The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins in the Last Trimester
byErica LoopJun 17, 2014
Photograph by Getty Images/age fotostock RM
You've made it through the first 28 weeks of pregnancy and now you're in the homestretch. Even though you have two-thirds of your pregnancy under behind you, your baby is still going through a major growth spurt and is developing fully functional organs. During the last trimester, prenatal vitamins provide you the extra nutrients that your baby needs for her final burst of maturation.
Vitamin D and Teeth
A Canadian study published in 2014 shows a link between second-trimester
and the early third-trimester vitamin D levels and tooth decay in toddlers,
according to Fox News. At 16 months of age, toddlers of women who had low
vitamin D levels had more cavities than those of women who had levels in the
normal range. Fox reported that according to William B. Grant of Sunlight,
Nutrition and Health Research Center, taking prenatal vitamin D can also reduce
the likelihood of having gestational diabetes, premature delivery and
pre-eclampsia in the mother.
Continue With Calcium
Like vitamin D, calcium is necessary to help your baby build
healthy teeth and bones, according to the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists. It notes that pregnant women under age 18 should take at least
1,300 milligrams per day and those 19 and older should take 1,000 milligrams.
An adequate amount of calcium is especially important during the third
trimester, when formation of your baby's bones is nearing completion and he is
growing from roughly 15 inches in length to between 19 and 21 inches long.
Your iron needs will gradually rise during the course of your
pregnancy, according to a study published in 2000 in the "American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition." After the first trimester, your body's ability to
absorb iron increases progressively, causing a higher intake need, explained
the study's author, Thomas H. Bothwell of South Africa's University of
Witwatersrand Medical School. Iron is necessary during pregnancy to help your
blood carry an adequate amount of oxygen for both you and your baby and to boost
your resistance to stress and infection.
While the neural tube defects that folic acid can help to
prevent typically occur three to four weeks after conception, continuing on
with a folate supplement can help to prevent a rise in homocysteine levels
later in pregnancy. Homocysteine levels rise in late pregnancy. Elevated
homocysteine levels are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular issues
such as high blood pressure, according to the "American Journal of
Obstetrics and Gynecology."