What About Synthetic Prenatal Vitamins
These are the ones you can get at most drug stores. They are a complete cross-spectrum of nutrients, but they are created in a laboratory with vitamin isolates separated from the natural co-factors like phytonutrients that help your body absorb or utilize the vitamin.
These synthetic vitamins are shown to be nutritionally inferior to natural vitamins and can cause digestive issues.
- Synthetic vitamin E can be especially problematic. Research has linked synthetic vitamin E to DNA damage to the liver, prostate cancer in men, and congenital heart defects in babies born to women taking large doses of vitamin E.
- And while beta-carotene is an important precursor to vitamin A, its synthetic form can cause problems. Researchers found that high amounts of synthetic beta-carotene may actually block some of the mechanisms of vitamin A in the body.
Whole, natural foods contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that work together to be absorbed and utilized. When vitamins are isolated like they are in synthetic vitamin blends, your body may utilize some of the vitamins but deplete others.
Garden Of Life Mykind Organics Prenatal
The makers say that they offer this specially formulated blend for pre-conception, pregnancy, and lactation support. With 18 mg of iron and 800 mg of folate, this vegan, gluten-free product helps support neural tube development, the company say. They also report that the ingredients including selenium and vitamins C, D3, E, K, and B12 come from more than 30 fruits, vegetables, and herbs. There is also an organic stomach-soothing blend that includes lemon, tomato, ginger, and peppermint.
Online reviews are positive, but some report side effects and poor purity. A person might also require an additional calcium supplement.
Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in your babys development, says Dr. Nwankwo. Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.
A run-of-the-mill multivitamin wont cut it when youre pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed multivitamins that deliver the extra amounts of nutrients needed during various stages of your babys development. For example, they contain folic acid, which is important for babys brain development in the earliest stages. And many have vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Plus, prenatal vitamins help make sure you have enough nutrients such as iron, to not only provide to your baby but so your own body doesnt become depleted.
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Folic Acid Calcium Iodine And Iron
If getting pregnant is a possibility for you, you should take folic acid. It can prevent birth defects that affect the babys brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects develop early in pregnancy, before many women know theyre pregnant half of all pregnancies are unplanned. This is why doctors recommend that any woman who could get pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
If youve had a baby with a neural tube defect you should talk with your health care provider about folic acid. Studies have shown that taking a larger dose at least one month before and during the first trimester may help if youve had a baby with this defect. But talk to your doctor about whats right for you.
Foods that have folic acid include:
Iron helps your body make more blood red cells. These blood cells carry oxygen to the baby that it needs to develop.
Supplements During Pregnancy: Whats Safe And Whats Not
If youre pregnant, you may think that feeling overwhelmed and confused comes with the territory. But it doesnt have to be so confusing when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
If you did your extra credit work, we bet you already know that high mercury seafood, alcohol, and cigarettes are off-limits during pregnancy. What may surprise you is that some vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements should be avoided as well.
Information on which supplements are safe and which arent varies and can make things feel even more complicated. Weve got you, though.
This article breaks down which supplements are believed to be safe to take during pregnancy and why some supplements should be avoided.
Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but its especially critical during pregnancy, as youll need to nourish both yourself and your growing babe.
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The 12 Benefits Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy
1. Using vitamin supplements is not a complete alternative to pre-pregnancy nutrition. It is a prerequisite for trying to conceive.
2. Deficiency of some vitamins may endanger the babys metabolic system.
3. Not taking some pre-pregnancy vitamins increases the chance of premature birth.
4. Taking vitamins increases the secretion of hormones in women.
5. Vitamin E is needed for fetal placenta formation.
6. Vitamin C supports the immune system.
7. Vitamin D helps produce sex hormones and assimilate calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can have long-term effects on childrens bone health and body composition.
8. Iron helps red blood cells to produce enough oxygen to help the fetus grow.
9. Vitamin B6 helps the ovulation cycle.
10. Folic acid, called Vitamin B9 has a positive and essential effect on the growth and formation of the fetuss brain and spinal cord.
11. Omega-3 fatty acids, called vitamin F, are required for brain development in the fetus. Adequate omega-3 in the body of women plays an essential role in improving their fertility and ovulation. Omega 3 improves the quality of the uterine wall by increasing blood flow to the female reproductive organs. Omega-3 is made up of two kinds of acids called DHA and EPA, which are beneficial fats, and fights mental illness and depression in women, principally during pregnancy.
12. Iodine helps the thyroid of women have good efficiency. Low iodine causes miscarriage and stillbirth.
Prenatal Vitamins For Moms Who Have The Mthfr Mutation
The MTHFR defect, which some say affects up to 50-60 percent of the population, makes it difficult for your body to convert folic acid into a usable form . Because folate deficiencies are associated with some birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube defects, its vital to know if you have the MTHFR mutation and, if so, to take the right form of prenatal when you are pregnant.
Luckily there are prenatal blends designed especially for women who have the MHTFR mutation.
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New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins
|Buy on LuckyVitamin|
Ingredients: Perfect Prenatal Multivitamins herbal blend contains extracts from nutrient-dense whole food ingredients such as blueberries, oats, blackberries, prunes, rose hip, clove and peppermint. The cruciferous sprouts blend is made up of high-quality extracts from broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and mustard. Additional vitamins and minerals include vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin and calcium.
What we like: These organic, natural vitamins contain whole food ingredients like blueberries and broccoli. They go through a fermentation process, which provides the benefits of probiotics, making them easy on the stomach. These vitamins are a great go-to for those who are looking for an all-natural, all-in-one prenatal vitamin that contains no sugars, no synthetic fillers and no animal gelatin. Many LuckyVitamin reviewers like the fermented prenatal for first trimester nausea.
What to consider: These vitamins seem to check all of the boxes: the right levels of vitamins and minerals recommended for pregnancy, easy-on-the-stomach formulations and a modest price tag.
Why Trust Verywell Family
As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted by her against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients but she would take them herself if needed.
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Megafood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamins
This company has high quality standardstheir prenatal vitamins are non-GMO, contain no pesticides/herbicides, and are made from farm-fresh food.
They contain a great cross-spectrum of nutrients, are higher in vitamin D, contain vitamin K, and have lots of good B vitamins. Plus, theyre strong in iodine, iron and zinc, three important minerals in pregnancy. It is lower in vitamin A, but that shouldnt be a problem if you take cod liver oil. Its also low in calcium and magnesiumtry supplementing with organic, grass-fed dairy and magnesium.
What Is Folic Acid
Folic acid is a B vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects . Some studies show that taking folic acid may help prevent heart defects and birth defects in your babys mouth .
- Before pregnancy take a vitamin supplement with 400 mcg of folic acid every day.
- Take a vitamin supplement with 400 mcg of folic acid each day, even if youre not trying to get pregnant.
- During pregnancy, take a prenatal vitamin each day that has 600 mcg of folic acid in it.
Check the product label to see how much folic acid is in it.
If youre at high risk for having a baby with an NTD, talk to your provider about how you can safely take 4,000 mcg of folic acid each day to help prevent an NTD. Start taking 4,000 mcg at least 3 months before you get pregnant and through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Youre at high risk if:
- Youve had a pregnancy with an NTD in the past.
- You or your partner has an NTD.
- Your partner has a child with an NTD.
Dont take several multivitamins or prenatal vitamins. You can get too much of other nutrients, which may be harmful to your health. Your provider can help you figure out the best and safest way for you to get the right amount of folic acid.
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Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal
Vitamin Code is another popular food-based prenatal. It is non-GMO, contains no fillers, and is processed at low heat for optimal nutrient retention. It is strong in vitamin C, iodine, iron, and all of the vitamin Bs. It contains double the vitamin D3 of most prenatals, but it is lower in vitamin K, which can be problematic for good calcium absorption. Its also lower in zinc and copper, important trace minerals.
Some moms cant take this formula because they are allergic to one of the many food ingredients, like seeds and grains. Another drawback is that you have to take this prenatal vitamin three times per daya definite inconvenience for some. Find them here.
Nature Made Prenatal Multi
A good daily prenatal vitamin should contain the above nutrients, but it should also have at least 200 mg of DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid commonly found in fish. Some experts believe supplementing zinc and magnesium can reduce risks of complications during pregnancy. All of these ingredients can be found in Nature Made’s Prenatal Multi Plus DHA softgels, which you can buy at most grocery and drug stores at an affordable price.
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Theranatal Complete Prenatal Vitamins
TheraNatal Complete is the most comprehensive prenatal vitamin from Theralogix. Both TheraNatal Complete and TheraNatal One include similar ingredients. Both prenatal vitamins are ideal for women in their second or third trimester.
The primary difference between the two is that TheraNatal Complete consists of two tablets + one soft gel daily. The pink multivitamin provides essential nutrients while the white tablets offer additional nutrients like vitamin D3, vitamin B6 to reduce nausea and provide choline for the healthy development of the neural tube and brain.
TheraNatal Complete supports the healthy development of your babys brain and neural tube with the aid of 250 mg of choline and 300 mg of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA.
Hence, it is a complete package jam-packed with numerous benefits. It is a great value for your money and you during pregnancy.
Can take this prenatal throughout the entire pregnancy
Supports healthy development of babys brain and neural tube
Have to take several pills
Q Are Prenatal Vitamins Fda Approved
Because prenatal vitamins are classified as nutritional supplements, the FDA does not examine or certify their safety. The organization advises consumers to consult with their healthcare professionals about whether they should take a prenatal vitamin.
The National Institutes of Health also mentions that quality assurance is available through independent groups such as ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, and the United States Pharmacopeia. So, look for companies with seals of these groups, as they show the item has passed rigorous quality testing.
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What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. It also helps your bodys nerves, muscles and immune system work. Your immune system protects your body from infection. Vitamin D helps your babys bones and teeth grow.
During pregnancy, you need 600 IU of vitamin D each day. You can get this amount from food or your prenatal vitamin. Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, like salmon
- Milk and cereal that has vitamin D added to it
One A Day Women’s Prenatal 1 Multivitamin
This is the most popular brand of prenatal vitamins on the market, and it’s a solid choice, says Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, director of nutrition counseling at Boston IVF and an expert in prenatal nutrition.
It’s not necessarily fancy, but it gets the job done for a reasonable price and, best of all, it’s been verified by an independent lab so it actually contains what it says it contains, she adds.
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Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula Gummies
If you have trouble swallowing pills, a gummy prenatal vitamin might be a good option for you. Smarty Pants’ prenatal gummy vitamin comes in four flavors, including lemon, strawberry, orange, and banana, and has most of the recommended vitamins and minerals, though in smaller amounts.
You’ll need to chew four gummies a day to get a full dose, which is why a bottle has 120 gummies, or enough doses for 30 days. Smarty Pants prenatal gummies have a small amount of DHA but no iron or calcium, so plan on getting those minerals elsewhere in your diet.
Mama Bird Prenatal Multivitamin
These vitamins contain “methylated folate”a pretty buzzy word in the prenatal vitamin world. Folate is one of the most important vitamins in prenatal pills, but some women have a genetic condition that makes it hard for their bodies to convert the folic acid in most prenatals to the active form the body can use, Wright explains.
But there’s a catch: You won’t know if you have the condition unless you have genetic testing done. So if you want to be super-safe and cover all your bases, then a methylated version of folate might be worth the money. Still, she emphasizes that for the majority of women, the regular variety is just fine.
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Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
In addition to the vitamins and nutrients discussed above, here are two of the best supplements to take while pregnant.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Doctors will often encourage their pregnant patients to take a fish oil supplement. Heres why.
Why theyre important: Omega-3 fatty acid stores tend to deplete quickly throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids provide DHA, one of its most biologically active acids.
DHA can help ease the risk for an early preterm birth . Additionally, low DHA levels can influence changes in brain function. Consequently, this can lead to genetic variations, decreased learning abilities, and impaired vision.
The benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acid extend to postnatal nutrition, too. Researchers suggest that rapid depletion of fatty acids during pregnancy and breastfeeding can contribute to the baby blues. In turn, taking this healthy omega can have a positive influence on maternal well-being.
Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- cold-water fish
- plant oils
The ACOG recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week. However, pay special attention to avoid raw or undercooked fish. Additionally, you should also avoid fish with high mercury levels while pregnant.
That said, talk to your doctor about incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your prenatal plan if you suspect youre getting enough DHA.
The Importance Of Prenatal Nutrition
Meeting your daily nutrient needs during pregnancy is necessary to keep up with your rapidly changing maternal metabolism.
Of course, maternal nutrition is essential for healthy fetal growth and development. In fact, theres growing research that suggests the effects of prenatal nutrition can trickle into adulthood.
For that reason, its important to learn about necessary vitamins for pregnant women, as well as additional supplement and macronutrient needs.
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Natures Bounty Prenatal Gummies
Containing two types of omega-3s, DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid , these berry-flavored gummies may reduce the risk of neural tube abnormalities and support early development.
The vitamins provide 100% DV of folic acid and iodine for pregnant people, with 51 mg of DHA and EPA per two gummies. The company also list 13 key nutrients among the ingredients.
Some online reviewers praise the gummies flavor, while others question the high levels of vitamin A.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that can help the development of the brain and eyes. Not all prenatal vitamins contain it, so it is a good idea to check the ingredients lists carefully.