Folate and Folic Acid.
Folate or folic acid is a water soluble Vitamin B9. B vitamins help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. Folate occurs naturally in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.
Lack of folate in a pregnancy diet may also increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. The synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods is known as folic acid.
Why Viatmin B9 is necessary?
Vitamin B9 is essential for human growth and development, encourages normal nerve and proper brain functioning. Pregnant women need f more folic acid: as Vitamin B9 supports the growth of the placenta and fetus, and helps to prevent several types of birth defects, especially those of the brain and spine. Pregnant women should take extra caution to get enough folic acid (see below for recommended amounts).
How much you need: 800 micrograms of folate or folic acid a day before conception and throughout pregnancy. ( Please always consult your gynaecologist to discuss your vitamin B9 dosage ).
Food containing Vitamin B9: Green Vegetables, spinach, and beans are good sources as are fortified products such as orange juice, baked goods and cereals. Dried beans and peas are also good sources of naturally occurring folate.
Is there any side effects / risks if you take high amount of Vitamin B9?
Folic Acid has little side effects even if taken in high amounts.
Very high doses that is above 15,000 mcg can cause stomach problems, skin reactions, sleep disturbances and seizures.
Calcium — Strengthen bones
You and your baby need calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems run normally.
How much you need: For pregnant woman it is recommended between 1,000 milligrams to 1,300 milligrams a day.( Please always consult your gynaecologist ).
Food containing calcium: Dairy products such as milk, yoghurts and cheese are the richest sources of calcium. Many fruit juices and breakfast cereals are also fortified with calcium.
Vitamin D — Promote bone strength
Vitamin D also helps build your baby’s bones and teeth.
How much you need: For a pregnant woman it is recommended 600 IU a day.( Please always consult your gynaecologist ).
Good sources: Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are great sources of vitamin D. Other options include fortified milk and orange juice.
Protein — Promote growth
Protein is crucial for your baby’s growth, especially during the second and third trimesters.
How much you need: 71 grams a day.( Please always discuss this amount with your gynaecologist ).
Good sources: Lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs are great sources of protein. Other options include dried beans, peas, peanut butter, dairy products and tofu*
Iron — To prevent anemia.
Your body needs iron to make haemoglobin. What is exactly Haemoglobin?
It is a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply — doubling your need for iron.
If you don’t get enough iron, you may become fatigued and more susceptible to infections. The risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight also may be higher.
How much you need: 27 milligrams a day. ( Please always consult your gynaecologist ).
Good sources: Lean red meat, poultry and fish are good sources of iron. Other options include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, nuts and dried fruit. The iron from animal products, such as meat, is most easily absorbed. To enhance the absorption of iron from plant sources and supplements, pair them with a food or drink high in vitamin C — such as orange juice, tomato juice or strawberries. If you take iron supplements with orange juice, avoid the calcium-fortified variety. Although calcium is an essential nutrient during pregnancy, calcium can decrease iron absorption.
* Tofu is made in much the same way as cheese, except that it is made from soya beans rather than milk. It is entirely plant-based, which means that it is an ideal food for vegans and for people who are intolerant of dairy products