Dietary supplements can be useful during pregnancy because the mother-to-be may have an increased need for vitamins and minerals. A sufficient supply of nutrients is important for the development of the child. A deficiency can lead to miscarriage or birth defects. With a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, pregnant women absorb vitamins and minerals, but in some cases the increased need is not covered.
Folic acid and iodine during pregnancy
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment entered Leaflet for doctors out, which contains recommendations for the supply of folate/folic acid and iodine in pregnancy for the population. Accordingly, a woman who wants to have children should make sure that she is well supplied with all the important nutrients and does not have a folic acid deficiency. Ideally, this should be discussed with your doctor.
Cover iodine requirements with dietary supplements
The trace element iodine can be vital for both the mental and physical development of the baby. An iodine deficiency can therefore damage the health of the child. In Germany, pregnant and breastfeeding women are recommended to take a daily dietary supplement with 100 to 150 micrograms of iodine to ensure their iodine supply. Iodine is found in fish, milk and milk products, among other things, but also in table salt containing iodine. You should therefore pay attention to the intake for a healthy diet.
However, since there are only small amounts of iodine in the soil and in water, the iodine requirement is usually not covered by food, especially since the requirement can be higher during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Since an oversupply is just as harmful to the health of the fetus as an undersupply, you should have an iodine anamnesis carried out before taking any tablets.
Dietary supplement with folic acid and folate
Folic acid is the water-soluble vitamin B9 found in animal and plant foods. Folic acid is the term for synthetically produced folic acid, which is often used in supplements. 0,6 micrograms of folic acid corresponds approximately to one microgram of folate.
During pregnancy, the vitamin is involved in cell division. If there is a deficiency, there is a risk of malformations. Women who want to have children should start taking folic acid before they become pregnant. The recommendation is around 400 micrograms of folic acid per day.
Our offer includes ebenfalls Capsules suitable for meeting the needs of women in pre-conception baby planning.
Other important nutrients for pregnant women
In addition to iodine and folic acid, other vitamins and minerals are important for expectant mothers.
Iron for pregnant women
The iron requirement of pregnant women can be around twice as high as that of other women and men. It should be possible for the unborn child to build up a supply of iron from which it can draw in the first few months of life.
Good sources of iron are meat, legumes and whole grain products. The trace element is also found in vegetables and fruit with a lot of vitamin C.
As a rule, the increased need can be met through food. However, if there is an iron deficiency, it is advisable to take a dietary supplement after consulting a doctor. The absorption of iron can be disrupted by tannins in milk products, tea and coffee. Therefore, you should avoid these beverages, dairy products, and foods for at least two hours before and after taking an iron supplement.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) for the baby's brain
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that may play a role in vision and brain development in the unborn child. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is recommended to eat sea fish once or twice a week to ensure the supply of omega-3 fatty acids and to contribute to brain development.
Vegetable oils also contain omega-3 and omega-6, but the human body has to convert these fatty acids into DHA. Firstly, this is only partially possible and secondly, DHA from herring, mackerel or salmon is directly available to the body. However, many pregnant women do not like the smell of fish. Capsules with fish oil or algae oil are recommended for these women.
Magnesium to relax muscles
The mineral is involved in nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is found, for example, in legumes, green vegetables, lentils, bananas, nuts, whole grain products and other plant-based foods. The requirement can only be slightly increased during pregnancy, so that a balanced diet is usually sufficient.
A preparation is useful for symptoms such as premature labor or calf cramps. Pregnant women should take in around 310 milligrams of magnesium every day.
Vitamin D for strong bones
The unborn child needs calcium for the development and growth of bones. The body usually needs vitamin D for the absorption of calcium. The mother normally absorbs this vitamin through the skin, through sun exposure. In summer, the body replenishes its vitamin D stores and promotes bone growth processes.
However, those who spend most of their time indoors or mainly cover their skin could have a deficiency. You can have your vitamin D level checked by a doctor.
If there is a deficiency, you can compensate for it with a dietary supplement right from the start of pregnancy. If you want to prevent a deficiency with a food, you would have to eat a large amount of fatty sea fish. That's hardly possible.
Note: Vitamin D can increase magnesium absorption. If there is no vitamin D deficiency, a preparation should be avoided. Otherwise there could be an excess of magnesium and the associated consequences.
Help and advice for dietary supplements during pregnancy
Basically, you should discuss with your gynecologist whether and which dietary supplements make sense for you. Talking to a doctor not only applies to the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, but also to nutrients such as zinc, selenium, copper, molybdenum, chromium, potassium or sodium.
For example, the homeopathic remedy Phosphorus is popular with mothers because it has a calming and pain-relieving effect. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be careful with this drug, as it can also lead to cardiac arrhythmias, sleep disorders and restlessness.
If you have thyroid problems and are taking L-thyroxine for thyroid disease, there should be a gap in time between taking the medication and taking zinc, magnesium, iron, or calcium. Some medicines for heartburn and gastrointestinal complaints can inhibit the absorption of folic acid and vitamin B12.
Taking a multivitamin or other product on your own and without advice can be harmful to the baby. An oversupply can damage the development of the child just as much as a nutrient deficiency. Get advice from your gynaecologist. You can also contact our experts and get help with the decision and selection of dietary supplements and questions about nutritional advice.