Your doctor should recommend the type of vitamin or supplement you require based on specific needs.
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- Irons are essential nutrients for the placenta as well as fetus development. Besides, Iron is necessary for increasing red blood cells (RBC) of the mother. Pregnant women take 30 mg iron daily. The nutrients prevent anemia in an iron deficiency condition.
- Calcium is vital for developing the skeleton of the fetus. 1000 to around 1300 mg calcium daily is the recommended amount for pregnant and lactating women.
- Folic acid gets used in the development of the spinal cord of the baby. It is recommended that mothers of childbearing ages should take 0.4 mg of folic acid every day.
- Zinc supports healthy baby development. Besides, the element increases the birth weight of the baby. Zinc shortage causes slow fetus growth.
- Iodine is required for the development as well as the functioning of thyroid glands. Iodine deficiency causes hypothyroidism in pregnant moms and babies. Expectant or breastfeeding moms are required to consume 220 to 300 mcg iodine.
- Vitamin A helps the proper development of the eyes. The deficiency of the elements can cause night blindness. Mothers should consume 770 mcg Vitamin A daily.
Taking prenatal vitamins will support the development of the baby’s health. The supplements also boost fertility, reduce the likelihood of some common congenital disabilities, and increase the body iron levels. By taking prenatal vitamins some months before getting pregnant, you receive folic acid, Iron, iodine, and calcium, which support growing babies. With this information, you will not be misled about how the supplements will increase your weight.