“Pregnant women may need to take more supplemental iron than current guidelines recommend, after University of British Columbia researchers found high rates of iron deficiency in a recent study.” [Source: Medicalexpress.com]
Iron is far from being the only nutrient that pregnant women are at risk of becoming deficient in. For example, research carried out in Norway has found that by the end of their pregnancies around a third of women are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
Studies clearly show that a mother’s nutritional status at the onset of pregnancy has an important influence on the growth and development of her child, and that a good nutritional status may help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.
Crucially, therefore, in addition to the caloric demands, pregnancy also increases the demand for specific nutrients which may not be met through diet alone. Nutrients such as vitamin C, lysine, proline, and the B group of vitamins, among others, are essential for a healthy baby and delivery, and for preventing pregnancy complications.
A deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy can lead to serious neural tube defects in the fetus, potentially resulting in miscarriage. A neural tube defect can occur even before a woman is aware that she is pregnant; therefore, any woman of childbearing age should take at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.