Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant
Youve likely already heard a lot about prenatals, and thats because taking a daily prenatal vitamin is important for a healthy pregnancy journey. So you know that theyre good for youbut why are these pills so important for pregnancy and what do they do, anyway? Could taking a prenatal vitamin improve your chances of getting pregnant? When should you start taking them?Dont worry, were here to help straighten out the details!
Why Do I Need To Take A Prenatal Before Im Pregnant
A prenatal vitamin can help you build up your nutrient stores before you conceive. This is so important! You want to build up stores of your nutrients, especially iron and folate, before getting pregnant.
Folate is an important B vitamin that baby needs for healthy spinal cord development and prevention of neural-tube defects. This is essential during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy. I recommend supplementing with 500-800 mcg of folate per day, depending on your dietary intake .
Taking a prenatal before pregnancy ensures your baby is getting all the necessary nutrients from the first moments of his or her life. It also ensures your body has the nutrients to support every stage of your babys development no matter how balanced or nutrient-dense your diet is or isnt .
Prenatals: Improving Egg Quality
Youre born with all the eggs that youll ever have. But that doesnt mean that all your eggs are of perfect quality. Egg quality decreases as we age. Its just a fact of life. But luckily, research has shown that we can help those little eggies along a bit. Help them develop into the best versions of themselves.
So how do prenatals help improve your egg quality?
Well, a research study showed that women undergoing infertility treatments tended to have lower levels of micronutrients and antioxidants. Were talking about lower levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, Vitamins B2, B6, C, E, and folate.5,6,7
That doesnt sound very good, right? Luckily theres some good news. If youre undergoing IVF and youve been wondering if you should ditch your vitamins not so fast!
Researchers found that a multivitamin can help restore these micronutrient levels in women undergoing IVF.7
And not just that, but research tells us that supplementation with a multivitamin can have a positive influence on both egg quality and embryo quality.7,8 In other words, eggs that fertilize and develop into embryos are of higher quality.
This brings me to the next part, can prenatal vitamins help you stay pregnant?
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What To Do When Trying To Conceive
If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you should avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Smoking and drinking can have harmful effects on your unborn baby and can also affect your chances of conception
If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s best to maintain a healthy weight in order to reduce the chances of pregnancy complications. A persons weight is generally considered healthy when their BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. It’s been found that having a BMI of over 30 can decrease a person’s chances of becoming pregnant
How Are Prenatal Vitamins Different From Traditional Multivitamins
Lots of different prenatal vitamin types are available on the market. While theres not a specific formulation for all prenatal vitamins, youll likely find that prenatal vitamins contain at least these key nutrients:
Calcium. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant and adult women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Prenatal vitamins typically have between 200 and 300 mg of calcium. This contributes to a womans calcium requirements but doesnt account for all of her daily calcium needs. Calcium is important for all women because it keeps their bones strong.
Folic acid. Taking in enough folic acid is linked with reducing neural tube defects like spina bifida. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women take in 600 micrograms of folic acid every day from all sources. Since it may be difficult to get this much folic acid from foods alone, a supplement is recommended.
Foods that have folic acid include beans, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, and broccoli. Many fortified foods including cereal, bread, and pasta have folate too.
Iron. This mineral is necessary to create new red blood cells in the body. Because a woman increases her blood volume during pregnancy, iron is a must-have. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women need 27 mg of iron a day. This is 8 mg more than women who arent pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins often contain other vitamins and minerals. These could include:
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Prenatals: Decreasing Miscarriage Rates And Other Benefits
Lets talk about the risk of miscarriage. Because unfortunately, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss. Many happen in those early weeks when some dont even realize theyre pregnant yet.
And its these early days that are perhaps the most crucial. Well, not only do prenatals have a great safety record, they have actually been shown to significantly decrease the risk of both miscarriage as well as stillbirth.
A recent study from Michigan and Texas found that a really important thing you can do to avoid a pregnancy loss is taking a multivitamin before even getting pregnant. In fact, this cut the risk of miscarriage in half!9
And other studies agree too. Take for example this one enormous study from 2016 looking at 40 separate trials involving almost 300,000 women. Yes 300,000 women! They found that the risk of both stillbirth and miscarriage is lower in women taking prenatal multivitamins.10
There are other benefits too. Another study found that multivitamin use during pregnancy is very much recommended because it substantially lowers the risk of many birth defects, mostly thanks to folate. That includes a lower risk of having a baby with low birth weight, neural tube defects, urine tract defects, heart defects, and the risk of limb defects is much lower too. Theres even a lower risk of autism!11
Good Nutrition Is Essential
A healthy diet and exercise are essential for womens health. Career demands and busy social lives can make it difficult for women to get all the vitamins and minerals they need through diet alone. Lack of good nutrition can affect womens fertility. The menstrual cycle can be disrupted, leading to irregular periods and lack of ovulation. A prenatal vitamin contains the nutrients needed to maintain and boost fertility.
For women who undergo fertility treatments, taking a prenatal vitamin may also help them to get pregnant. A 2011 study published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online concluded that taking a prenatal vitamin while undergoing treatment helped women to conceive and maintain pregnancy.
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The Modern Fertility Prenatal Vitamin
If you’re prepping your body for pregnancy or you’re already pregnant, the Modern Fertility Prenatal Multivitamin is a science-backed way to get essential nutrients on board. It includes all of ACOG’s recommended nutrients, except for calcium. Why was calcium left out? Many prenatal multivitamins actually don’t have calcium that’s because calcium can block the absorption of iron and supplementation maxes out at ~500 mg. Both of these factors can make it difficult to put calcium alongside other nutrients in a prenatal. Instead, Modern Fertility opted for the calcium booster vitamin D.*
On top of 10 ACOG-recommended nutrients, the Prenatal Multi also has zinc and biotin. Zinc is essential for healthy fetal growth, and can be up to 50% deficient in vegetarians.* Biotin aids in converting food into energy, and a third of pregnant people are deficient.*
Whether it’s through fertility essentials or myth-busting articles like this one, Modern Fertility is always here for you as you think about your present or future chances of conception.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Conti, MD, MS, MSc.
|*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
How Do Prenatal Vitamins Increase Your Chances Of Conception
Prenatal vitamins have actually been shown to improve fertility according to a 2011 study.15
In the study, women undergoing ovulation induction were allocated to either receive multiple micronutrients or only folic acid. The study found that the women taking a combination of micronutrients had a significantly higher pregnancy rate , compared with those using only folic acid supplementation . Promoting efficient energy metabolism, antioxidant release and healthy organs is the proposed mechanism for this improvement.
Folic acid is also an essential nutrient that is required to form red blood cells and produce DNA, the building block of your eggs and the human body.16
Our data shows that you are 30% more likely to conceive when taking a prenatal vitamin.
As mentioned, in a recent survey we conducted, only 32% of women trying to conceive were taking a prenatal vitamin. Of nearly ten thousand recorded pregnancies, 30% more women were taking a prenatal vitamin than not.
Will Taking Prenatal Vitamins Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
There are many good reasons to take a prenatal while you’re trying to conceive. Theyre formulated with the specific needs of a pregnancy and developing baby in mind, meaning they contain ingredients that support things like the babys brain and spinal cord development, and blood cells getting enough oxygen so everything can run smoothly.* One thing prenatals dont do, contrary to what some might think, is actually change your chances of conceiving .
We dug through the literature in search of scientific evidence supporting a link between prenatals and chances of conception. To date, there have been no published, large-scale studies linking the use of prenatal vitamins or specific micronutrients with pregnancy rates or time to pregnancy meaning there’s no evidence that taking prenatals impacts your chances of conception.
Here, well give you a quick breakdown of where the science stands on what prenatals can and cant do , and point to some actionable steps you can take to increase your own chances of conception.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Prenatals While Not Pregnant
Generally speaking, the vitamins and nutrients included in prenatals wont cause detrimental side effects if they did, pregnant women wouldnt be encouraged to take them!
That said, prenatal vitamins do contain levels of nutrients specific to pregnant women, meaning they arent always the best choice for nonpregnant people on a long-term basis.
Your iron needs, for example, increase from 18 milligrams to 27 milligrams during pregnancy. While the short-term side effects of too much iron include mild GI upsets like constipation and nausea, over time that excess of nutrients could become more problematic.
Bottom line? If youre not pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you can hold off on prenatals until you really need them .
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When Should I Start Taking A Prenatal
Most doctors recommend starting a prenatal at least 3 months before getting pregnant. This is a minimum. It takes 3 months for your egg to mature, so making sure you have all the nutrients you need to boost fertility and provide for a healthy, new baby is one of the best things you can do .
I recommend starting at least 6 months prior to trying to start a family for most women. If you are coming off birth control or have been tested for nutrient deficiencies, like iron, iodine, zinc, magnesium, folate, B12 or vitamin D, a prenatal can help restore your levels before you become pregnant.
Experiment With Different Foods
If youre getting queasy from your vitamins, consider taking them with or without meals. Taking vitamins on an empty stomach might be annoying for some people, while others find that they can only take them on an empty stomach.
Starting a prenatal vitamin should be at the top of your preconception to-do list if youre seriously considering becoming pregnant in the coming months.
If youre already pregnant, you should start taking one right away. It will aid in developing your childs strength and health .
If youre not thinking about getting pregnant right now but could be in the future, take a folic acid vitamin every day. You will provide all you require if you become pregnant, without overdoing it on prenatal nutrients.
With the launch of our Nurturey Pregnancy Nutrition Bundle, we aim to make sure you have one less thing to worry about during your pregnancy. The affordable box is designed to help you maintain ongoing nutrition without getting confused about which supplements you need to take.
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Geritol Vs Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are specifically formulated to meet the needs of pregnant women. Some vitamins and mineralslike folic acid, iron, and calciumare needed in high amounts while pregnant and nursing, and prenatal vitamins provide those supplemental nutrients.
Geritol is a multivitamin designed to meet the needs of adults based on the general recommendations for vitamin and mineral intake. The manufacturer states that their products are not formulated with pregnant womens needs in mind.
|Geritol Multivitamin vs. Prenatal Vitamins
You could choose to take Geritol as a multivitamin while trying to conceive and during pregnancy, but it hasnt been created for that purpose, so it may not be the best choice.
Discuss with your healthcare provider which supplement would be best to meet your needs to support your health while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
What You Should Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin
Now that we know the importance of beginning prenatal vitamins as early as possible, let’s take a look at what you should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin and why.
NOTE: Each of the vitamins and minerals below have an RDI value. RDIs are provided for vitamins and minerals for pregnant and lactating women and can be found on the ‘Supplement Facts’ label on the bottle. The value is what your body should be getting from all sources , it is not necessarily the value that should be in a prenatal vitamin alone. For example, the RDI for vitamin A is 8000 IU, and you may get half of this from your diet and half from a supplement.
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Constituents Of Prenatal Vitamin
Prenatal vitamins consist of several specialized components to achieve specific goals. Each ingredient had to be carefully selected to effectively prepare women for pregnancy and ensure that the body received the vitamins it needed during the pregnancy.
The vitamin and mineral levels in prenatal vitamins are the same as those in regular multivitamins, However, the doses are larger during pregnancy since the body demands more medicine. says Dr. Lucky Sekhon
Is taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant harmful? and these are the three most common prenatal vitamins.
Our Recommended 10 Best Prenatal Vitamins For Trying To Conceive Reviews 2022
- Perfect for before, during, and after pregnancy
- Contains no artificial dyes or colors, flavors or preservatives
- Just one tablet a day offers the perfect balance of essential vitamins
- Comes in a small, easy-to-swallow tablet – for sensitive stomachs.
- Recommended by the American Pregnancy Association
- Fertility support: Provide essential vitamins and nutrients to support ovulation and sperm count + quality. These sweets are designed to support both female and male fertility. 30 individually-wrapped sweets with natural strawberry pomegranate flavor.
- Sweet + convenient: Provide on-the-go fertility support. Individually and discreetly wrapped.
- 100% organic + clean: Made without gluten, wheat, dairy, sugars/sweeteners, soy, GMOs, + more.
- All the essentials: Include ingredients, such as Folate , Zinc, and Vitamin B6, to support natural conception, fertility, and hormonal function.
- Women-owned + run: Our founder and CEO is a woman, and over 80% of our employees are women. We are on a mission to provide women with hope and positively impact everyone that comes in contact with Pink Stork.
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Stop Drug And Alcohol Use
Illegal drugs like cocaine and meth have chemicals that are harmful during your planning period, Ross says. The same is true for marijuana, even though its legal in some states.
Men who smoke weed, for instance, have a lower amount of sperm for weeks after they stop. Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant than nonsmokers.
Heavy alcohol use also affects your fertility. Its not clear whether the occasional beer or glass of wine affects your chances of getting pregnant. But experts say your safest bet is to give up booze completely when youre trying to conceive. Theres no safe amount of alcohol for a growing baby, and you may not know that youre pregnant for a few weeks or months.
Can I Take Prenatal Vitamins If I Dont Want To Get Pregnant
Prenatal vitamins are specific to the needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Theyre geared to make up the common nutritional deficiencies a pregnant woman could have. But they arent really intended for women who arent expecting or lactating.
Taking too much folic acid each day can have the adverse side effect of masking a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Excess iron can be a problem, too. Getting too much iron is associated with health problems like constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.
Excess amounts of nutrients like vitamin A taken from synthetic vitamins could be toxic to a persons liver.
Again, its better if you get these nutrients through your diet instead of a pill. For these reasons, most women should skip prenatal vitamins unless their doctors tell them otherwise.
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