There are lots of different vitamins and minerals that can enchance your pregnancy, and not all have to come in pills and potions. For more about these, a good starting point is our article on Pregnancy Diet and Nutrition.
Why are B vitamins important for you?
Getting pregnant is all about the body mixing the right balance of various hormones naturally.
The same goes during pregnancy. Your body is changing all the time when you are expecting, and the hormonal changes can affect your skin and hair, but also the balance of those hormones themselves. It can also affect things like your nose feeling blocked or stuffy. B vitamins are excellent at keeping your hormones in check.
Why are B vitamins important for your baby?
Folic acid is a B vitamin and most women are aware that taking a folic acid supplement is a good idea from about six months before pregnancy and for the first three months of pregnancy. This is because it has been found to lower the chance of various birth defects such as spina bifida.
B12 is important for fetal growth and development. Most people can draw the right amount of this vitamin from a good diet, but some people do need to have a supplement.
B6 is valuable to help the fetus develop a good nervous system.
Getting the right vitamins in your diet
Folic acid is a common supplement during pregnancy, and other multi-vitamins formulated especially for pregnancy (to ensure you are not getting an excess of certain vits) can be a good idea. However, getting the right nutrients through the food you eat is the best possible option.
Folate can be found naturally in a diet of green leafy vegetables, yeast extract, fruit, peanuts, and wholegrain cereals.
B12 can be found easily in a diet which includes dariy products, eggs and yeast extract. However, vegans do need to consciously make sure they are getting enough of this vitamin and look for soya products which are fortified with B12.
Other foods which are rich in valuable B vitamins include tomatoes, green vegetables like brocolli and watercress, eggs, chicken, salmon, banana, seeds, and cottage cheese.