Pregnancy Vitamins: How Beneficial To Health Are They Really?

When you are pregnant, your body is working at full speed. Through you, your blood and your nutrition, the unborn child is supplied from the time when it is connected to the placenta through the umbilical cord.

This is usually the case in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. In order to develop ideally, a healthy diet is essential during pregnancy . Among other things, so-called pregnancy vitamins are of great importance.

Since your body is now under a lot of strain, vitamins can also be important for you. Some are produced by the body itself, others are ingested with food.

Pregnancy Vitamins Important For You And The Unborn Child

Your body needs pregnancy vitamins during pregnancy, because your body has an increased need. Through the change, nature already ensures that some are produced from the beginning of pregnancy accordingly increased, so that it comes to no deficiency symptoms, such as iron deficiency.

In some cases, the body’s production is not sufficient and the deficit must be made up through food. Other vitamins the body can not or hardly produce so that it is urgently necessary to take them in through food.

If you already ate a diet rich in vitamins before pregnancy, you are already in a good starting position. Now, however, you should know your vitamin requirements and adapt them to the prevailing conditions.

When which pregnancy vitamins are necessary or advisable sometimes depends on the week of pregnancy and the development process of the unborn child. But of course, there are also vitamins that support your body during pregnancy, but still, reach your baby.

Folic Acid In Pregnancy To Reduce The Risk Of Miscarriage

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your gynecologist(s) will advise you to take folic acid for pregnancy. This is a vitamin B that the body does not make itself, but is vital especially at the beginning of pregnancy.

If folic acid is not available in sufficient quantities during pregnancy and a folic acid deficiency is present, growth and development disorders of blood, cells and DNA building blocks (carriers of genetic information) will occur.

In other words: if you lack folic acid during pregnancy, there is a serious risk of loss if the embryo is not viable due to a developmental disorder.

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Embryos/fetuses can react particularly sensitively up to the 12th SSw, which is why it is always so important to take folic acid during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.

Folic Acid In Pregnancy: An Overdose Can Be Dangerous

You can take folic acid during pregnancy with various foods, which usually contain only so much folic acid that you get an extra preparation prescribed by the gynecologist to ensure a minimum daily dose.

This is usually about 0.4 milligrams per day for folic acid during pregnancy, in addition to what you take from food. An overdose of folic acid in pregnancy is normally not possible unless you take folic acid supplements with plenty of folic acids without consulting your doctor.

This is strongly discouraged. An overdose of folic acid during pregnancy is not directly harmful to your growing child, but it can lead to a possible vitamin B12 deficiency not being noticed.

However, this is dangerous for your unborn child because it can cause serious and irreversible damage to the nervous system. Therefore, eat foods containing folic acid and take at most one more preparation with folic acid during pregnancy, and only according to the strict dosage instructions of your doctor.

Foods With Folic Acid For Pregnancy And Child Development

  • Leafy vegetables such as spinach, which at the same time provides much needed iron.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Rice.
  • Whole grain products.
  • Soybeans.
  • Yeast.
  • Asparagus.
  • Cabbage.
  • Wheat bran.
  • Egg yolk.
  • Vitamin juices usually contain synthetic folic acid.
  • Hazelnuts and walnuts.

Magnesium In Pregnancy Against Premature Contractions

Pregnancy vitamins also include magnesium. Especially in the last trimester, expectant mothers often suffer from calf cramps, which are a classic symptom of magnesium deficiency.

Fatigue, rapid fatigue, tingling and/or numbness in the extremities/fingers, and prolonged headaches may also indicate a Magnesium deficiency indicate that you are pregnant.

This should be avoided at all costs and a minimum level maintained, because magnesium can prevent premature labor and birth by promoting relaxation of the uterine muscles. It is also involved in blood vessel dilation, tooth and bone formation, oxygenation of cells and promotes muscle relaxation.

Magnesium Overdose – Is It Dangerous?

The exact daily dose for magnesium pregnancy vitamins depends on how old you are and whether there are pre-existing conditions or other risk factors. Age is relevant to proper dosing and avoiding magnesium overdose because the older a pregnant woman is, the lower her magnesium levels usually are.

On average, a healthy woman’s magnesium requirement is about 300 milligrams per day. The need for this pregnancy vitamin increases slightly during pregnancy to a daily dose of between 310 and 350 milligrams.

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Your gynecologist can determine exactly how high the daily dose should be by means of a blood test. It is only important that you take enough magnesium.

You do not have to fear a magnesium overdose. If you take too much magnesium and an overdose occurs, the excess is simply flushed out of your body.

A magnesium overdose does not lead to any health consequences for you or your unborn child. However, you should not overdo it with the magnesium supply, because the magnesium overdose causes your body additional work and energy to be burned, which you could otherwise miss.

But in general, you don’t have to worry if you have overdosed on magnesium because, for example, you have taken a high-dose magnesium supplement in addition to foods high in magnesium.

Foods High In Magnesium

  • Magnesium rich mineral water.
  • Soy.
  • Brown rice.
  • Whole grain bread.
  • Dairy products.
  • Bananas.
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Broccoli.
  • Nuts.
  • Spinach.
  • Kohlrabi.
  • Raspberries.

Pregnancy Vitamins – Vitamin B12 For A Healthy Baby

One of the most important pregnancies vitamins for the healthy development of your unborn child, is B12. Throughout pregnancy, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be life-threatening due to developmental disorders of the brain as well as the nervous system.

The concentration of vitamin B12 in the placenta is about twice as high as in your blood. From this, you can see how important sufficient presence is and why you should absolutely avoid a vitamin deficiency of B12.

Especially if you are vegan or vegetarian, you should not do without B12 supplements for the benefit of your unborn child, because it can only be provided through consumption.

For you, vitamin B12 is also beneficial for the transport of oxygen in your blood and counteracts anemia. The recommended daily dose for pregnant women is 4.5 micrograms.

Danger Of Vitamin B12 Overdose

Although a vitamin B12 overdose is possible, it does not pose a health risk to you or your unborn child. If a B12 overdose occurs, the excess pregnancy vitamins are simply excreted by your kidneys – just as with magnesium in the case of an overdose.

Your body, or rather your placenta, only absorbs as much vitamin B12 as it needs. That’s why you can usually take vitamin B12 as a precaution or get plenty from your diet so that you can be on the safe side and reliably counteract a deficiency.

Foods Rich In Vitamin B12

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Cheese, such as mozzarella cheese
  • Soy milk, which is added with vitamin B12
  • Sea buckthorn berries
  • Dairy products
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Zinc For The Baby’s Cells

In addition to magnesium, vitamin B12 and folic acid, zinc is also important. Pregnancy vitamins containing zinc affect cell growth, differentiation and cell metabolism.

The normal requirement for women is about seven milligrams per day. With the onset of pregnancy, the requirement increases and you should increase the daily dose to about eleven milligrams.

As a rule, it is not necessary to take zinc pregnancy vitamins or supplements if your diet includes foods containing zinc. A regular control of your zinc level in the blood should be controlled by the doctor.

Beware Of Zinc Overdose

While a vitamin B12 and magnesium overdose is harmless, a zinc overdose can cause great, irreparable damage to your health. Zinc overdose is when the daily dose exceeds 40 milligrams.

If you take zinc pregnancy vitamins purely through food, this value is usually not to create. However, it should be noted that zinc is often found hidden.

For example, in galvanized storage containers, from which the zinc is transferred to the food. This is not to be underestimated, because experts indicate the possibility of ingesting up to 800 milligrams through this.

Typical signs of a zinc overdose are mainly nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. This can lead to growth and development disorders of the unborn child and trigger premature birth.

Zinc-containing Pregnancy Vitamins In Foods

  • Cereals.
  • Legumes.
  • Nuts.
  • Wheat bran.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish – consume only fully cooked during pregnancy.
  • Dairy products such as yogurt (must not be a raw product).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also falls under the pregnancy vitamins, which pregnant women like to resort to. The fact is that the body produces vitamin D itself when sun shines on the body.

Therefore, you should spend a lot of time in the fresh air when the sun is shining. Vitamin D is known especially for the development and health of bones and teeth.

It has not been scientifically proven that vitamin D deficiency has a negative influence on child development, but some studies suggest that a sufficient vitamin D content reduces the risk of premature birth and growth disorders of the unborn child. Also, according to study results, pregnant women without vitamin D deficiency are less likely to suffer from pregnancy toxicity or gestational diabetes.

The normal value before and during pregnancy is between 40-60 ng/ml. A clarification by your doctor is advisable and an arbitrary intake is not recommended.

Should an overdose take place, as with a magnesium and vitamin B12 overdose, no health-endangering consequences for your child are to be expected. But similar to magnesium overdose, constipation may occur.

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Iodine For Complication-free Child Development

Your iodine requirement increases with pregnancy. It is necessary for the healthy development of the unborn child. The daily requirement can be met with about 100 to 150 µg of iodine by means of dietary supplements.

Iodine is also found in dairy products as well as other foods made with iodized salt. They should not be missing from the diet. An overdose is difficult to achieve because it only starts at 1 milligram. Here, unlike B12 or magnesium overdose, maximum gastrointestinal symptoms and skin rashes are to be expected.

Iron In Pregnancy Only Necessary In Case Of Deficiency

As pregnancy vitamins, iron preparations are often already offered as a precaution against deficiency. In principle, this is not necessary. Your body does not produce it itself, but if you eat a “normal” healthy diet, your iron level should be sufficient.

In addition, your Hb level is usually determined during blood tests. If a deficiency becomes apparent, your gynecologist will probably prescribe an iron supplement. There are some foods that contain iron, but the body does not process plant iron as well and especially not quickly, so a dietary supplement is usually the better choice.

However, an iron deficiency must be corrected in any case, as it affects the oxygen supply to organs and cells. 20 to 30 milligrams of these pregnancy vitamins per day are considered ideal to prevent and/or correct a deficiency.

Iron Overdose And The Effect On The Unborn Child

If you do not discuss your iron intake with your doctor and have your maximum needs checked, you risk overdosing. If your Hb level rises too high, the risk of coronary heart disease also increases.

Iron overdoses are also suspected to increase the risk of cancer. In addition, side effects are often responsible for abdominal pain, constipation and nausea. Therefore, do not take iron as pregnancy vitamins on your own without a doctor’s instructions.

Foods Containing Iron As Pregnancy Vitamins

  • Tuna – not raw.
  • Meat, eat only fully cooked.
  • Broccoli.
  • Chanterelles.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Strawberries.
  • Kiwi.
  • Legumes.


The right pregnancy vitamins are very important for you and your unborn child, especially folic acid, magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc. But you should always consult your gynecologist if and which pregnancy vitamins are useful for you and how high your dose should be.

In this way, you prevent an overdose and ensure that your body only receives what it actually needs for your health and the development of your child.


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