- Does a pregnant woman need a supplement of vitamins, minerals, in order to be able to give the baby a good start in life and at the same time not to exhaust her own resources? If yes, since when?Answer:
The normal development of the fetus in the womb and the good progress of the pregnancy depend to a large extent on the correct behavior of the pregnant woman and especially the diet. The future mother should generally not change her way of life, nor eat for two; it is sufficient to have a balanced, varied and healthy diet and to take into account the slightly increased needs in nutritional principles during this period. Among the mineral substances, phosphorus and calcium are needed in large quantities; they can be found in dairy products, fruit cheeses, eggs, milk. Iron needs are also high but, in general, the inclusion of green vegetables, liver, meat, eggs, vegetables, nettles is sufficient in the diet: iron therapy is only indicated in true deficiency (anemia).
Vitamins are also needed in large quantities, with special attention being paid to folic acid (whose deficiency has been incriminated in favor of serious congenital malformations of the brain and spinal cord, called "neural tube defects").
However, theoretically, the administration of synthetic vitamins is not necessary if the nutrition is sufficiently varied in fresh and raw products. From a practical point of view, however, and taking into account the current trends in nutrition, it is difficult to assess whether the pregnancy fulfills all the conditions of a diet corresponding to the state of pregnancy. That is why, starting from the moment when the pregnancy diagnosis is certified, the vitamins and minerals administered additionally, have the role of maintaining a harmonious growth of the future fetus. Currently, there are preparations specially created for pregnant women, called "prenatal vitamins".
These special vitamin formulas contain exactly what is needed in pregnancy, and in sufficient quantities, so they can remedy any nutritional deficiency that has arisen during pregnancy. Even though daily vitamin supplements cannot replace a healthy diet, most women need supplements to ensure an adequate amount of these vitamins and minerals.
The obstetrician doctor following your pregnancy may prescribe one of the existing prenatal supplement preparations; discuss with them the necessity and the rhythm of their use during pregnancy (generally, one tablet per day for 10 days per month is sufficient). Good health!
Dr. Ciprian Pop-Began
- Obstetrics and Gynecology -
Clinical Hospital of Obstetrics-Gynecology Prof. Dr. Panait Sarbu