Take A Folic Acid Supplement
It’s recommended that you should take a daily supplement of folic acid when you’re pregnant, or there’s a chance you might get pregnant.
You should take a 400 microgram supplement of folic acid every day before you get pregnant, and every day afterwards, up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.
A neural tube defect is when the foetus’s spinal cord does not form normally.
You might be advised to take a higher dose supplement of 5 milligram every day.
You may need to take a 5mg supplement of folic acid if:
- you or the baby’s other biological parent have a neural tube defect
- you previously had a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect
- you or the baby’s other biological parent have a family history of neural tube defects
- you have diabetes
- you take anti-epilepsy medicine
Talk to a GP if you think you need a 5mg dose of folic acid, as they can prescribe a higher dose.
You can get folic acid tablets at pharmacies, or talk to a GP about getting a prescription.
Do not worry if you get pregnant unexpectedly and were not taking a folic acid supplement at the time. Start taking them as soon as you find out, until you’re past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Who Should Take A Prenatal Vitamin
In general, prenatal vitamins are designed specifically for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. While you can try getting the recommended nutrients for healthy pregnancy just through food, that involves a lot of researching and tracking. Supplementing with prenatal vitamins gives you peace of mind that youre more likely to be getting the recommended amounts of nutrients on a daily basis, especially on days when your diet is not so great.
Do talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements youre taking or planning to take.
When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins And Why
When many think of prenatal vitamins, they think of a prescription prenatal being taken during pregnancy, not before pregnancy. However, as the word PRENATAL suggests, think of taking prenatal multivitamins before pregnancy. It’s a good idea to start taking prenatal vitamins at least three months before trying to conceive. It takes 90 days for an egg to develop before they are released fully. A well-nurtured egg is ideal before conception.
Before an egg reaches its full maturation, it takes a 90-day adventure, changing and preparing for ovulation. During this time, the egg is impacted by both healthy and unhealthy influences. Some factors affecting healthy eggs and ovaries are nutritional intake, stress, hormonal balance, and oxygen-rich blood flow.
As many have heard before, you are what you eat! Your nutritional intake can have a positive or negative impact on the health of your eggs and ovaries. The lack of nutrients like folic acid, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids can negatively affect your reproductive system. Check out our, Feel Good Food For A Healthy Pregnancy Recipe Book for nutrient-rich recipes & nutrition guidelines to help with nutritional intake.
Stress can overall affect your health, including harming your developing egg. When you are continuously under stress, your body produces cortisol and other stress hormones, interfering with or preventing regular ovulation. Reducing your stress levels can help improve your egg health.
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What Are Prenatals Used For
Prenatal vitamins are intended to provide the nutrients needed for proper development during pregnancy. There are suggestions that other benefits, such as hair growth, can come from taking prenatal vitamins, but these claims are based upon correlations and have not been proven by the Federal Drug Administration .
Benefits of prenatal vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins can aid in a healthy pregnancy and proper baby development. These are the primary benefits though you may see other benefits as well. Common ingredients in prenatal vitamins include:
Folic acid to prevent birth defects impacting the brain and spinal cord
Vitamin D to help develop bones, teeth, and kidneys
Calcium to promote bone growth
Vitamin C to help absorb iron
Zinc to aid in the development of the baby
Iron to promote healthy development
Iodine to prevent stunted physical growth and mental disabilities
Many prenatal vitamins have iron to help reduce anemia, but taking too much extra iron can be harmful. The excess iron builds up in your body and can cause constipation and nausea.
Keep in mind there are ways to adjust your diet and have enough nutrients without taking prenatal vitamins. Its a matter of building awareness around how you get the nutrients you need. However, if youre trying to conceive, talk to your primary care provider about which prenatal vitamin they think is best for you.
What Pills Help You Get Pregnant Fast
The drug Clomiphene can cause ovulation if taken in large quantities. A woman with ovulation problems should take this medication as soon as possible, according to many doctors. Femara is similar to clomiphene in that it can cause ovulation. It may be more effective to use letrozole in women with PCOS, especially those who are obese.
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Choose The Best Fats And Help Your Partner Do The Same
What you eat matters if you want to get pregnant faster. After all, healthy foods not only fuel fertility but also build a healthier baby. But did you know that when it comes to getting pregnant faster, reaching for the right stuff may also help your partner too?
Healthy fats like omega-3s can boost sperm count and motility, while saturated fats can sabotage sperm size and shape, making them less hardy. So dig into some salmon, sardines, leafy greens and walnuts to keep those swimmers in tip-top shape.
Does It Matter When You Start To Take Prenatal Vitamins
ACOGs recommendation is to start a prenatal at least one month preconception. This is because nutritional needs start changing in very early pregnancy, soon after conception meaning its important to make sure youre giving yourself enough time for nutrients to build up to sufficient levels before you can confirm whether youre pregnant.
Here’s an example: We know that the neural tube closes within the first few weeks of pregnancy . Because a good chunk of neural tube development happens before someone can even know whether or not theyre pregnant, its crucial that people who are trying to conceive have sufficient amounts of the nutrients that keep this process running smoothly before they can confirm theyre pregnant.*
Highlighting the importance of folate for fetal development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually recommend that all people with ovaries of childbearing age, regardless of whether theyre currently trying to conceive or pregnant, make sure theyre consuming adequate amounts of folate, either through balanced eating or supplementation .* Their logic here is that because almost half of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, making sure that people who could potentially get pregnant are getting sufficient amounts of folate at all times.
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Boost Your Dairy And Iron Intake
Besides eating right and taking prenatal vitamins, try to fit in one serving of full-fat dairy a day as part of your plan to get more calcium. Research shows that one serving of whole milk or cheese can lower your chances of ovulatory infertility .
Also aim for two servings a day of iron-rich foods like leafy greens, beans and lean meats since anemic women can have irregular cycles.
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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Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins When Trying To Get Pregnant
A prenatal vitamin will definitely give you the vitamins and minerals youll need while preparing for pregnancy and when pregnant, while a regular multivitamin might not do the trick but youll need to check the label of any vitamin you plan to take to be sure.
The most important nutrient that youll want to check for is folic acid. Prenatal vitamins contain the amount of folic acid needed for a babys healthy cell and neural tube development during pregnancy and its particularly important to get this amount early in pregnancy. In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends all women of childbearing age take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily. And the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women get 600 mcg of folic acid each day. But because it can be hard to get that much folic acid just from food alone, ACOG also recommends that pregnant women take a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mcg prior to getting pregnant and early on in pregnancy at least one month before getting pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Best Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy
Congratulations, you are thinking about getting pregnant! Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life, and you may be wonder, do prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant? However, the short answer is no they help prevent pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight and premature birth. Ultimately helping you experience a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
Prenatal multivitamins may not help your chances of getting pregnant, but they reduce your chances of birth defects. Their use significantly helps reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects, spina bifida and is associates with a lower risk of miscarriage. Think of them as an extra insurance policy with essential nutrients that help fill the nutritional gap of your daily food intake.
We recommend you add a prenatal multivitamin before getting pregnant. While doing this may not make you pregnant, it may help prepare your body to nourish your eggs and aid your uterus to be in optimal condition for implantation. Here are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy.
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Are There Any Extra Benefits
Some celebs swear by prenatals as the secret to their glowing skin and luscious locks because they contain biotin, one of the all-important B vitamins.
And rumors of biotins hair, nail, and skin growth powers have circulated forever many people take biotin supplements for this exact reason.
Besides biotin, though, there are some extra benefits to prenatals. If you take one with DHA, for example, youll be getting a boost of omega-3 fatty acids that may help your babys brain and eyes develop.
You may also get thyroid-regulating iodine, which can aid in your babys nervous system development.
Finally, theres some research indicating that taking prenatal vitamins may increase your chances of pregnancy.
To be clear, prenatals are not a magic cure for infertility problems and getting pregnant isnt as simple as popping a pill. But many of the nutrients included in prenatal vitamins regulate the body systems responsible for making pregnancy possible.
So taking one when done in conjunction with exercising, eating a healthy diet, and eliminating risk factors like alcohol and drugs can make it easier to get pregnant more quickly.
There are dozens of options out there, but make sure you check for a few key things before buying a prenatal vitamin:
Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins
There are no risks to taking a prenatal vitamin daily as long as consuming only the recommended amounts of the vitamins and minerals, says Dr. Purdie. She adds that some people may experience nausea or constipation as a result of their prenatal vitamins, but simple lifestyle changeslike taking vitamins with food and increasing water and fiber intakecan help mitigate these side effects.
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Do I Need To Take A Prenatal Vitamin
The jury is out on whether prenatal vitamins are necessary for everybody. Many professionals believe that if you eat a healthy diet and make sure to meet the increased nutrient requirements during pregnancy, then taking a prenatal vitamin is not necessary. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has no specific guidance about whether or not pregnant women need to take a prenatal vitamin but do recommend the vitamins folic acid and calcium. However, most physicians and nutritionists, myself included, agree that taking prenatal vitamins is a good practice in supporting a healthy pregnancy and that they serve an important role in preventing birth defects.
Do Vitamins Have Other Benefits
Taking a prenatal vitamin not only helps you prepare for conception and pregnancy, it also helps you receive more than the minimum amount of vitamins and minerals necessary to prevent deficiency diseases.
Many of us do not get the all the required vitamins and minerals we need from our diet. Even when we eat a healthy balanced diet it is hard to get everything we need to prevent disease, let alone achieve optimal health.
Whilst taking a supplement is not a replacement for eating a healthy balanced diet, supplements can provide you with key nutrients that are hard to get from food.
Mark Hyman, MD a practicing physician and a pioneer in functional medicine said 92% of the population in the U.S. are deficient in one or more vitamins, when asked if we need vitamins or not, he said
Mark goes on to say In todays world, everyone needs a basic multivitamin and mineral supplement. The research is overwhelming on this point.
Morning sickness relief According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, taking a supplement with vitamin B6 can also help combat morning sickness symptoms.21
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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.
Talk To A Doctor If You Have A Long
If you have a long-term condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it could affect the decisions you make about your pregnancy for example, where you might want to give birth.
Before you get pregnant, have a discussion with your specialist or a GP about getting pregnant.
If you’re taking medicine for a condition, do not stop taking it without talking to a doctor.
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What Are Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are supplements that contain daily vitamins and minerals you need before and during your pregnancy.
Folic acid is the most important vitamin to take when planning a pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin that cells in your body need for growing and developing. Taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least 1 month before and during pregnancy can help lower the risk for problems with the babys brain and spine called neural tube defects . Some women, like those who have had a pregnancy affected by NTDs or with sickle cell disease, may need more folic acid. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the dose that is right for you.
Most nutrients should come from the foods you eat, but its also a good idea to take prenatal vitamins. Your nurse, doctor, or midwife can recommend the best vitamins for you, on top of folic acid.
What Cereal Has The Most Vitamin D
Kelloggs has doubled the amount of Vitamin D in many of its cereals to help tackle the chronic low levels of this essential vitamin in the diet of the nation. The companys cereals will now contain 50 per cent of peoples daily Vitamin D needs* per bowl, the highest fortification level across the cereal category.
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Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins Without Being Pregnant
If youre trying to conceive, it can be beneficial to start taking prenatal vitamins at least three months before becoming pregnant. Taking prenatal vitamins before youre pregnant provides the foundation for a healthy pregnancy by providing the extra nutrients your body will need.
If youre not trying to get pregnant, a healthy and varied diet will provide the majority of minerals and vitamins you need. If you arent thinking about having a baby, its unlikely that prenatal vitamins are the best option. Prenatal vitamins provide a larger amount of certain nutrients that are necessary during pregnancy, but the increased amounts may lead to issues if your body doesnt need the supplemental nutrients. We suggest speaking with your primary care provider about whats best for you.