What Vitamins Should You Take Pregnant

Other Ways To Boost Fertility

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

Beyond fertility supplements, make sure your self-care basics are a priority:

  • Focus on making sure you are properly hydrated
  • Aim to get as many nutrients as possible from the food you eat
  • Sleep for at least seven hours each night.
  • Set aside time daily to do something you love that gives you a sense of peace, like exercising and/or meditation.

These stress-releasing factors will help you get into alignment, physically and mentally, and help give you the energy needed to create life.

Once pregnant, make sure you see your trusted health care provider to determine exactly what your unique body needs for a healthy pregnancy and joyful baby. Happy conceiving!

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Folic Acid When Youre Pregnant Or Trying To Get Pregnant

Folic acid is an essential supplement to take during the first few months of your pregnancy and when youre trying to get pregnant.

It helps your baby to develop a healthy spine, reducing their chances of developing a neural tube defect like spina bifida.

The NHS recommends that you should take 400mg of folic acid every day during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy and when youre trying to conceive to help support your baby during their early development.

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Pregnancy Vitamins And Nutrients

A balanced nutritious diet is the best way to receive the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need for pregnancy, but vitamin supplements can also be beneficial. Prenatal vitamin supplements are recommended plus any additional vitamins or minerals if your doctor finds any deficiencies. Remember, supplements do not replace a healthy diet, but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients. And its important to note that pregnant women should take vitamin supplements onlywith a health care providers direct recommendation.

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Other Supplements In Pregnancy

Other than folic acid, vitamin D and iodine and any supplement prescribed for you by your doctor, there is limited evidence to support the use of supplements during pregnancy.

Emerging research has shown that omega-3 supplements during pregnancy might help reduce the risk of premature birth, and that probiotics might help control blood glucose levels in pregnancy. But it’s not clear whether the benefits of taking these supplements outweigh any possible harms. Until there is better evidence available, it’s best to avoid them unless prescribed by your doctor â particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Because nutritional supplements are classed as ‘complementary medicines’, they are not scrutinised or regulated as much as other medicines.

Best Foods High In Vitamin D For Pregnant Women

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Although not found in large amounts in food, it is possible to get your fix of this nutrient in food form in addition to your prenatal .

Here are some of the best vitamin D-rich foods and beverages to put on your plate:

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
  • Eating Well When You’re Expecting, 2nd edition, Heidi Murkoff.

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What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin

Since you want to support your babys healthy development every step of the way, you can look for top-of-the-line nutrition from high-quality, third-party validated prenatal vitamins. Everything you need to know should be on the label .

  • Look for certifications. This tells you that an independent third-party has reviewed and validated the vitamins ingredients.
  • Check the daily values of ingredients listed on the Supplement Facts Panel. Does it deliver at least 27 mg of iron, at least 400 mcg of some type of folate, and 15 mcg of vitamin D3? If you are over the age of 35, you can get prenatal vitamins for your life-stage that have higher levels of some nutrients .
  • Does the vitamin contain artificial flavors, colors, or added sweeteners? Some types of gummies contain additives and fillers you may not want to consume on a daily basis.
  • Is it formulated for absorption? This can include being made with fermented nutrients and whole foods that the body can easily recognize and digest.
  • Are there specific directions for when to take it? Some multivitamins are so gentle you can take them anytime, even on an empty stomach.

What Vitamins Are In Pure Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains vitamin E, but no fiber and little to no other vitamins or minerals. Coconut oil is almost 100% fat, most of which is saturated fat. However, the structure of fat in coconut oil differs from that of many animal products, which mainly consist of long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is high in MCTs.

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What Are Pregnancy Vitamins And Do I Need Them

A healthy pregnancy diet can help keep you well-nourished, but sometimes getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from diet alone can be difficult. Prenatal vitamins can help fill the gap during pregnancy. Your doctor is best placed to advise you on the best prenatal vitamins for your situation, but these may be recommended:

Experts say it’s possible to get your vitamin C and calcium needs covered via a healthy diet, but in some cases your GP may recommend an extra supplement. You can get vitamin C from foods like oranges, red peppers and potatoes, and you can get calcium from foods like dairy products, green leafy vegetables and tofu.

How Do I Choose Prenatal Vitamins

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Prenatal vitamins are readily available over the counter and a prescription is generally unnecessary.

If youre concerned about which to choose, dont be. Theres not much difference between over the counter and prescription prenatals, and both are adequate, assures Dr. Nwankwo.

Sometimes prescription prenatals may have special formulationsfor example, they may have a stool softener added to help with constipation, or they may have additional iron. The pills may also be smaller and easier to take. But its not necessary, she says. It also doesnt matter whether you take a tablet or a gummy, just make sure it has the right amount of vitamins you need.

Every vitamin can differ in the types and amounts of nutrients it contains because specific vitamin ingredients arent regulated by the FDA. If the vitamin you choose doesnt contain the full recommended daily amount of a nutrient, be sure to eat foods that are high in that vitamin or mineral.

When shopping for prenatal vitamins look for these four primary nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy, per Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):

  • Folic acid: 600 mcg
  • Calcium: 1,000 mg
  • Vitamin D: 600 IU

The following vitamins are also essential during pregnancy, and you may not get enough of them through diet alone. Having these in your prenatals are helpful too:

  • Vitamin A: 770 mcg

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Should I Take Supplements During Pregnancy

Making sure you get the right nutrients is vital for your baby to grow and develop, so its important you get the right information. During pregnancy, your baby gets all necessary nutrients from you so, you may need more of some vitamins and minerals during pregnancy than you did before.

The opposite is also true! You may need to cut back on a few supplements and foods to make sure youre not getting too much of certain vitamins and minerals that may be harmful to your growing baby.

Eating healthy foods is usually enough to ensure your body is getting the right vitamins and minerals, however during pregnancy you may need to increase your daily intake of certain vitamins and minerals, like Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Iron, as these can prevent birth defects, promote healthy growth and ensure you remain healthy in pregnancy too.

Some women prefer to take the guesswork out of choosing pregnancy vitamins by opting for an all-in-one dietary supplement or prenatal vitamins designed for pregnant women. Others choose to be more selective with what dietary supplements they take.

The most important thing is to make sure you know what vitamins and minerals you need to take during pregnancy and what you should avoid so that you can make the best choice for you and your baby.

Everything You Want To Know About Prenatal Vitamins

Dr. Natalie Dogal discusses FAQs like why prenatal vitamins are important, when to take them, how they affect fertility, and whether they can be beneficial if youre not pregnant or trying.

Most people know its important to take a prenatal vitamin to support your pregnancy with the nutrients your body needs to grow a healthy baby. But when should you start taking one? Do they make you more fertile? Can they really help strengthen your hair and nails if youre not pregnant? Theres a lot to know about prenatal vitamins before you ever start your pregnancy journey and even if youre not planning to. Lets take a look.

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How To Choose The Best Prenatal Vitamins

When shopping for prenatal vitamins, look for these four primary nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy, per Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

  • Folic acid: 600 mcg Helps with neural tube development and can help prevent neural tube defects like Spina Bifida.
  • Iron: 27 mg Helps to prevent anemia, which can affect delivery of oxygen to the baby via red blood cells.
  • Calcium: 1,000 mg Helps with bone health. Keep in mind that most prenatal vitamins dont contain this much calcium, so if you dont get enough from your diet, talk to your doctor about taking a separate calcium supplement.
  • Vitamin D: 600 IU Helps support healthy bone development and your immune system.

The following vitamins are also essential during pregnancy, and you may not get enough of them through diet alone. Having these in your prenatals are helpful too:

  • Vitamin A: 770 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 85 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
  • Choline: 450 mg

Consider it a bonus if you find a prenatal vitamin that also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Theres strong evidence indicating that omega-3 fatty acids a fat found in some types of fishmay play an important role in the development of your babys brain and nervous system. The March of Dimes recommends you get 200 mg of DHA a day through diet or supplementation.

When Should You Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin

What Vitamins and Supplements Should You Take in Preparing for Pregnancy?

Ideally, you should start taking a daily prenatal vitamin at least one month prior to attempting to conceive. Major birth defects of the babys brain or spine occur very early in pregnancy, even 3-4 weeks after conception, which is before most people even know they are pregnant. Prenatal vitamins can help prevent these birth defects if you take them when you are trying to conceive or when youre not preventing conception.

If you didnt know it was important to take a prenatal vitamin before conceiving, start taking one immediately after you learn you are pregnant.

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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 you’re pregnant, see here.

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:

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How To Choose The Best Prenatal Vitamin For You

If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal supplement. Otherwise, you can find over-the-counter supplements at your local pharmacy or online.

While many products are available, youll want to choose a prenatal supplement that includes all the vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy pregnancy.

What Happens If You Dont Take Prenatal Vitamins

Why You Should Take Folic Acid BEFORE Pregnancy

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.

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Vitamin D And Pregnancy

Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin from a group of fat-soluble prohormones. Vitamin D and pregnancy are important together. Expecting mothers need to make sure they get the recommended amounts of vitamin D during pregnancy for both their own well being and the healthy development of their baby. The most significant compounds for human development are D2 and D3.

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Folic Acid And Folate

Folate is a type of B vitamin that might help to develop the cells in your body necessary for growth and development. The synthetic form of folate that is present in different fortified foods and supplements are known by the name of folic acid.

Folic acid has a plethora of benefits for the pregnant mother and her child.First of all, Folic acid might help to reduce the risk of premature birth. Secondly, folic acid may even work to prevent neural tube defects or NTDs. The Neural tube defect might lead to several defects in the brain, spine and other parts of the baby.

Several pieces of research have even shown how folic acid could prevent several heart defects and even defects related to the babys mouth that is known as cleft lip and palate.

Generally, as a pregnant lady, you might require approx 400 to 1000 micrograms of folic acid before conception and even during pregnancy. You could find folic acid or folate in a number of food items. Some of the good sources of folic acid include leafy green vegetables, dried beans, citrus fruits, peas and even fortified cereals.

Besides getting folic acid from all these sources, you could also include a prenatal vitamin in your schedule.

Eating the prenatal vitamin before three months of conception may help you to receive all the essential nutrients.

CDC talks more about this one.

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Which Vitamin D Products Do You Recommend

Shady Grove Fertility recommends Theralogix, a line of evidence-based, independently tested and certified fertility products for men and women. All Theralogix products are NSF tested for content accuracy, purity, freedom from contaminants, and proper disintegration.

Nutritional supplements can be an important complement to your fertility treatment but they do not replace fertility evaluation and care. You should have your fertility evaluated if you are under 35 years old and have been having unprotected intercourse without conception for 1 year, after 6 months if you are between the ages of 35-39, and after 3 months if you are 40 and over. Women should consult their reproductive endocrinologist before beginning any vitamin regimen.

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Vitamins And Mineral Supplements That May Cause Problems

Vitamins you should take while breastfeeding

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also called retinol, helps to maintain your skin and vision. When youre pregnant, though, taking vitamin A supplements can cause birth defects. Because of this, it is important to avoid taking any supplements or multivitamins other than your prenatal vitamin, that contain extra vitamin A.


Iodine is a very important nutrient during pregnancy. It is essential for the proper development of the fetus. However, when taken in excess it can affect thyroid function. Iodine overdose may cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Too much iodine may also affect the neurodevelopment of the child.

If you are taking extra vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin B6 supplements outside of your prenatal multivitamin, discuss this with your healthcare professional. High amounts can be dangerous.

Herbal supplements to avoid during pregnancy

You should always clear it with your obstetrician before taking any supplements while pregnant.

Following is a list of supplements you should avoid when pregnant. Remember, this list is not exhaustive! It is important to always consult your doctor before taking a supplement, especially when pregnant.

Alternative treatments and drugs

Foods and beverages to avoid

  • King mackerel

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