Supplements During Pregnancy – Are They Safe?
Women will find that pregnancy is one of the most exciting experiences in their life. However, pregnancy can cause some confusion and prove to be overwhelming for some women. This is mainly because they are often given advice about how to stay healthy in this sensitive period by having certain supplements. The information is usually provided by magazines, advertisements and through tactics of online promotion.
Most women are aware that having seafood which is high in mercury content, cigarettes and alcohol, are harmful during pregnancy. However many are unaware of the safety of the supplements they are advised to take during pregnancy. Information about the safety of supplements which can be had during pregnancy is limited and is also varied among different sources. This article looks at the most common supplements which can be had during pregnancy and the ones which must be avoided.
Is There A Need To Take Supplements During Pregnancy?
Having nutrients of the right variety is essential during every stage of the life but, it becomes critical when women are pregnant because they need to provide nourishment both for themselves and the growing baby. The need for macronutrients grows significantly when a woman is pregnant especially the need for proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Women need to increase protein intake from the often suggested 0.36 g per pound to 0.5 g per pound of their body weight. The requirement for macronutrients which are rich in vitamins, trace elements, and minerals also witnesses a significant increase.
Some women are able to meet the growing demands by their own body by having a diet which is nutrient-dense while many others are not. These women may be advised to take supplements during pregnancy to provide them with vitamins and minerals. The suggestion could be made for various reasons which could include:
Nutrient deficiencies: when a blood test reveals a deficiency in vitamins or minerals some women may be advised supplements during pregnancy. It is critical for women to rectify deficiencies because the lack of nutrients such as folate can lead to birth defects.
Dietary restrictions: women that are following specific diets and have food intolerances or allergies may also be advised supplements during pregnancy to improve deficiencies of macronutrients.
Supplements during pregnancy often become essential for women who prefer to have foods which are low in nutrients along with those who may be under eating for any reason.
Supplements During Pregnancy That Are Considered to be Safe
All macronutrient and herbal supplements that we have advised must be approved just as other medications and must be had only after they have been supervised by your healthcare provider.
Care must be taken to ensure that the supplements are had according to prescriptions. The supplements should be purchased from reputed brand manufacturers that have evaluated their products from third-party organizations. Avoiding online purchases of supplements during pregnancy should also be a matter which receives proper attention because online suppliers can easily give out incorrect information to the buyers. Given below is a list of supplements which can be used by women during pregnancy.
- Prenatal vitamins
- Vitamin D
- Fish oil
Advice from the healthcare provider must always be sought by pregnant women about the supplement they have chosen in order to understand whether it is classified as a vitamin, mineral or herb. Prenatal vitamins, iron, and folate are however above board and these supplements can be used during pregnancy by women.
Supplements During Pregnancy Which Must Be Avoided
When using supplements during pregnancy some macronutrients and herbs are considered safe while quite a few others are classified as unsafe and should be avoided. The list of supplements to avoid during pregnancy include the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Black cohosh
- Dong Quai
Many herbal supplements are also considered unsafe during pregnancy and must not be had by women in this sensitive condition. They must always have a consultation with their healthcare provider before choosing to take any macronutrients or herbal supplements because they wouldn’t want to put themselves and their baby in any risk.
Some of the supplements spoken about as unsafe can also leave women with dangerous side effects which could make them susceptible to high blood pressure, seizures and heart attacks. Under the circumstances, women are advised to exercise caution and always seek the advice of their healthcare provider before deciding to have supplements during pregnancy.
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