What Vitamins Do You Take While Pregnant

Which Vitamins And Minerals Are Most Important And Why

Pregnancy Tips : Taking Prenatal Vitamins While Trying to Get 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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When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins How Long Should You Take Them

Doctors, midwives, and other health care professionals recommend that women begin taking prenatal vitamins before they become pregnant. The brain and spinal cord of the embryo begin to develop within 3 to 4 weeks of pregnancy, when you may not even know that you are pregnant. The CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age consume folic acid daily to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. These serious birth defects affect the babys developing brain and spinal cord. Your doctor or midwife may recommend that you continue to take prenatal vitamins after you have your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. If you are planning to conceive, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss any pregnancy planning concerns.

When Is It Necessary To Take Prenatal Vitamins

If youre planning to conceive, ingesting iodine and folic acid before pregnancy will guarantee that you have the correct balance of these nutrients. Also, if you have health disorders like anemia or youre malnourished, youll need an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.

If youre already pregnant, its especially important for you to take a daily multivitamin. Of course, this should always be done with your doctors permission.

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How Much Biotin Should You Take During Pregnancy

For healthy adolescents and adults, the recommended daily allowance of biotin is between 30 and 100 mcg of biotin per day. For pregnant people, 30 mcg of biotin per day is considered an adequate intake. When breastfeeding, the total goes up to 35 mcg of biotin per day.

When adding supplements to your routine, be sure to do your research about the brand youre choosing, and find a supplement from a reputable brand that has been third-party tested.

Multivitamin With Folic Acid

Best Prenatal Vitamins in Canada (2020 Reviews)

Parsley Healths Jeffery Egler, MD, tells me that his pre-pregnancy health recommendations arent really all that different from his regular health recommendations. As such, he offers an appropriately simple solution. Consider a multivitamin, particularly one with at least 400-800 mcg of a methylated folate, he advises.

Theres a reason Dr. Egler makes that folic acid disclaimer. According to Dr. Williams, its been shown to support healthy pregnancy outcomes, and not just for those who are already knocked up. Even before a womans pregnant, folic acid may play an important role in egg development and help to ensure that the woman ovulates a healthy egg, he says. As he explains it, though a womans lifetime supply of eggs is present at birth, each individual egg starts to develop three months before its released at ovulation. When they start to grow, its important that they have that folic acid available to them, to try to give them the healthiest chances, Dr. Williams says.

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What Happens When A Woman Doesnt Have Proper Nutrition In Pregnancy?

Many pregnancy complications are directly related to the absence of the right foods. Its true, high blood pressure in pregnancy known as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and preterm birth all have studies linking them to nutritional deficiencies.

And its not a moms fault. It is harder than ever to get all the nutrients you need because food today has less nutritional value than the same food several decades ago.

This is why many moms, even moms who are eating healthily, are lacking essential nutrients that they might need to support their babys development or their own health throughout pregnancy.

Some moms may be able to get everything they need through food. But, very few of us have enough healthy habits and access to nutritionally dense food to meet all of our needs.

For example, 94% of moms are not meeting their needs for choline. Choline is important for a developing baby because it helps build their brain, prevent neural tube defects and can impact their memory and brain function into adulthood.

Moms need choline because it supports healthy blood pressure, metabolism and mood.

This is just one example of a critical nutrient most moms dont get.

When Are Prenatal Vitamins Important?

Heres a hit: its probably earlier than you think.

But Do Prenatal Vitamins Always Work?

Which Foods Are High In Folic Acid

You can get folic acid in broccoli, peas, kale, brussel sprouts, oranges and brown rice . Its also added to some breakfast cereals.

Watch out for folic acid being lost when you cook vegetables. Boil for as little time as possible or steam or microwave instead . For more about what to eat and what not to eat when youre pregnant, see here.

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Supplements Considered Safe During Pregnancy

Just as with medications, your doctor should approve and supervise all micronutrient and herbal supplements to ensure that theyre necessary and taken in safe amounts.

Always purchase vitamins from a reputable brand that has their products evaluated by third-party organizations like the United States Pharmacopeia .

This ensures that the vitamins adhere to specific standards and are generally safe to take. Not sure which brands are reputable? Your local pharmacist can be a lot of help.

Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins If Youre Not Pregnant

Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins If NOT Pregnant?

One of the top questions on a patients mind is: Can you take prenatal vitamins if youre not pregnant?

If youre planning to get pregnant you can start taking folic acid supplements. Half of the United States pregnancies are unplanned, so prenatals can protect your pregnancy from complications, as some defects can appear in the early stages of the pregnancy.

However, if you dont want to get pregnant, its best to follow a healthy diet and get the nutrients you need from food. Prenatals can cause adverse effects if you take more than you need to.

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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.

Why Prenatal Vitamins Are Important

During your pregnancy, your bodys nutritional requirements are different than at other times, and prenatal vitamins are designed for the specific needs of pregnant women. For example, prenatal vitamins have more iron, calcium, and folic acid than regular multivitamins. Folic acid, in particular, is an important part of any diet, but it is imperative for the pregnant woman. Folic acid is proven to be a crucial factor in preventing neural tube birth defects, which is why it is recommended that all women of child bearing age take a folic acid supplement, and also why pregnant women need to take more than the general population.

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When To See A Fertility Specialist

If youre under 35 and have been trying to conceive for 1 year or more without success, talking with a fertility specialist may be beneficial .

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, evaluation and treatment from a fertility specialist may also be recommended after 6 months of trying to conceive for women over 35 and even sooner for women over 40 .

You may also want to consider consulting a fertility specialist if you or your partner (

  • has had three or more miscarriages
  • has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • has irregular periods, a heavy period, or no periods
  • has a history of sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea

For more information on when to see a fertility specialist and what to expect during your visit, check out this article.

How Vitamin B12 Aids In Pregnancy

Sanatogen Multivitamins for BEFORE and DURING pregnancy
  • Essential for babys neural tube formation, brain and spine development
  • Together with Folate , it works to produce DNA synthesis and red blood cells
  • Aids the development and functioning of your brain, nerves and blood cells
  • Helps improve your energy, mood and stress levels by aiding the metabolization of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
  • Helps maintain the normal central nervous system and neurological functions by regulating the synthesis of myelin and fatty acids.

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Making Sure You Get Enough Iron

During your pregnancy you will be given regular blood tests. One of the reasons for this is to monitor your iron levels. Iron plays a key role in making the haemoglobin in red blood cells which is very important for both you and your baby. Iron helps move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and your babys too!

About 50% of women dont get enough of this important mineral in pregnancy, which can leave them anaemic, especially after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is more likely to be the case if youre a vegetarian or vegan, suffer from severe morning sickness or are carrying multiple babies. Whilst low Iron is something that will most-likely be picked up by your midwife, its always best to speak to your midwife or GP if you start to feel extra tired, dizzy or breathless.

Its recommended that you consume between 27 mg and 45mg of iron a day. For most women, Iron supplementation is safe during pregnancy. However, not every mum-to-be needs extra Iron, especially since the mineral can be found in many foods. As always, talk to your practitioner before adding any new supplements to your diet.

Some of the best iron-rich foods include:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Spinach, broccoli, or spring greens
  • Nuts and dried fruit, such as dried apricots
  • Wholemeal bread and fortified breakfast cereals

Make sure you eat foods containing Vitamin C as these help you absorb iron. These include:

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Which Vitamins Do I Need In Pregnancy

Anna Magee

Journalist & Founder

When youre pregnant, it seems everyone has advice about what to eat, what to wear, which supplements to take. Leading nutritionist, Raihane Palagi has advice in the latest of our Truth about series

A new study has revealed that women who develop diabetes in pregnancy but are not diagnosed are far more likely to experience a stillbirth than women without the condition.

Research led by the University of Leeds and the University of Manchester, found that the risk of stillbirth was over four-times higher in women who developed signs of diabetes but were not diagnosed.

The study compared the symptoms and care of 291 women who experienced a stillbirth to 733 similar women who did not experience a stillbirth across 41 maternity units in England and found that all the women included in the study with high blood sugar, had twice the risk of stillbirth than women without the condition.

This increased risk was likely to be caused by a missed diagnoses and a lack of subsequent care experienced by many of the women. Results show an association only, and cannot provide certainty about cause and effect.

Women who develop diabetes in pregnancy but are not diagnosed are far more likely to experience a stillbirth.

Making sense from all the conflicting, if well-meaning advice for pregnant women can feel like yet another chore on the to-do list for your new pregnancy brain.

The NHS warns against taking any supplements containing vitamin A during pregnancy.

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Are All Prenatal Vitamins Pretty Much The Same

No. Prescription vitamins are regulated by the Food and Drug administration, but they’re not required to contain certain nutrients. “There are many different formulations available, with different concentrations of each nutrient,” says Kukreja. Some have a little of everything others contain only a handful of nutrients. If you have special health considerations, your OB may suggest a supplement with added nutrients to meet your needs.

Calcium Has Many Benefits During Pregnancy:

What Supplements I Take During Pregnancy
  • Baby bones. Just like you, babies need calcium to grow strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps development. Calcium is also essential for your baby to develop nerves, muscles and a healthy heart rhythm.
  • Prevents loss in bone density. As your baby grows and uses your calcium to grow his or her own bones, you may lose some of yours unless you get the recommended calcium intake.

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Best Budget Prenatal Vitamins

Nature Made Prenatal Multi +DHA vitamins offer all the vitamins and minerals one needs while pregnant in just one pill per day while keeping costs low.

Pros: All the essential and specialized nutrients you need for child-bearing years, all-in-one multivitamin, inexpensive

Cons: Not vegetarian, some users report a fishy odor

Nature Made Prenatal Multi +DHA vitamins meet the standards recommended by the ACOG for prenatal vitamins and minerals. The pills are free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, yeast, or gluten, and are USP-verified for quality and safety.

You can score all your vitamins in just one softgel, which is about the size of a penny so while its not small, most people shouldnt have trouble getting one down every day.

This vitamin has 1.5 mg of vitamin B1, which is important in brain development. Though Nature Made does offer the prenatal without added DHA, we recommend the option with, as this is a particular omega-3 fatty acid thats helpful in pregnancy.

Some users do report a fishy taste or odor with these pills, but after one of our reviewers took them every day for three months, she didnt experience any fish burps. The pills are large, but also gel-coated for easier swallowing.

To top it off, at $27 for 60 softgels, this prenatal is the most budget-friendly on our list.

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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.

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

  • folate helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida when taken at least 1 month before conception and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • 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.

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Can I Get Too Much Folic Acid

Yes, you can get too much folic acid, but only from man-made products such as multivitamins and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals. You can’t get too much from foods that naturally contain folate.

You should not get more than 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day, unless your doctor prescribes a higher amount. Too much folic acid can hide signs that you lack vitamin B12, which can cause nerve damage.10

What Other Nutrients Should I Look For In A Prenatal Supplement

Prenatal Vitamins and Their Role in Pregnancy

Your provider can recommend a good prenatal vitamin for you, and may suggest additional supplements to take as well, depending on your diet and other health factors. Common nutrients that pregnant women may need to take in supplement form include:


Your prenatal vitamin may contain calcium, but there’s a chance it won’t be enough. You need calcium to help your baby grow strong bones and teeth as well as healthy nerves and muscles .

Most prenatal vitamins contain between 100 and 200 milligrams of calcium, but some don’t contain any. That’s because calcium is a particularly bulky mineral, and the pills are already big enough!

To find out how much calcium you need and how to get it, see our complete article on calcium in your pregnancy diet.

Essential fatty acids

Prenatal vitamins typically don’t contain any essential fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are important for the development of your baby’s brain, nerve, and eye tissue.

Fish is a major source of DHA and EPA, but you have to be careful about not eating too much fish that’s high in mercury while you’re pregnant.

Because omega-3s are so important for your baby, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare practitioner about whether you need a supplement.

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Vitamin D

Your body needs this fat-soluble vitamin to help build your baby’s bones and teeth. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining levels of calcium and phosphorus.

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