Prenatal Vitamins
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008

Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated multivitamins that mothers-to-be are advised to take for their own health as well as for the health of their babies.

Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about them in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Pregnant women are advised to take prenatal vitamins for their own health and the health of their unborn baby. These are specially formulated multivitamins that make up for any nutritional deficiencies in the motherís diet.

While the supplements contain numerous vitamins and minerals, their folic acid, iron and calcium content are especially important.

Folic acid can reduce your risk of having a baby with a serious birth defect of the brain and spinal cord, called the neural tube. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age get 400 micrograms of folic acid each day.

There are natural sources of folic acid: green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits. Itís also found in many fortified breakfast cereals and some vitamin supplements.

Calcium during pregnancy can prevent a new mother from losing bone density. Iron helps both the mother and babyís blood carry oxygen.

While a daily vitamin supplement is no substitute for a healthy diet, most women need supplements to make sure they get adequate levels of these minerals.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.