Whether or not supplements are required during pregnancy is not the case here because pregnancy comes with a lot of nutritional needs which if not met may pose a health risk to both mother and child. Supplements play vital roles in offering dietary and nutritional support before, during, and after pregnancy making it a crucial part of the pre and post-natal stages of pregnancy. It is why women of reproductive are usually seen to be on folic acid meds and diets months before conception.
Seeking and getting the right knowledge as it relates to nutritional support for pregnancy may save you a great deal; more so as nutritional needs may differ in different women it is important to consult your doctor or dietitian all through your journey.
Just like every other nutrient required during pregnancy, Iron and Calcium play such distinctively important roles especially as the body now requires them in considerably increased amounts. Pregnant women are at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia and this is because pregnancy means more blood production, iron is needed to produce hemoglobin (a protein found in the red blood cells) which is used to transport oxygen to the organs and tissues and by extension the baby’s organs and tissues. No iron equals no healthy red blood cells in the body. It is however important to note that although iron is crucial to a healthy pregnancy, its needs and tolerance significantly vary in different women. While some women may be able to get their iron requirements from eating iron-rich foods others rely on supplements to get their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
On Calcium, pregnant & breastfeeding moms require up to 1000mg daily for healthy fetal development making it an essential nutrient during pregnancy. Calcium is needed for the development of your baby’s musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, and nervous system.
Now to the reason for this topic, you may find that most prenatal supplements would contain either of these two highly important nutrients as opposed to having them formulated together, this should come as no surprise and it is for a very fundamental reason. Studies have shown that Calcium can inhibit iron absorption in the body so whether or not you are getting your nutrients intake through diets or supplementation you should know not to have or take calcium-rich foods or supplements at the same time as iron-rich foods or supplements.
A healthy diet cannot be overemphasized during pregnancy however due to certain circumstances which may affect your nutrient intake such as; meal aversions, strict diets (e.g. Vegans), loss of appetite, etc. It may be best to rely on trusted prenatal supplements which can cater to your nutrient needs and ensure you’re not missing out on your RDA. Prenatal supplement brands such as SAFEPREG by Oaklife Vitamins have been formulated specifically with the African woman in mind, it contains over 10 essential nutrients (including Folic Acid and Iron) to provide you with the nutritional support you need before, during, and after pregnancy.