There are certain nutrients, which are crucial to prevent disorders in your baby and it is prudent to monitor your dietary intake to ensure that you take adequate amounts of these nutrients.
Folic acid to prevent birth defects
Folic acid, a type of B-complex vitamin is important to prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, which include serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord in the baby. It is best if you take folic acid before you conceive. Nevertheless, it should be started as soon as you know that you are pregnant.
Iron to prevent low birth-weight
Iron is needed to make haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen in you and your baby’s blood. The entire blood supply of your baby is made from your blood. Iron is very critical to prevent low birth-weight and for your baby’s growth and development.
Iodine to prevent mental and growth retardation
Iodine is another important mineral required for proper mental development of your growing baby. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is very common among Indian women and can cause stillbirths (death of the baby in the womb during labour/delivery), abortion and baby being born with a condition called cretinism (severe mental and growth retardation).
Calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone deformities
Calcium is especially important during the last trimesters when your baby’s maximum bone growth takes place. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to poor build up of minerals in your baby’s bones and thus can affect his/her bone growth.
Omega-3-fatty acid to prevent ADHD
Docosahaexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the very important omega-3-fatty acids, which is needed for the development of the brain and vision in your baby. Many studies have found that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is caused due to DHA and arachidonic acid deficiency in the mother.