Which Vitamins Should I Take In Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, its recommended that you take additional vitamin D and folic acid, and avoid taking vitamin A . Aim for 400mg of folic acid and 10mcg of vitamin D from your supplements . For more on pregnancy supplements and nutrition if you’re vegan or vegetarian, see our article about what to eat during pregnancy.;
Are There Side Effects Or Dangers Of Prenatal Vitamins
When taking any medication or supplement, you run the risk of side effects; prenatal vitamins are no exception to this. The most common side effects I see in my practice from prenatal vitamins are nausea and constipation. I will then work with the woman on modalities to reduce side effects including taking the prenatal with vitamin C or taking it at night before bed. Often these side effects can be reduced or managed by changing the form or brand of the prenatal or adjusting the time and setting in which the vitamin is takensome women need to take it with food, for example.
Make Sure Your Prenatal Pick Contains These Vitamins And Minerals
This B vitamin has been shown to prevent birth defects involving the brain and spine. Its hard to get from food, so the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micrograms. Most over-the-counter prenatals have plenty of folic acid, Hawk says. But if youve previously had a baby with neural tube defects, your provider may prescribe one that has more.
Pregnant women need calcium not only for their bones but for the development of the babys bones, Hawk says. Studies have also found that women who supplement with calcium during pregnancy reduce their risk for hypertension and pre-eclampsia. ACOG recommends that women age 19 and older get 1,000 mg per day of calcium through food and/or supplementation.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium that builds your and babys bones and teeth. Although we can get it from sun exposure and certain foods, most Americans do not get the recommended amount, which is about 600 IUs per day.
Vitamin B6 may help curb nausea and vomiting from morning sickness. And, Hawk says its even more effective when its combined with an antihistamine called doxylamine, which is available over-the-counter. ;The National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant women get 1.9 milligrams of B6 each day.
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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 baby’s needs, as well as your own.
- folate helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida
- iodine is needed for brain and nervous system development
- iron helps prevent anaemia in the mother, as well as low birth weight in the baby
Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also particularly important since they support the development of the baby’s nervous system and skeleton . Adequate vitamin C intake also helps improve the adsorption of iron from your diet.
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.
- 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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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.
Should You Take A Multivitamin Instead
Since so many micronutrients may influence fertility, you may find it more convenient to take one high quality multivitamin, rather than purchase a boatload of individual supplements.
I highly recommend a good, quality prenatal vitamin, says Low Dog. For women, she recommends looking for a product that contains:
- 400 mcg folate at minimum
- 300 mg choline at minimum
- 150 mcg iodine
- 18 mg iron
- 600 IU vitamin D, at least
For men, Low Dog recommends looking for a multivitamin with adequate antioxidants that provides roughly 200 percent of the daily value for:
- vitamin C
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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:
- oily fish
- red meat
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.
Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy
Its important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects,;including spina bifida.
If you did not take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
Try to eat green leafy vegetables which contain folate and breakfast cereals and fat spreads with folic acid added to them.
It’s difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, which is why it’s important to take a folic acid supplement.
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Important Vitamins And Minerals Before Conceiving:
- 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.
Vegetarian Vegan And Special Diets In Pregnancy
A varied and balanced vegetarian diet should provide enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy.
But you might find it more difficult to get enough iron and vitamin B12.
Talk to a midwife or doctor about how to make sure you’re getting enough of these important nutrients.
If you’re vegan or you follow a restricted diet because of a food intolerance or for religious reasons, talk to a midwife or GP.
Ask to be referred to a dietitian for advice on how to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.
Find out more about healthy eating if you’re pregnant and vegetarian or vegan.
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Don’t Forget These Other Sperm
These other fertility foods may also belong on the menu when you’re 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.
When Do I Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Start taking folic acid at least 1 month before you start trying to get pregnant. The first few weeks of pregnancy are a really important time for fetal health and development. Taking folic acid and other prenatal vitamins can help reduce the risk of some birth defects. Keep taking prenatal vitamins throughout your entire pregnancy.
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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.
Cost Of Prenatal Vitamins
Most prenatal vitamins come in over the counter forms and can range from $5.00-$30.00 for a monthly or bi-monthly supply. There are both brand name and generic, along with a variety of supplements made especially for pregnant women.
Some doctors may prescribe a prenatal vitamin with DHA, Omega-3s, and higher amounts of the usual vitamins and minerals. These vitamins tend to be a bit more expensive than the over the counter versions. If you can afford it and they don’t make you sick, they may be worth it. It is not necessary to have prescription, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, go for it.
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What You Should Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin
Now that we know the importance of beginning prenatal vitamins as early as possible, let’s take a look at what you should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin and why.
NOTE: Each of the vitamins and minerals below have an RDI value. RDIs are provided for vitamins and minerals for pregnant and lactating women and can be found on the ‘Supplement Facts’ label on the bottle. The value is what your body should be getting from all sources , it is not necessarily the value that should be in a prenatal vitamin alone. For example, the RDI for vitamin A is 8000 IU, and you may get half of this from your diet and half from a supplement.
Remind Me What Does My Baby Need
In summary the research overwhelmingly suggests that you should be taking a prenatal vitamin when trying to conceive, as well as during pregnancy and lactation.
Take a look at this inforgraphic for what you would have to eat in order to get the same amount of nutrients as a prenatal vitamin:
Embed the “What Would You Have to Eat” infographic on your site :
To help you understand mineral rich foods as an alternative to prenatal vitamins, take a look at the following infographic:
Embed the “Mineral Rich Foods” infographic on your site :
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Vitamins That Help You Get Pregnant Faster
Can the taking of any type of vitamin or supplement actually help you conceive a child faster than those who dont take vitamins?; Can vitamins actually increase your fertility?; The answer is yes if you ask experts at the Texas Fertility Center.; According to fertility specialists, you need a good nutritional status in order to help your body conceive a child.; This seems to hold true of both men and women.
For women, it may mean just taking a good prenatal vitamin.; Research has indicated that taking a prenatal vitamin can not only decrease your chances of having a preterm birth and decrease your chances of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, but it can maximize your fertility.
In one recent study, women who were trying to get pregnant through fertility treatments got pregnant faster than women who didnt take prenatal vitamins.; In fact, the participants who took prenatal vitamins had a doubling of their chances of becoming pregnant when compared to participants who just took folic acid prior to conceiving.
What this means is that it is possible to get pregnant faster if you take a prenatal vitamin, although research hasnt been done on women who arent undergoing fertility treatments and who take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins can be purchased over the counter and cant hurt you, even if you take them while not pregnant.
These particular vitamins have the ability to enhance your fertility.; You can take them alone or as a part of the total prenatal pill package:
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 today’s 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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What Happens If You Dont Take Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can help prevent miscarriages, defects, and preterm labor. If youre not taking prenatal vitamins, neural tube defects can appear:
- Anencephaly: This occurs when the babys skull and brain doesnt form correctly. Babies that are born with anencephaly dont survive.
- Spina bifida: This occurs when the spine does not form correctly and the baby may have physical disabilities.;
Now that we have addressed one of the most asked questions, What happens if you dont take prenatal vitamins?, we can move on to the next section: When to take prenatal vitamins.;
If I Want To Get Pregnant When Should I Start Taking A Prenatal
Women who are family planning should consider starting a prenatal vitamin, or at least an additional supplement of folic acid while trying to conceive. The first four weeks of pregnancy, the time when the neural tube is forming, is the most critical for folate needs in preventing related birth defects. Six hundred mcg of folic acid is recommended before conception and through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If you find out you are pregnant but havent been taking a prenatal or folic acid, the best thing to do is to start it as soon as you learn of your pregnancy.
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How Much Folic Acid Do I Need When Im Trying To Conceive
The NHS recommends that you take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day when youre trying to get pregnant. You should keep taking this amount every day until youre 12 weeks pregnant. While youre taking folic acid, you should keep eating foods rich in folate as part of a balanced diet.
Some women who have an increased risk of birth defects will need a higher dose of folic acid, typically 5 milligrams . Your GP will tell you if you need this higher dose.
Vitamin C In Pregnancy
Vitamin C protects cells and helps keep them healthy.
It’s found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and a balanced diet can provide all the vitamin C you need.
Good sources include:
- soya drinks with added calcium
- bread and any foods made with fortified flour
- fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards
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