Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins Before I Get Pregnant

Which Vitamins And Minerals Are Most Important And Why

Should I take prenatal vitamins even if I’m not pregnant?

“The three most important nutrients, based on very good research, are folic acid, iron and calcium,” says Kukreja. Folic acid helps prevent neural-tube defects iron is important for the delivery of oxygen to the baby and prevents anemia in the mom and calcium helps build your baby’s bones and prevents bone loss in the mother.

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Essential Vitamins And Minerals In Pregnancy

Good nutrition in pregnancy is vital for the healthy growth and development of your baby. You need to consume enough nutrients to meet your babys needs, as well as your own.

When youre pregnant, you need more of some nutrients, including protein, folate, iodine and iron.

Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also particularly important since they support the development of the babys nervous system and skeleton . Adequate vitamin C intake also helps improve the adsorption of iron from your diet.

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!

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Prescription Vitamins Aren’t Always Better

Not all vitamins are created equal. Many vitamins that are available by prescription are also available over the counter, but that doesn’t make one more effective than the other.

The main difference is the cost and who is paying for it. Prescription prenatal vitamins are typically covered by insurance companies. Over-the-counter vitamins are not covered by insurance and need to be paid out of pocket.

Important Vitamins And Minerals Before Conceiving:

How Long Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Getting ...
  • Folic acid is most important before conceiving, and in the early stages of pregnancy. This is when the bulk of neural tube formation occurs.
  • Zinc, vitamin D and iron are often deficient in adults and are useful in increasing fertility, so likewise, these would be very beneficial before conceiving to increase your chances of success as well as contribute to producing a healthy baby.

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Additional Prenatal + Postnatal Nutrition Needs

As weve gathered so far, a womans nutrition needs increase during pregnancybut in terms of diet, its not as much as you might think.

On average, most pregnant women will need to consume an extra 340 extra calories per day.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that breastfeeding mothers consume an additional 450 to 500 calories daily. However, this number can vary depending on your:

  • body mass
  • activity level
  • breastfeeding frequency

During pregnancy, theres also an uptick in certain macronutrient needs. Macronutrients are large food nutrients such as protein, carbs, and fats.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends increasing protein intake to 75 to 100 grams per day while pregnant. In addition, they should strive to consume complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats whenever possible.

Cmo Tomar Prenatal Multivitamins Para Amamantar A Su Beb

Antes de tomar prenatal multivitamins, dígale a su médico acerca de todas sus condiciones médicas y todas las medicinas que usted esté usando. Pregúntele un médico antes de usar un suplemento vitamínico o mineral si usted está siguiendo una dieta baja en sal. Usted tal vez seguir tomando prenatal multivitamins si está dando de amamantar a su bebé.

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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.

Why Do I Need To Take A Prenatal Before Im Pregnant

What Prenatal Vitamins I Am Taking And Other Supplements While 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 .

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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.

However, one study after another has failed to prove any significant beauty benefits to taking biotin, leaving the evidence to fall strictly in the anecdotal camp.

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:

Possible Prenatal Vitamins Side Effects

The iron in prenatals can cause constipation, and you may also have low appetite, stomach cramps, dark stools, and diarrhea. You can ease your symptoms by:

  • Drinking a lot of fluids.
  • Eating more food rich in fiber.
  • Getting more physical activity.

Other prenatal vitamins side effects that can appear include:

  • Back pain.
  • Hives.
  • Teeth staining.

Let your doctor know if you are taking pain relievers, heart medications, high blood pressure pills, sulfamethoxazole, or diuretics, as these can have negative interactions with prenate pills. Your healthcare provider can advise you on when to start taking prenatal vitamins.

Now, we can move on to the next section: Do prenatals help you get pregnant? where we will address the following question: Do prenatal vitamins make you fertile? and also discuss when to start taking prenatals.

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Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins After I Find Out Im Pregnant

Youre pregnant, congratulations! Youre probably wondering what you need to consume to support both you and your baby during this incredibly exciting yet physically and emotionally demanding time.

There is a wealth of information about the importance of pregnancy or prenatal vitamins. Which ones you take before pregnancy and which ones you take during pregnancy.

There is also a bit of confusion and misuse around the words preconception, prenatal and pregnancy. Lets clarify these different terms and stages to help you navigate your way through this amazing journey.

Preconception care is the health care a woman gets before she becomes pregnant. Preconception vitamins are specifically formulated to support you and your partner during the preconception period. To prepare your body for a healthy conception and pregnancy.

Prenatal care is the health care a woman gets during pregnancy. Prenatal means before birth . A prenatal or pregnancy vitamin is a specific formulation designed to support the growing needs of baby and mother during pregnancy.

Therefore, when we are talking about pregnancy multivitamins and prenatal multivitamins, we are talking about the same thing.

Reasons You Need A Prenatal Before Trying To Conceive

How much folic acid should I take while trying to get ...

When is the best time to start taking a prenatal vitamin? Much earlier than you think! If you’re wondering when to start prenatal vitamins, you might be surprised. The ideal time to start a prenatal supplement is actually 3 months prior to conception. Heres why you should start taking prenatals before pregnancy:

  • Your eggs develop 90 days before they are released, and healthy eggs are key to a healthy pregnancy. Its important that your body has quality nutrients to pull from during this phase.
  • Virtually no one gets a nutritionally perfect diet every day. A prenatal vitamin is a good backup in case youre not reaching your optimal daily intake of pre-pregnancy nutrients.
  • Taking vitamins before TTC may reduce the risk of preterm birth. Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that taking vitamins prior to conception reduced the risk of preterm birth by about one half in a group of about 2,000 women.
  • Folate supports the earliest, most critical stages of fetal development. The babys neural tube develop within the first month of pregnancy, sometimes before you even know youre pregnant. By the time you get that first positive test, you should already be regularly consuming folate. MTHR folate, which is what we use in our prenatals, is preferable to folic acid for its bioavailability.
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    When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

    Most doctors will recommend that women of childbearing age should take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid before conception to make sure that their bodies have enough of the vital nutrients necessary to support a healthy pregnancy. The folic acid aids in preventing neural tubal defects, which often occur in the first month of pregnancy when the neural tube is growing.

    If you just found out you’re pregnant, you can start taking the vitamins right away. If you are already taking a daily multi-vitamin, you can continue to take it. Other supplements may not be safe to take discontinue use of those. Speak with your doctor about which kind of vitamin is right for you during pregnancy.

    What Is A Prenatal Vitamin

    A prenatal vitamin is a blend of supplemental vitamins and minerals crafted to meet the needs of women who are pregnant or could become pregnant. Prenatal multivitamins can provide reliable nutrition in vital areassupporting babys healthy development as well as moms prenatal wellness. Prenatals provide peace of mind that your body is getting the right foundational support at such an important time.

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    The Right Picks To Take You Through Your Pregnancy Journey

    Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. Youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

    Nutrient needs are increased during pregnancy to support the growth and development of the fetus while also supporting the health of the mother. But with so many prenatal vitamins out there, how do you make the right choice? It is important to make sure prenatal supplements have been tested by third-party labs and offer maximum transparency to consumers.

    A prenatal vitamin is a multivitamin that is designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding in mind. The number of vitamins and minerals in these supplements are safe and appropriate when trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and postpartum while you are breastfeeding. Some specialized prenatal vitamins may also have other pregnancy-related additives, including DHA .

    In addition to purity tests and transparency, it is important to consider the amounts of key prenatal nutrientssuch as calcium, vitamin d, iron, folate, and cholinethat the supplement contains in each dose. Women may need to try a few different prenatal supplements before finding one that does not have undesired side effects, such as nausea or constipation.

    Here, the best prenatal vitamins for all your needs:

    What Are The Most Important Prenatal Vitamins


    Folic Acid

    Some very important physical development occurs in a fetus within the first few weeks of a pregnancy.

    In fact, by about week 4 after conception, the neural tube which develops into the spinal cord and brain has already formed! This means that, if you wait to start prenatal vitamins, you may miss the window of time where they are of the most benefit.

    Folic acid supplementation decreases the risk of neural tube defects. The minimum recommended amount is 400 mcg daily. However, most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid.

    As your pregnancy progresses, the benefits of getting enough folic acid continue, as it is important for maintaining the proper growth rate of your baby. Research has shown a 50% decreased chance of preterm delivery for women who take folic acid daily for at least 1 year before conceiving.Iron

    Iron helps your body maintain its oxygen-carrying blood cells, thereby helping to prevent anemia. As you can imagine, with a baby on board, your body will require even more blood cells than normal.

    Prenatal vitamins can provide you with the amount of iron that is sufficient for what most women need during pregnancy. Also, by preventing anemia, iron supplementation decreases the risk that you will have a preterm or low birth-weight infant.

    Calcium and Vitamin D

    Again, many women do not get enough calcium and vitamin D from their diets. Thus the supplementation found in prenatal vitamins is helpful.

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    Will Taking Prenatal Vitamins Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant

    Sorry to break it to you but taking your prenatal vitamin wont make you any more likely to get pregnant.

    Prenatal vitamins will, however, make it significantly more likely that you experience a healthy pregnancy. So, we recommend that you add prenatals into your trying to conceive journey, but dont expect them to be magic fertility pills.

    Taking a prenatal vitamin is also healthy for someone not looking to conceive. While it wont support fertility, it will replenish folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and calcium stores in the body. This can help keep you strong and prevent potential health complications in an unexpected pregnancy.

    Is It Bad If You Dont Take Your Prenatal Vitamins During Your Pregnancy

    The best way to stay healthy during your pregnancy is to eat right and maintain a healthy weight gain. Yes prenatal vitamins are an important part of your pregnancy nutrition, but they are never a subtitute for a healty well balanced diet. If you forget your vitamins once in a while do not panic…and do not “double up” because they may make you feel sick or increase constipation. I usually recommend that my patients put any “daily medicine” in a place they go every day…such as next to their toothbrushes, hairdryers, car keys, etc. Sometimes you can even set a daily reminder or alarm on your cell phone so you can remember to take your vitamins.

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    Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy

    It is perfectly safe to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy. It’s important for women who are trying to conceive to build up their stores of folic acid, iron, calcium, and other vital minerals and vitamins to prepare their bodies when they need to support a growing baby.

    Some women take prenatal vitamins with the intention of growing stronger nails and thicker hair. These claims are unproven. In fact, it may not be safe for just any woman to take prenatal vitamins since they are specially formulated for supporting healthy pregnancies and may contain too much of the vitamins and minerals that the average woman may not need.

    Dont Forget These Other Sperm

    Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins When Trying to Conceive ...

    These other fertility foods may also belong on the menu when youre trying to conceive:

    • Oysters. Were not sure if oysters are an aphrodisiac, but we do know that their zinc content pumps up the production of sperm and testosterone. If your partners not a fan, he can get his share of zinc from lean beef, poultry, dairy, nuts or eggs, though oysters have the highest concentration of this nutrient.
    • Fruits and veggies. Produce is rich in the vitamins that can help protect sperm from cellular damage. He can get folate from leafy greens men who dont get enough of this B vitamin tend to have sperm with abnormal chromosomes. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and berries provide vitamin C, which can boost sperm quality. Carrots, red peppers and apricots have lots of vitamin A, which keeps sperm from getting sluggish. Sweet potatoes are rich in all three folate, A and C!
    • Pomegranate juice may up sperm count and quality, per some animal studies. While it remains to be seen if it has the same effects on humans, you can always try swapping out the usual morning glass of OJ.

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