During pregnancy, the whole hormonal system changes, which is a normal process, but certain vitamin needs may change.
Pregnancy increases the need for vitamins A, B, C and K in the female body. In the first trimester, vitamin B9 (folic acid) is essential for the rapid growth of the baby, as the proper development of the spine and the marrow tube is only possible in the presence of folic acid. Vitamin B6 is effective in combating nausea.
The vitamin recommendations below vary during pregnancy:
- Vitamin A: 770 mcg (+10%)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid): 600 mcg (+50%)
- Vitamin C: 85 mg (+15%)
- Vitamin D 600 IU (unchanged)
- Vitamin E 15 mg (unchanged)
- Vitamin K 90 mcg (+20%)
This is why it is important that during pregnancy, on medical advice, women use the correct vitamin supplement formulation.
A common extra ingredient in prenatal vitamin formulas is choline or DHA, both of which are very important for the proper neurodevelopment of the baby. DHA is found in high concentrations in the nerve cell wall and plays a role in the connection between two nerve cells. And choline is a precursor of a brain signalling molecule (neurotransmitter) known as acetylcholine.