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Pakistan has some of the worst pregnancy outcomes in the world, far worse than many other low-resource nations. The reasons for these disparities are unknown. Being pregnant in Pakistan is very challenging. Women would be required to use more energy, and it might not be easy for you. Since our topic for today is supplemented, you might want to check out healthy supplements for pregnant women malaysia. Even before you get pregnant, there are a few supplements that you should have taken, for instance, folic acid. It is to ensure that you wouldn’t be facing unwanted consequences to you and especially your baby. 

In this post, we will go through the importance of taking supplements and what kind of supplements pregnant mothers should take. This will not be a long post, not too long actually, so do bear with us!

Vitamins and Supplements In Pregnancy

In Pakistan, maternal and child health services distribute free antenatal IFA supplements (elemental iron 60 mg and folic acid 0.5 mg) through the existing primary healthcare system, which includes health facilities and the community health worker program, known as the Lady Health Workers (LHW) program, for daily consumption beginning in the second trimester. But, the general usage of prenatal IFA supplements at any stage during pregnancy in Pakistan is currently low at 44 percent, with rural women’s consumption significantly lower at 38 percent. Getting the correct nutrients at any age is vital, but it’s especially important during pregnancy because you’ll need to take care of two lives, yours and your little bundle of joy. 

What Are The Supplements Needed?

Some supplements and vitamins are suitable for pregnant women, but you have to look out for those that aren’t. It is crucial for you to begin planning even before you get pregnant so that you would know what you will be taking. These are some of the significant supplements that are often taken by pregnant women:

  1. Folic Acid

Folic acid is the most important supplement among the others. In Pakistan, 51% of pregnant women are anaemic, yet only 44% of them take antenatal iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements. You can begin taking them even before pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of reproductive age take 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid supplements every day, especially those expecting a pregnancy. In addition to the folic acid found in the diet, this can come through a multivitamin or folic acid supplement. You can begin taking them before your pregnancy and until the 12th week of pregnancy. 

  1. Vitamin D

You need at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily and should consider taking a supplement with this quantity. It also will help with the function of your body’s neurons, muscles, and immune system. Your immune system defends you against infection. Vitamin D helps in the development of your baby’s bones and teeth. The required amount is 600 IU (international units) or 15 mcg daily during pregnancy. Vitamin D comes from a variety of sources, for instance, from foods such as salmon and other fatty fish. Other than that, vitamin D-fortified milk and vitamin D-fortified cereal. Be aware to check the ingredients before buying. 

  1. Iron

The need for iron rises dramatically during pregnancy, as the volume of the mother’s blood grows by roughly 45 percent. Haemoglobin, a protein that helps transfer oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body, is made from iron. You require twice as much iron as you did before you are pregnant. They are a necessity for your body to produce more blood and later would supply oxygen to your baby. Babies need iron to help their blood production.

These supplements and vitamins can be found at some of the local drugstores and nearby pharmacies.

The Effects of Not Taking Vitamins and Supplements in Pregnancy

Lacking all the vitamins and supplements mentioned above will lead to numerous consequences. It is critical to maintaining adequate nutrition during your pregnancy. These are the common effects of abandoning vitamins and supplements during pregnancy.

  1. Folate-deficiency anemia

Folate-deficiency anaemia is a condition in which there is a shortage of folic acid in the blood. Folic acid is a B vitamin, intended to help in the production of red blood cells in the body. Anaemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough red blood cells. Folic acid helps to protect unborn children from neural tube abnormalities, which are significant birth problems. These birth malformations commonly occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, before a woman even realises she is expecting. Other types of birth abnormalities and early pregnancy loss may be prevented with folic acid.

  1. Vitamin D deficiency

When your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D to operate properly, it’s called vitamin D deficiency. It often occurs due to several reasons such as lack of vitamin D in your diet and taking medicines that avoid your body from being able to absorb the nutrients. Vitamin D insufficiency can cause bone density loss, which can lead to health conditions such as osteoporosis and fractures. It is a necessity for bone growth and development in children. Babies in the womb do too. Calcium absorption is aided by vitamin D. Muscle weakness, rickets and delayed motor development are all symptoms of severe vitamin D insufficiency in children.

  1. Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is also one of the main contributors to anemia. According to recent figures, Pakistan has a rate of iron deficiency anemia of around 45 percent, which is quite significant given the inadequacy of public health attempts to manage it. More than one-fifth of Pakistani women are anemic, according to EMRO WHO figures. Iron is required to produce normal red blood cells and is present in red meat, fish, poultry, and a range of plant meals. Inadequate iron intake during pregnancy can cause maternal and foetal anemia, which can result in premature birth and low-birth-weight babies. Anaemia causes exhaustion in pregnant women both before and after delivery. It can complicate delivery by requiring blood transfusions for both the mother and the baby to treat little blood loss.
The reproductive-aged women at the Pakistani sites are predominantly uneducated, undernourished, and anaemic, and they deliver a high percentage of preterm and low-birthweight babies in settings with often insufficient maternal and newborn care. There appears to be significant room for improvement in Pakistan’s pregnancy outcomes. Up until today, 92 percent of the rural population and 100 percent of the urban population health services are available. Pakistan’s achievement of the MDGs has resulted in such progress and we hope that women in Pakistan would get access to healthcare easily especially when they are carrying a baby in their womb.

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