Being pregnant is the most wonderful feeling in the world. The joy of welcoming a little one into the world is a different experience altogether. But with the elation comes caution. Expecting mothers should take extra care of their nutritional needs and diet. While a well-balanced and nutritious diet is a must, most doctors recommend nutritional dietary supplements for maternal and foetal health as well. Wondering which supplements you should take to protect your little one? Here’s a list:

Iron: On the very top of the list is iron. Making a baby is hard work, one that depletes a mother’s iron stores. Low iron levels or anaemia can result in miscarriage or can create trouble in conceiving in the first place. While iron sources from animal sources are varied and richer, vegetarian and vegan mothers require a higher dose to help them stay strong.

Folate: Folate or folic acid is essential for a baby’s healthy growth and development. Proper intake of folate natural dietary supplements before and during a pregnancy can help prevent birth defects like spina bifida in a baby.

Iodine: Iodine is an essential mineral for humans, even more for developing babies.Even though it is needed in small amounts, even mild to moderate deficiency can be super harmful. Adding iodised salt to one’s food or consuming seafood is a good way to add this element to your meals.

Zinc: The rapid cell growth of pregnancy makes zinc a particularly important element of a pregnant woman’s nutritional needs. The element is a part of many enzymes that  help regulate gene expression and maintain structural integrity of proteins. You can get your daily requirements from lean meat, wholegrain cereals, milk, seafood, legumes and nuts.

Vitamin D: To ensure that your baby has strong and healthy bones and teeth, you will need Vitamin D. This crucial element regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and lack of it can result in soft bones or rickets. Sitting in the sun does help, but a much more effective method is to take nutritional supplements to help you get the right amount for your needs.

Vitamin C: Expecting mothers see an increase in blood volume that is needed for the growth of the baby. Vitamin C is needed for this and for the formation of collagen required for the development of blood vessels. Another important role of vitamin C is that it helps the mother absorb iron from their diet. Instead of consuming multiple pills, expecting mothers can opt for multivitamin supplements to get all their nutritional needs from a single course.

Calcium: This vital element helps shape your baby’s bones and teeth which is why it is such an important part of your diet if you’re pregnant. You can get your daily dose of calcium from dairy, sardines, eggs, broccoli, tofu and other dietary sources. However, if you are found lacking in calcium it is best to start taking a supplement to help your baby’s development.