Gynecology, Obstetrics and Perinatology

Vitamins in nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding women

The modern man’s ration of natural food products, quite adequate to energy expenditures and even excessive with regard to calorie intake, is not capable of providing the body with the required amounts of vitamins. A woman’s needs for nutrients increase from the 1st to the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and during the period of breastfeeding. The optimal provision with micronutrients during pregnancy and breastfeeding both determines a woman’s own health and guarantees full-value nutrition, and hence a child’s adequate development and good health. Since, as a rule, there is a combined deficiency of vitamins and mineral substances, intake of vitamin-mineral complexes would be expedient. Preventive doses, i.e. doses close to the body’s physiological need for vitamins, ensure the vitamin adequacy of a diet and decrease a risk for vitamin deficiencies and their consequences. Intake of vitamin-mineral complexes during pregnancy and breastfeeding improves women’s provision with vitamins and mineral substances, decreases a risk for congenital anomalies, enhances the volume and quality (composition of vitamins and mineral substances) of breast milk and, therefore, provides a child with necessary micronutrients. Optimization of the vitamin status of a breastfeeding woman and, therefore, of her milk is the natural and simultaneously safe way of improving provision of infants with vitamins, maximally preserving the benefits of breastfeeding.

Key words: pregnancy, vitamin-mineral complexes, congenital anomalies, deficiency of vitamins and mineral substances, breastfeeding.