What Could Happen If You Dont Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy
If you dont receive the recommended daily amount of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, it could be harmful to the health of you and your baby. For example, getting the recommended amount of folic acid during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects, which are serious abnormalities of the fetuss brain and spinal cord. Plus, taking a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy lowers your risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.
Misconceptions About Prenatal Vitamins
Many women claim that prenatal vitamins affect hair and nail growth. Some claim that taking prenatal vitamins makes hair grow thicker or faster, and that nails could grow faster or stronger too.
But according to the Mayo Clinic, these claims havent been proven. Taking prenatal vitamins for better hair or nails likely wont bring the desired results. They could also have adverse side effects.
What Is The Difference Between Prenatal Vitamins And Regular Vitamins
Though prenatal vitamins and regular vitamins work the same way to provide your body with micronutrients that it may be lacking there are some key differences between the two, specifically when it comes to ingredients. For example, as an article on Mom.com explains, there is a specific amount of folic acid and iron that pregnant people are supposed to have in their diet. A prenatal vitamin ensures that those exact levels are met, whereas a regular multivitamin might have some amount of folic acid or iron, but necessarily enough to meet the threshold recommended for pregnant people.
As always, it’s important that you consult a health care provider or family physician prior to taking any over-the-counter medication or starting a vitamin regimen. After all, what works for one body does not work for all. But if you do have lingering questions about taking prenatal vitamins when you’re not pregnant, here’s what you need to know:
Prenatal vitamins may help your skin and nails, but its likely that any type of vitamin with the same nutrients would be just as beneficial.
Kipping says that more than 90 percent of women arent meeting their choline needs, and 50 percent are critically deficient in vitamin D. Since fetal organs start to develop in the first couple months of pregnancy, often before some women even realize theyre pregnant, its important to give your body the nutrition it needs ahead of time.
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Can Prenatal Vitamins Mess Up Your Period
While vitamins are important, they cannot regulate your period. Severely undernourished people or those with very low body weight may have irregular or absent periods, but in these cases it is due to low body fat rather than a vitamin deficiency.
However, more studies are needed to fully evaluate the impact of prenatal vitamins on women’s periods. If you are concerned about how prenatal vitamins may affect your menstrual cycle, it is best to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of taking prenatal vitamins and determine whether they are right for you.
Ultimately, the best way to protect your health during pregnancy is to make sure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle factors. So if you are considering taking prenatal vitamins while not pregnant, it is important to consult with your doctor first to discuss the potential risks and benefits. Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your unique health needs and goals.
Do Prenatal Vitamins Have Side Effects
Common side effects of prenatal vitamins include constipation and nausea.
With vitamin B6, prenatal vitamins are proven to help limit morning sickness during your pregnancy, says Dr. Minkin. However, some prenatal vitamins can do the opposite and make your morning sickness worse. If thats the case, ask your doctor about switching to one with more vitamin B6.
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What To Look For When Choosing A Prenatal Vitamin
As you start to research vitamins, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best type for you.
Ultimately, consistency is the most important factor when considering what type of prenatal vitamin to take. “The best prenatal is one you can tolerate and take every day,” says Dr. Purdie.
What Should You Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin
Certain vitamins are crucial for supporting specific areas of a babys development and preventing birth defects. Your body especially needs extra folic acid for preventing brain and spine birth defects and iron to help make blood and deliver oxygen to the fetus. Other vitamins are important to supplement as well.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the following vitamins in the specified recommended daily amounts via diet and/or supplementation leading up to, during and after pregnancy:
- Folic acid : helps to build a normal brain and spine, as well as general growth of the baby and your placenta.
- Iron : helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your baby.
- Calcium :: helps build strong bones and teeth.
- Vitamin D : helps with development of bone, teeth, eyes, and skin.
- Choline : helps with brain and spinal cord development.
- Omega-3 fatty acids : supports brain development.
- B vitamins : both help with making red blood cells.
- Vitamin C : helps with developing healthy gums, teeth, and bones.
- Iodine : helps with brain development.
- Vitamin A : helps with skin, bone, and eye development.
Youll want to look for a prenatal vitamin that contains enough of these vitamins in the ingredients to supplement what youre consuming in your regular diet so that you can reach the recommended daily amounts.
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When Not To Take Prenatal Vitamins
A major reason why you might not want to take a prenatal if you dont need one is that they have higher amounts of folate included because it supports cell growth and production and is essential for preventing birth defects of the neural tube. Excess folate can cause side effects in some people who are sensitive, so this is an important factor to consider.
Additionally, some struggle to take methylated nutrients. Optimal Prenatal includes L-5MTHF, or the activated form of folate. If you have MTHFR mutations, folic acid wont work for you, but some do better with the folinic acid form. In this case, working directly with your practitioner to establish the right dosage and supplementation is essential.
Other reasons to stop taking a prenatal vitamin or to avoid taking one are if your doctor has specifically advised against it, or if you are going through cancer treatment or chemotherapy. This is because prenatal vitamins optimize cellular growth and reproduction, but in cancer, the cells that are reproducing are damaged. You dont want to encourage this. Always make sure your oncologist is aware of any supplements youre taking and follow their advice thoroughly.
What About Other Extra Vitamins
A prenatal vitamin includes all the vitamins and minerals a pregnant woman needs. Taking too many vitamins or minerals may harm your baby. For example, large doses of vitamin A may cause birth defects.
Stay safe. If you took special supplements before you got pregnant, don’t take them now unless your doctor approves.
There is one supplement you may want to ask your doctor about even though it is included in most PNV. Omega-3 fatty acids may help your baby’s brain develop. If you don’t eat fish high in omega-3s your doctor may recommend an omega-3 supplement.
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Can Prenatal Vitamins Affect Your Hormones
Yes, prenatal vitamins can affect your hormones. Many people believe that prenatal vitamins increase fertility and boost your chances of getting pregnant when you’re not trying to conceive. While there is some evidence to support this, the exact mechanism by which they work is still unclear.
Some research has suggested that prenatals may help improve egg quality in women with diminished ovarian reserve, a condition that can cause reduced fertility. However, there is also some evidence to suggest that prenatals may affect hormone levels in unexpected ways. For example, research has shown that women who take prenatal supplements for longer than six months may experience higher rates of pregnancy loss and early miscarriage.
So if you’re not pregnant and you’re taking prenatal vitamins, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects and talk to your doctor about whether they are right for you. Possible side effects may include changes in hormone levels, fertility problems, and pregnancy loss.
Elm & Rye prenatal supplements are the best prenatal vitamins to use if you want a natural supplement to maximize your health during pregnancy.
How Long Should You Take A Prenatal Vitamin After Giving Birth
You should continue taking your daily prenatal vitamin throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period, especially if you are breastfeeding. The postpartum period begins at childbirth and continues for a few months as your body returns to its pre-pregnancy state.
While you are breastfeeding, your milk might be the only source of your babys nutrition, so supplementing with prenatal vitamins as long as you are breastfeeding can ensure the baby gets the nutrients they need as they continue to develop.
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Why Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are also called prenatal supplements because they contain vitamins along with minerals and other nutrients you and your growing baby need.
Doctors recommend that women of child-bearing age take prenatal vitamins even if theyre not planning to get pregnant just in case.
While our bodies absorb the best kinds of nutrients from the foods we eat, lets face it, everyone isnt always able eat the best variety of food or very much fresh food every day.
Plus, you may not know youre pregnant for weeks or longer. From the very first month of pregnancy, lots of important baby stuff is developing, like the brain and spinal cord. This is why taking a prenatal vitamin has you and your baby covered!
For example, folic acid in a prenatal vitamin is needed to help your baby grow a healthy spinal cord and nervous system. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes. Too little of this vitamin is a leading cause of blindness in babies around the world.
Prenatal vitamins can help fill nutritional food gaps and make sure you and your baby have all the vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy pregnancy and birth. They can even help keep you healthy after your delivery while you breastfeed.
Not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Different formulations may have slightly different dosages of some nutrients. Ask your doctor about the best one for you.
Do Prenatals Help You Get Pregnant
If youre wondering when to start taking prenatals and whether they can boost your fertility, read on. Youll find answers to questions like: Do prenatals help you get pregnant? Do prenatal vitamins make you fertile?
Prenate pills do not increase fertility, but they can help you experience a healthy pregnancy and prevent complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice women on when to start taking prenatals. Women who are planning to get pregnant should take their vitamin three months before conception.
Here are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy:
So, do prenatal vitamins make you fertile? A recent study does mention that vitamin B, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy diets may increase fertility, and you can find some of these ingredients in the Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins Product.
The Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins can help regulate your cycle and prepare your body for pregnancy.
Suppose youre already pregnant and havent been taking prenatals. You can work closely with your doctor so they can advise on when to start taking prenatal vitamins and whether the Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins product is right for your body.
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How Will Prenatal Vitamins Make You Feel
- Try taking vitamins with food or before you go to sleep.
- Talk with your doctor about switching to another kind.
- Ask about a chewable vitamin, which may be easier on your stomach.
The iron in prenatal vitamins can make you constipated. For relief:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables because their fiber helps keep you regular.
- Drink water to wash down the extra fiber and help you digest it more easily.
How Do You Find A Good Prenatal Vitamin What Brands Are Best
Most importantly, you need to find a prenatal vitamin that you can take daily. If you have issues with nausea or taking pills, you may want to consider a smaller pill or a gummy. Of note, gummies do not contain iron, so you will need to make sure you are getting enough iron in your diet or take a separate iron supplement.
Some common brands that you can get at your local pharmacy/supermarket are Nature Made, Olly, Smartypants, and One-a-day. Most generic prenatal vitamins are equivalent and just as good as brand names.
There are some other prenatal vitamins on the market that you can only purchase online through subscriptions, such as: Modern Fertility, Ritual, and Perelel. These tend to be more expensive but tend to have less additives with artificial dyes and colorants. They also include folate in the biologically active form of methylfolate, which makes them easier for your body to absorb.
Look at what nutrients are included in your prenatal vitamin and compare them to the recommendations, and look at your diet to determine which prenatal vitamin may be best for you. You can always ask your provider to make sure the one you choose includes the right amounts of nutrients to meet your needs.
The Prenatal Vitamin With A Waitlist Of 10k
Of course, the best vitamin for you is one that’s recommended your doc. But if you’re doing some research, it’s worth learning about what products pregnant women are flocking to.
You’ve may have heard about Ritual vitamins before, and this summer, the brand’s Essential Prenatal sold out, then amassed a waitlist of over 10,000. So, what sets this brand apart and allowed it to achieve cult-favorite status? “Ritual includes essential nutrients: What we leave out is as important as what we put in,” explains Katerina Schneider, founder and CEO of Ritual. “Our formulation philosophy is about what you need and not overwhelming your body with anything extra. Compared to over-the-coutner prenatals, the 12 nutrients in Rituals prenatal are in their bioavailable and nature-identical forms .”
Other features of the vitamin include its two-in-one design, which “separates oily and dry ingredients, which eliminates the need for several different pills” a delayed-release capsule that helps eliminate nausea and, they’re vegan-certified. They’re also affordable and available via subscription for $35/month.
“Any food-form vitamin is a solid bet,” advises Dr. Seltzer. “Of course, there may be no added benefit to this, and the research is certainly mixed. Still, I would err on the side of using a whole food multivitamin because it more closely approximates what we should be doing anyway.”
Exceptions To The Rule
That said, there may be an exception to the above rule. Dr. Will Cole, leading functional medicine expert, IFMCP, DC, and bestselling author of The Inflammation Spectrum and Ketotarian, says the prenatal vitamin formulation may be helpful for women who are lacking certain nutrients in their diets. “Since prenatal vitamins tend to be higher in iron and B vitamins, they can be a good option for those who are severely deficient in iron and are anemic,” he explains. And while he agrees that some women may notice improvements in their hair, skin, and nails, “a biotin supplement would be a better option if you are looking to reap the beauty benefits.”
Philadelphia-based physician Dr. Charlie Seltzer also mentions that iron deficiency and/or anemia is a relatively common issue among women. “If you are a woman who has a regular menstrual cycles, make sure that your iron is checked,” he recommends, noting that signs can include low energy and slow post-workout recovery time. “If you have symptoms, that may be a result of vitamin deficiencies or, if you are at particularly high risk for a deficiency based on your health, like if you have celiac disease, get tested for those in particular and replace them if needed.” In any case, seek the advice of your doc , who may recommend a prenatal or a simple vitamin supplement.
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What Are Prenatal Vitamins
So, what exactly are prenatal vitamins? The dosages of vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins are the same ones that can be found in regular multivitamins, but the dosages are higher because the body requirements are higher during pregnancy,Dr. Lucky Sekhon, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of NY, tells Woman’s Day. “They are geared towards optimizing fetal growth and development. The main difference is that youre given extra folic acid, typically about 400mcg a day. Prenatal vitamins should ideally be taken three months before becoming pregnant, but even taking them just one month before can greatly reduce risks of neural tube defects and spinal cord issues, such as spina bifida.”
When Should You Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
Ideally, you should start taking a daily prenatal vitamin at least one month prior to attempting to conceive. Major birth defects of the babys brain or spine occur very early in pregnancy, even 3-4 weeks after conception, which is before most people even know they are pregnant. Prenatal vitamins can help prevent these birth defects if you take them when you are trying to conceive or when youre not preventing conception.
If you didnt know it was important to take a prenatal vitamin before conceiving, start taking one immediately after you learn you are pregnant.
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