Becoming a parent is a big milestone in anybody’s life. Pregnancy brings about the fulfillment of being a woman. It completes a woman and gives her a feeling of accomplishment.
Pregnancy brings with it lustrous hair. It is true that hair grows very well in pregnant women. But the hair which has grown during pregnancy will shed after delivery and women will return to their original hair volume. Prenatal vitamins are vitamin supplements taken during pregnancy because pregnant ladies need more nutrients like folic acid and iron than non pregnant women. These vitamins contain nutrients which help hair growth. Let’s look at a few of these:
Vitamins which help hair growth
- Vitamin A: This is an antioxidant and helps overall health including hair growth.
- Vitamin B: These gives us energy and also help hair growth. There is Niacin, Riboflavin and Thiamin etc to name a few. Niacin helps preventing hair from becoming lifeless and brittle.
- Vitamin C: This is a vitamin which is very high in citrus fruits which helps build the immune system. It also helps maintain healthy and lustrous hair.
- Vitamin D: This helps healthy follicle growth and strong bones. The body absorbs this vitamin when exposed to the Sun.
- Vitamin E: Sufficient quantity of vitamin E helps keep the scalp healthy thereby promoting hair growth.
- Iron: Though not a vitamin, iron aids in oxygen flow throughout the body and hence promotes hair growth.
- Vitamin B7 or Biotin: This has to be taken regularly to help growth of lustrous hair. This vitamin cannot be retained by the body as it is water soluble, so it has to be taken everyday to be effective.
- Zinc: Zinc levels have to be regulated in the body as low zinc levels mean lifeless and dull hair and hair growth.
Examples: Some vitamins which are available are Code Raw prenatal from Garden of Life, Rainbow light prenatal one vitamin, New chapter prenatal vitamins etc to suggest a few. These contain essential nutrients which aid hair growth. But in addition to all this it is important that the pregnant woman eats a balanced diet. This includes green vegetables, fruits, dairy products, soya beans, millets and flax seed extracts and dry fruits.
It is advised to take vitamin supplements during pregnancy so that the health of the mother and her unborn baby is good. But these are only supplements, to be taken in addition to a healthy diet and not instead of a good meal. In some cases prenatal vitamins can aggravate nausea and morning sickness. In some, they can cause constipation. It is better to check with a doctor in case the situation becomes unbearable. Also the dosage of any vitamin supplement will depend on what the doctor prescribes. Too little of it could be ineffective though too much of it could also be harmful.
Normally a healthy balanced diet helps good growth of the baby inside the woman. But in many cases, women need supplements because they are unable to eat due to nausea or in general are weak and don’t have adequate nutrition.
- Folic acid deficiency: This can cause heart issues in the fetus and also low birth weight or even miscarriage in some cases.
- Calcium deficiency: This could cause hypertension and in some cases, later in life the bones could become very weak.
- Iron deficiency: This causes low birth weight and premature delivery.
- Vitamin A deficiency: This could cause blindness in new born children.
- Vitamin D deficiency: This could lead to low blood calcium levels in newborn babies and also weak bones.
Doctors recommend vitamins throughout the pregnancy. These can be continued even after childbirth, as per the doctor’s recommendations. New mothers need these when they are breast feeding.
Vitamins if not pregnant:
In case of women who are not pregnant, a balanced diet provides enough nutrition for their everyday activities. The extra vitamin supplements are not necessary. They can actually cause harm. So it is better to avoid taking them for long durations.
Gaining weight with vitamins:
Vitamin supplements do not directly result in increased weight during pregnancy. But they provide nourishment to both the baby and the mother. They help the baby grow well and as the baby grows, the weight increases of the mother too. These do not contain any calories, so there is no question of them increasing your weight.
Pregnancy and its experience differs from woman to woman. There is no set rule that certain things will happen. Hair growth is a common factor in most pregnant woman. Most vitamins help strengthen the bone, hair and body of the woman and the unborn baby.