If you happen to be a pregnant woman reading this post, and also happen to be like I was when pregnant — intolerant of high-calcium and iron pre-natal women vitamins, do read on.
The main difference between taking regular vitamins and prenatal vitamins every day is the amount of calcium, iron and folic acid. These are the three most important things for a pregnant woman to keep herself and her baby in good health. Calcium helps to maintain the strength of the mother’s bones when so much of the calcium intake is going to help the baby build up its own bones. Iron helps blood flow, which is very important during pregnancy when the body must work harder to pump up to 50% more blood per day to maintain the health of the child. Folic acid is essential for baby’s development which has been shown to help prevent diseases such as spina bifida, a serious birth defect where the spine is not completely closed.
The good news is that all three of these nutrients are easily incorporated into your daily diet, even without adding vitamin supplements. Calcium is readily available, naturally, in dairy products and nuts, green leafy vegetables and some fish. Iron is available for the consumption of meat, and fortified grain breads and cereals. Folic acid is also very common, found in green leafy vegetables and well-being added to orange juice, cereals and other fortified foods. This means that if you have a bowl of cereal with milk and a glass of orange juice in the morning for breakfast and have added significant amounts of these nutrients to your body, even before you take any vitamins at all.