Preventing Health Concerns With Proper Prenatal Care

Everything about prenatal care is to help the development of the fetus while enabling the mother to remain strong and healthy. Expectant mothers have a lot of potential health risks during this exhausting physical endeavor. Regular medical monitoring and nutritional choices play roles in the effort to keep everyone on track while preventing common health concerns.

Prevent Birth Defects

Folic acid is the best preventative for birth defects to the heart as well as for reducing the risk of conditions like spina bifida and anencephaly. Foods rich in folic acid include orange juice, cereal, and bread. Unfortunately, the level of folic acid needed is hard to get from just food. Doctors recommend that women also supplement their diet with 400 micrograms of folic acid each day.

Reduce Iron Deficiency

Pregnant women need 18-27 milligrams of iron a day to prevent anemia. Iron helps the placenta develop and keeps red blood cell counts high. Women that do not get enough iron can experience shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and leg cramps as well as headaches, chest pain, and much more. Severe anemia increases the risk of a stillbirth. Shrimp, beans and fortified cereals have iron and foods like strawberries and broccoli help the body to absorb iron more easily. Iron supplements ensure that women at risk of anemia stay healthy.

Keep Bones Strong

The body only gets calcium from what people consume because the body cannot produce it on its own. Women need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Women can experience bone loss and hypertension, and damage to the bones and heart of the fetus may occur when the mother is calcium deficient. Many women struggle to get all the calcium their body needs through their diets. Prenatal vitamins include 150 milligrams of calcium in each dose to make reaching the daily goal easier.

Most women prefer the ease of following a healthy diet and taking one prenatal vitamin a day to supplement their nutritional needs. The use of prenatal vitamins is easier than remembering to take several individual supplements. It is also easier to check what levels of each vitamin and mineral the woman consumes. Talk to a doctor to decide what types of prenatal vitamins they recommend before shopping.