Are Prescribed Prenatals Better Than Store
While prescription prenatals are available, they arent necessarily better than prenatal vitamins that you can purchase over the counter.
In fact, there are several high quality prenatal supplements that dont require a prescription. However, one of the benefits of having a prescription prenatal is that your insurance may cover some or all of the cost.
Regardless of whether you opt for an over-the-counter or prescribed prenatal, whats most important is that you choose a supplement thats formulated to meet the unique nutritional demands of pregnancy.
Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, certain plants and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, avoid these plants and herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding:
Why Are Iron And Calcium Important During Pregnancy
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin â thats the substance in your red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to your organs and tissues. When youre pregnant, your body produces more blood to supply oxygen to your baby, which is why youll need to double your iron intake. If you dont get enough iron, or youre already low on iron, you could develop iron deficiency anemia, which will not only make you feel more tired in pregnancy, but also, in severe cases, can increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression.
Getting enough calcium helps keep your teeth and bones healthy, and helps your baby develop strong teeth and bones, too. Whats more, calcium keeps your circulatory, nervous, and muscular systems running normally.
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When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
The best time to start taking prenatal vitamins is before conception. Folic acid is especially important. You should begin taking a folic acid supplement at least 1 month before you try to get pregnant to prevent birth defects.
Some doctors recommend that all women who could have a baby take prenatal vitamins, even if they donât plan a pregnancy.
What Alternative Therapies Are Considered Safe During Pregnancy
Some alternative therapies have been shown to be safe and effective for pregnant women to relieve some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy. Talk it over with your doctor first before using any of them. And remember, âNaturalâ doesnât always equal âsafeâ when youâre pregnant.
Nausea in early pregnancy:Acupuncture, acupressure, ginger root , and vitamin B6 work well. Sipping the thick syrup from inside a can of peaches, pears, mixed fruits, pineapples, or orange slices may also help.
Turning a breech baby: Exercise and hypnosis may help.
Pain relief in labor: Epidurals are most effective, but immersion in a warm bath can also relieve tension. Relaxation and breathing techniques, emotional support, and self-hypnosis are widely used in labor. Acupuncture can also work for some women.
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The Best Vitamins To Take While Pregnant
Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, CLE, shares recommended vitamins to take while pregnant. Plus: additional supplements for a healthy pregnancy, other prenatal nutritional needs, and vitamins to avoid during pregnancy.
Is it safe to take vitamins during pregnancy?
This is one of the most common questions that dietitians get from expectant and new mothers. Its no secret that proper nourishment can better optimize your pre and postnatal care. But exactly which vitamins and supplements should you take during pregnancy?
In this article, were bringing things back to science-backed basics. When it comes to supplements and pregnancy, heres the information you need to have a safe and healthy term.
**This information should not be used in lieu of professional medical advice. Always follow guidance from your OB-GYN and/or primary care physician.
Inside this article:
Vitamin D In Pregnancy
You need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount between September and March.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight .
It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs, but if you’re in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:
Vitamin D is added to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.
Because vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it is difficult to get enough from foods alone.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D free of charge if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus . But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19.
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The Risks Of Substances During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a complex and delicate process for both the mother and the fetus, susceptible to a host of internal and external influences. There are any number of factors that could affect the course of a pregnancy, birth, or lactating babys growth. Each process has its own variables, and CBD is just one of many substances whose effects scientists and doctors dont fully understand either. Pregnant women have to navigate a complex and often changing set of guidelines and best practice recommendations based on ever-evolving research.
Not only is the mothers body changing physically, hormonally, and physiologically, her baby is developing one of the most complex brains on the planet. This development process is incredibly delicate, and every mother wants to give her baby the best chance of success. Some substances are known to increase the risk of abnormal brain development, but much of CBDs effects are still unknown.
What Prescription Constipation Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy
Most constipation medications are available OTC, but a few are available only with a prescription. However, many prescription constipation medications are questionable or unsafe to use during pregnancy. This is because there’s limited information about them during pregnancy. Pregnant women are often excluded from research studies.
But osmotic laxatives have side effects that limit their use. For example, lactulose may cause uncomfortable bloating, gas, and nausea. It may also cause electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are important for the normal function of your cells. Even slight changes may cause serious harm.
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Can I Overdose On Folic Acid
Most women shouldnt take more than 1mg of folic acid a day. Some women who are at a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects might benefit from up to 5mg a day .
Family history of or previous pregnancies with neural tube defects, diabetes, and taking anti-epileptic medication when youre pregnant raise your risk of having babies with neural tube defects. If you are at higher risk, talk to your GP or midwife as they can prescribe a higher dose and/or recommend additional screening tests .
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What Otc Pain Relief Medications Are Not Safe During Pregnancy
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are popular medications for pain relief and inflammation. OTC NSAIDs include medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen . But your healthcare provider may not recommend NSAIDs during pregnancy.
Were not exactly sure how safe NSAIDS are in early pregnancy. NSAIDs taken before 20 weeks of pregnancy have a potential risk of miscarriage and birth defects. So to play it safe, its probably best to avoid them.
And in 2020, the FDA warned that using NSAIDs around 20 weeks or later in pregnancy may cause serious kidney problems in an unborn baby. They also warned that they can lead to low amounts of amniotic fluid, which is the liquid that surrounds a baby in the womb. Plus, using NSAIDs like ibuprofen during the later stages of pregnancy may also cause certain heart and lung problems.
If using an NSAID is necessary, try to limit it to the lowest effective dose and for the shortest amount of time possible. The FDA suggests an ultrasound to monitor for side effects if a pregnant woman uses an NSAID for more than 48 hours.
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Prenatal Vitamins Supplement Not Replace A Balanced Diet
Any balanced diet will contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, but you should still take a prenatal vitamin to make sure that you are getting enough of the nutrients your body and your baby needs. Additionally, since prenatal vitamins are formulated with the idea that the person taking them is eating a healthy diet, there is no need to seek out additional vitamin supplements in any form, be it a pill, diet drink, or fortified smoothie. Be sure to let your doctor know if you use any of these products so you can be certain you are not getting too much of a good thing.
What If Cvs Is Not Possible
Women with twins or other higher-order multiples usually need sampling from each placenta. However, because of the complexity of the procedure and the positioning of the placentas, CVS is not always feasible or successful with multiples.
Women who are not candidates for CVS or who did not get accurate results from the procedure may require a follow-up amniocentesis. An active vaginal infection, such as herpes or gonorrhea, will prohibit the procedure. In other cases, the doctor may take a sample that does not have enough tissue to grow in the lab, generating incomplete or inconclusive results.
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Important Nutrients During Pregnancy
A healthy diet during your pregnancy will benefit you and promote your babys development. Talk to your doctor about supplements to make sure theyre necessary and safe for you and your baby.Folate or Folic Acid
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9. Its found in many foods. When its a supplement or added to foods, its known as folic acid.Folate helps prevent neural tube defects. The neural tube develops into your babys brain and spine. These birth defects happen very early in pregnancy, often before you know that youre pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly .Folate is found in different foods, including:
- Legumes, like peas and dried beans
- Leafy, dark green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, and broccoli
- Fortified foods
If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, you should get 600 micrograms of folate a day. Its hard to get this amount from food, so doctors usually recommend a folic acid supplement.
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Top 6 Pregnancy Iron Supplements
If youre currently expecting and showing signs of low iron or your recent lab work has come back and shown low hemoglobin levels, then youre most likely going to want to start on an iron supplement as soon as possible. You may also just need an iron supplement if your prenatal vitamin is lacking in that department.
Of course, its always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplements while pregnant or nursing.
Listed below are 6 of the best iron supplements for pregnant and postpartum mamas:
- Not an option for vegans
- Lower amount of iron
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Limited Research On Cbd And Pregnancy
One of the reasons the conversation around CBD and pregnancy is so complex is the lack of research. But this gap in our knowledge isnt only due to the limits of cannabis research and prohibition, its also due to the fact that doing research on and testing the effect of substances on pregnant women or lactating mothers is nearly impossible. No investigation review board in their right minds would ever approve of testing substances on a pregnant mother and fetus, so most of the research we have is limited to preclinical and rodent trials, as well as anecdotal reports or self-reported, retrospective studies.
This lack of understanding and the potential risk to the baby is the reason cannabis in any form is usually discouraged during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But women have used cannabis during pregnancy regardless of the legal status or scientific recommendation, and will continue to do so. Refusing to have a conversation around this topic only continues to fuel the stigma of cannabis use.
There are studies that suggest using THC during pregnancy could be harmful to a babys development, though there is no conclusive evidence.
Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in pregnancy, and while external cannabinoids like THC and CBD stimulate this system, exposure to these cannabinoids can alter fetal development. 6
When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Experts recommend taking a prenatal supplement containing folate for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant.
Supplementing with folate which is found in prenatal vitamins before conception significantly reduces the chances of neural tube irregularities such as spina bifida .
A babys neural tube, which will develop into both the brain and the spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy. That could happen before you even realize youre pregnant.
If you arent already taking a daily prenatal vitamin, start taking one as soon as you find out youre expecting. Youll continue taking your prenatal vitamin every day during your pregnancy.
Experts also recommend continuing to take a prenatal supplement after you give birth.
This is because your body needs extra nutrients to support healing after delivery and requires more nutrients during breastfeeding. In fact, needs for many nutrients are even higher during breastfeeding than during pregnancy.
Figure Out If You Can Stomach It
Once you choose your prenatal vitamin, you might find you have a tough time stomaching it. The most common reasons :
- If you have trouble swallowing it, look for a pill with a slicker coating. You may want to consider a pill sans calcium, since they tend to be smaller . If you do, be sure to talk to your practitioner to be sure you get enough of this essential mineral in other ways. You might also want to try a chewable or liquid prenatal vitamin .
- If your prenatal vitamin makes you feel nauseous, try taking your vitamin with a meal or snack or right before you go to bed. Still having trouble? Ask your doctor to recommend a different brand that you may be able to stomach better or one with more B6, which can curb nausea and morning sickness.
- If youve got constipation, diarrhea or gas, it could be the extra iron in your pill. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, eat fiber-rich foods and include regular physical activity in your daily routine. If this doesnt relieve your stomach woes, talk to your doctor about alternatives .
Are Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy
Certain vaccines are safe and recommended for women before, during, and after pregnancy to help keep them and their babies healthy. The antibodies mothers develop in response to these vaccines not only protect them, but also cross the placenta and help protect their babies from serious diseases early in life. Vaccinating during pregnancy also helps protect a mother from getting a serious disease and then giving it to her newborn.
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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 and minerals for pregnant women, as well as additional supplement and macronutrient needs.
Food Cravings During Pregnancy
You’ve probably known women who craved specific foods during pregnancy, or perhaps you’ve had such cravings yourself. Some old theories held that a hunger for a particular type of food indicated that a woman’s body lacked the nutrients that food contains. Although this turned out not to be so, it’s still unclear why these urges occur.
Some pregnant women crave chocolate, spicy foods, fruits, and comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes, cereals, and toasted white bread. Other women crave non-food items, such as clay and cornstarch. The craving and eating of non-food items is known as pica. Consuming things that aren’t food can be dangerous to both you and your baby. If you have urges to eat non-food items, notify your doctor.
But following your cravings is fine as long as you crave foods that contribute to a healthy diet. Often, these cravings let up about 3 months into the pregnancy.
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