Essential vitamins during pregnancy
Nutrition is essential duing pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. The effect of malnutrition on the mother may be causing osteomalacia and decrease her body resistance and tetany.
On the foetus(baby) the effects are more dangerous and depend on the stage of pregnancy. Malnutrition can cause abortion in early stages, still bith in later stages, premature onset of labour, rickets, Iron deficiency anaemia, etc..Vitamins are a very important part in pregnant women malnutrition. Pregnant females must be educated about their needs of vitamins during this period and what are the right doses for them, as increasing or decreasing the doses causes complications.
The most important elements for the pregnant women are Vitamin A,B,C and D, Iron, Folic acid, Calcium and Iodine.Vitamin A should be supplied during pregnancy (7500 mcg/kg/day), and even after delivery; vitamin A is still given to the mother for a month after delivery and for the infant at 9, 18 months old.
Deficiency of vitamin A is serious and causes blindness for 3 million children yearly. On the other hand, excess amount of Vitamin A more than needed may cause foetal abnormalities or malformations.Vitamin D deficiency is responsible for rickets in children (osteomalacia in adults). Vitamin D together with calcium are important to prevent rickets. Also, excess amounts of vitamin D can cause retarded bone growth and calcinosis (excess calcium in tissues such as joints, kidney and glands).Folic acid should be also supplied for pregnant women as it's deficiency causes megaloblastic anaemia for the infant.Iron and Iodine must be taken in enough amounts too to prevent their deficiencies. Their deficiency are the most common global nutriotional health problems. Iron deficiency anaemia is a common and serious disease caused by deficient Iron intake and supplementaion. Iodine Deficiency causes menta retardation.Fresh vegetables (and vegetable oil) and fruits are the ideal source for essential vitamins and elements together with supplementation medications (three to four servings daily).
Nuts, dried beans, organ meat (liver, heart and kidney), lean meat , beef and egg yolk are a good source of Iron, zinc and proteins.
Milk, youghurt and cheese to provide calcium and vitamin D.Whole grais, pasta , egg ,rice, cereals, fish, soybeans and carrots are good sources of vitamin B1,2,3 and 6.Generally, Alcohol must be avoided during pregnancy due to it's bad effect on the foetus and it's contribution in folic acid deficiency. Alcohol abuse may also cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).