Prenatal supplements containing micronutrients such as zinc, iodine and vitamin A, could prove more effective than the iron-folic acid supplements suggested in current World Health Organization policies, say researchers.
Ensuring optimum health for an expectant mother and her developing child is about far more than simply supplementing with iron and folic acid. Micronutrients such as vitamin C, lysine, proline, folic acid, and the B group of vitamins, among others, are essential for a healthy baby and delivery, and for preventing complications during pregnancy.
Minerals such as iron and zinc are important for the prevention of anemia and improving the immune system of the mother and baby. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus – in synergy with vitamins C and D – aid the development of the baby’s bones and teeth, support normal blood pressure in the mother, and prevent muscle cramps and preterm delivery. A woman’s requirements for these minerals increases by more than 50 percent during pregnancy.