It’s common knowledge that mothers-to-be need more vitamins and minerals to deliver healthy babies. But what kind of nutrients should you get on a daily basis to prevent complications? And most importantly, what are the best sources of vitamins?

To help you deliver a healthy child, we asked our pregnancy specialist, Dr. John Macey, about what steps you should take to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins your baby needs.

Vitamins that help prevent birth defects

Most people picture a bottle of multivitamins when thinking about how to prevent nutritional deficiencies. However, prenatal vitamins aren’t regulated, meaning there’s no government agency that regulates the production of these supplements.

Unless you’re dealing with a severe deficiency that must be addressed right away, it could be safer for you and your baby to cover all of your nutritional needs from dietary sources.

To avoid complications during birth, you may need to increase your daily intake of the following vitamins:

  • B12
  • Folate
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A

Vegetarian and vegan mothers may need to supplement with B12 and folate, because they may have a harder time getting these nutrients from plant sources, which have lower bioavailability.

If you’re following a special diet, contact a pregnancy specialist, such as Dr. Macey, to run some tests and determine what your nutritional needs are and whether you need supplements to prevent birth defects.

Conditions and medications that may prevent vitamin absorption

Diabetics who are taking metformin, also known under the names of Glucophage® and Riomet®, have trouble absorbing folic acid. Other medications that may prevent absorption of vitamins include heartburn medications, statins, and diuretics.

Liver disease, kidney disease, and any condition that affects the health of your gut may impair your ability to absorb nutrients as well.

Good sources of vitamins during pregnancy

You can increase your vitamin levels during your pregnancy by consuming the following foods on a regular basis:

  • Salmon
  • Dairy products
  • Unprocessed meats
  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy greens
  • Root vegetables

The sources of your vegetables, dairy, and meats matter as well. Vitamin and mineral content can vary based on the quality of the soil and what the animals are being fed.

Work with a pregnancy specialist

Nutritional needs can be frustrating to understand, especially since headlines often make contradictory claims.

If you want to ensure all of your vitamin needs are met, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Macey will answer all of your questions with regards to your nutritional needs and help you prevent complications.

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