Importance of Prenatal Vitamins
During pregnancy, a woman will likely be required to increase her intake of certain nutrients crucial to fetal development and the maintenance of her strength and well-being. Every woman has a different body chemistry and experiences pregnancy in her own way. Ergo, specific nutritional needs will depend on individual needs and circumstances.
Increased Concentrations of Lead
While many prenatal vitamins contain crucial nutrients like folic acid, iron, and the letter vitamin complexes, recent research has concluded that many of these products contain increasing quantities of lead. This element has the potential to adversely impact a baby’s development and could ultimately lead to severe problems like birth defects.
Recently, a Washington D.C. television station joined forces with Ellipse Analytics, a scientific corporation committed to examining the purity of products commonly consumed by the public, to test the actual contents of many frequently used prenatal vitamins. The findings are startling.
More than 200 brands were investigated. Research concluded that many of the products contained at least trace amounts of lead. However, others clocked in quantities that are many times beyond the limits suggested by renowned international health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World health Organization (WHO).
Further complicating this situation are disturbing actions attributed to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the top American watchdog agency monitoring the safety and efficacy of edible products and medications United States citizens ingest.
Some members of the research and scientific communities suggest that FDA regulations regarding prenatal vitamins could improve in reference to listing potentially harmful substances like lead and starting a universal testing program confirming the actual ingredients comprising the products.
Steps Women Should Take
Though the preceding news is somewhat disturbing, many pregnant women still must ingest prenatal vitamins. Fortunately, however, by employing careful and thorough strategies, pitfalls might be avoided, and the women’s newborns can enter the world in as healthy a state as possible. Such actions include the following:
- Consuming a Well-Balanced Diet – While nutritionists and physicians opine that vitamin supplementation is vital, the consumption of a healthy and balanced diet is paramount. Expecting women should not only be supplementing their diets but eating foods rich in critical nutrients like folate, iron, vitamins A, C, D and E, copper, zinc, and calcium.
- Avoiding Potentially Dangerous Vices – Expecting women are strongly urged to avoid potentially dangerous vices like alcohol consumption. Alcohol can threaten fetal development and lessen the effectiveness of nutritional efforts.
- Obtaining Adequate Rest – Sleep is crucial for the mother and baby. Obtaining seven to nine hours of sleep per night often strengthens the body and makes nutritional efforts more effective.
- Exercising – Physical activity might prove more difficult as the pregnancy progresses. However, light movement is necessary for optimal blood flow. Improved circulation can expedite the delivery of vital nutrients inside the bodies of both mother and unborn child.
- Receiving Frequent Medical Evaluations – Several thorough medical evaluations should be obtained during pregnancy. Physicians can determine the expecting subject’s and baby’s general health. Furthermore, the healthcare professional can test for any nutritional deficiencies and tailor a dietary program addressing potential shortcomings.
- Tailoring a Supplementation Program With Medical Professionals – Expecting women are encouraged to work with their physicians to assess their individual dietary needs and formulate a suitable supplementation program. These medical experts could also provide insight regarding which products might be considered safer and free of potentially harmful substances.
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