When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins When Pregnant

How Can I Get Pregnant In 2 Days

When should I start taking a prenatal vitamin?

If you had sex on Monday and ovulate on Thursday, conception could still occur days after you had sexual intercourse. While you’re more likely to get pregnant if you have sex two to three days before ovulation, you can get pregnant from sex that occurs up to six days before an egg is released from the ovary.

What Other Nutrients Should I Look For In A Prenatal Supplement

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.

Learn more:

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.

Do Prenatal Vitamins Have Side Effects

A lot of people wonder about about prenatal vitamins side effects. Some people get nauseated or constipated from taking prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you, talk with your doctor about changing brands or the types of vitamins youre taking.

Prenatal vitamins come in tablets or capsules, so finding the kind that works best with your body can help ease side effects. Your doctor or midwife can help you find a prenatal vitamin that will work best for your body.

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Can You Substitute A Prenatal Vitamin For A Daily Multivitamin In Order To Strengthen Hair And Nails Even If Youre Not Pregnant Or Trying

Yes, you can take a prenatal vitamin as a substitute for your daily multivitamin even if you arent trying to get pregnant. Prenatal vitamins contain biotin, which has been shown to help with hair and nail growth as well as other components that may contribute to better skin health.

The key is making sure you are only taking the advised dose of each supplement, so if you are taking a prenatal vitamin, you would NOT want to be taking an additional multivitamin. As always, consult with a physician if you are trying to take additional doses of any supplement that you are already taking in a combination vitamin.

Choosing A Prenatal Vitamin


Unfortunately, no standards have been set for what should be in vitamin and mineral supplements because the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate them. That means it’s up to you and your healthcare practitioner to make sure you choose one that’s safe and appropriate for you.

At your first prenatal checkup or at a preconception visit, your practitioner will probably prescribe a daily vitamin or recommend an over-the-counter brand.

A good supplement:

  • Provides certain nutrients that you may not be able to get enough of from your diet. The exact nutrients and amounts needed will depend on your individual eating habits. At a minimum, look for these key nutrientsFolic acid/folate: at least 400 mcgIron: 27 mgCalcium: 1,000 mgVitamin D: 200 to 600 IU
  • Provides no more than the recommended amounts of other nutrients that can be harmful to your baby if you take too much like vitamin A.

Note: Make sure you don’t take any other vitamin or mineral supplements while you’re taking a prenatal supplement unless your practitioner recommends it.

Unsure what prenatal vitamins to choose? Check out these best prenatal vitamins and supplements. Consult with your provider first to make sure any supplement you take during pregnancy is appropriate for your unique needs.

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Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins 3

While prenatal supplements will never replace a balanced diet, they can help give you piece of mind in knowing that you and your baby are getting everything you need for healthy growth and development.

This is especially helpful and important for mamas who may be experiencing severe food aversions and nausea during pregnancy that could be impacting diet quality. Try not to stress and feel confident knowing that even if you are having a hard time eating a balanced diet your baby is getting everything it needs in its prenatal.

Lastly, if you are reading this before you are pregnant then I would highly encourage you to start a prenatal vitamin and supplement regimen as soon as possible so that when you do become pregnant your baby already has everything it needs to thrive.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided in this guide should not be viewed as personalized medical advice. Always consult your personal doctor before adding any new supplements to your current routine, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins In The First Trimester

What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins? Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can help prevent miscarriages, defects, and preterm labor. If you’re not taking prenatal vitamins, neural tube defects can appear: Anencephaly: This occurs when the baby’s skull and brain doesn’t form correctly.

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When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

If youre planning on getting pregnant, King says you should start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you begin trying. When an Ob/Gyn looks at dating a pregnancy, they typically start from the patients last menstrual period. That means when you find out youre pregnant, you could be four to six weeks along in your pregnancy already, she says.

Not all pregnancies are planned, of course, and King says that if youre not taking prenatal vitamins at the time you discover youre pregnant, you should start as soon as possible. Major development happens in the first trimester, those first 12 weeks, she says. The spinal cord and brain are developing so those vitamins help with that.

Additionally, mothers who are breastfeeding are encouraged to continue taking prenatal vitamins to keep providing those nutrients via breast milk.

Are There Any Extra Benefits

When Should You Start Prenatal Vitamins? Earlier Than You Think

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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What Are The Most Important Prenatal Vitamins

Folic Acid

Some very important physical development occurs in a fetus within the first few weeks of a pregnancy.

In fact, by about week 4 after conception, the neural tube which develops into the spinal cord and brain has already formed! This means that, if you wait to start prenatal vitamins, you may miss the window of time where they are of the most benefit.

Folic acid supplementation decreases the risk of neural tube defects. The minimum recommended amount is 400 mcg daily. However, most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid.

As your pregnancy progresses, the benefits of getting enough folic acid continue, as it is important for maintaining the proper growth rate of your baby. Research has shown a 50% decreased chance of preterm delivery for women who take folic acid daily for at least 1 year before conceiving.Iron

Iron helps your body maintain its oxygen-carrying blood cells, thereby helping to prevent anemia. As you can imagine, with a baby on board, your body will require even more blood cells than normal.

Prenatal vitamins can provide you with the amount of iron that is sufficient for what most women need during pregnancy. Also, by preventing anemia, iron supplementation decreases the risk that you will have a preterm or low birth-weight infant.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Again, many women do not get enough calcium and vitamin D from their diets. Thus the supplementation found in prenatal vitamins is helpful.

Do You Need To Take Prenatal Vitamins

Ill keep this answer short. Yes, yes you do. Even the best eaters still have some gaps in their nutrition, and while you are pregnant your nutrient demands will be greatly increased as your nutrient stores are utilized to support your growing baby.

To help meet all of these growing demands for your body and baby, taking a prenatal multivitamin daily is recommended for all pregnant women, and women who would like to become pregnant within three months.

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Do Prenatal Vitamins Have Any Side Effects

Sometimes the iron in prenatal vitamins contributes to constipation. To prevent constipation:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Include more fiber in your diet
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine, as long as you have your health care provider’s OK
  • Ask your health care provider about using a stool softener

If these tips don’t seem to help, ask your health care provider about other options.

©2022 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . All rights reserved.

Which Prenatal Vitamin Is Best

What Are The Best Prenatal Vitamins To Take During Pregnancy ...

Prenatal vitamins are available over-the-counter in nearly any pharmacy. Your health care provider might recommend a specific brand or leave the choice up to you.

Beyond checking for folic acid and iron, look for a prenatal vitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D. They help promote the development of the baby’s teeth and bones. It also might be beneficial to look for a prenatal vitamin that contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and iodine.

In addition, your health care provider might suggest higher doses of certain nutrients depending on the circumstances. For example, if you’ve given birth to a baby who has a neural tube defect, your health care provider might recommend a separate supplement containing a higher dose of folic acid — such as 4 milligrams — before and during any subsequent pregnancies.

But in general, avoid taking extra prenatal vitamins or multivitamins with dosing in excess of what you need on a daily basis. High doses of some vitamins may be harmful to your baby. For example, extra vitamin A during pregnancy can potentially cause harm to your baby.

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What Are The Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins contain more folic acid and iron than your typical multivitamin. Folic acid helps prevent serious abnormalities in your babys brain and spinal cord and iron help support his or her growth and development.

Not to mention, prenatal vitamins can also help you fill in any nutritional gaps if youre struggling with morning sickness or food aversions.

Vital Micronutrients For Male And Female Fertility

Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.

Leyla Bilali, RN is a registered nurse, fertility nurse, and fertility consultant in the New York City area.

Michela Ravasio / Stocksy United

Theres no question about it: food is important for all aspects of life, and fertility is no exception. Our bodies get the vitamins and minerals we need from our daily diet, and creating a new lifewhich is exactly what fertility health is all aboutalso requires micronutrients. So, what vitamins are important for fertility?

We dont completely understand yet how diet and micronutrients directly influence fertility, but researchers are learning more every day. We know that some deficiencies can cause fertility problems. We also know that some diseases that impact the bodys ability to absorb nutrients can increase the risk of infertility.

Overall, the most important vitamin to take while trying to conceiveand throughout pregnancyis a standard prenatal vitamin with the most important component being folic acid. Daily intake of folic acid should be at least 400-1000 mcg

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It’s Not Just About Timing

Lets talk about a few key examples:

Folate.Folate is a B Vitamin that helps support neural tube development during the early stages of pregnancy and is typically found in vegetables , eggs, and legumes. Folate comes in various forms, including folic acid and 5-MTHF.*

Iron.Iron needs increase during pregnancy.*

Omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids help support brain and vision health and are typically found in foods like salmon, tuna, and shellfish.*

Choline.Choline is an important nutrient during pregnancy.*

What Are The Most Important Nutrients In A Prenatal Vitamin

How long should I be taking a prenatal vitamin?

You always want to eat a well-balanced diet. During pregnancy, some vitamins and minerals stand out. They play a vital role in your babys development.

According to the AmericanCollege of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these are some of the most important:

Folic Acid. Recommended daily amount : 600 micrograms.

Folic acid, a form of folate, is essential to spine and brain growth and the prevention of neural tube defects. The neural tube becomes your babys spine and brain. Without enough folic acid, the neural tube does not develop correctly. Neural tube defects can cause spina bifida or anencephaly .

You also need folic acid to support the growth of the placenta.

Iron. RDA: 27 milligrams.

You need plenty of iron when pregnant. It supports red blood cells, which you need to deliver oxygen to your baby. Your doctor will likely test your iron levels. If you show signs of low iron , you may need to take an additional iron supplement with your prenatal vitamins.

Iodine. RDA: 220 micrograms.

Your baby needs iodine for healthy brain development. The best food sources are seafood, although those can pose a challenge as many contain dangerous heavy metals. Eggs and iodized sea salt may provide some, but your prenatal vitamin helps you get everything you need.

Choline. RDA: 250 milligrams.

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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 If I Mistakenly Take Two Prenatal Vitamins On The Same Day

Don’t worry. Taking twice the recommended amounts of these nutrients on just one day won’t harm you or your baby. But taking a double dose more often can be harmful, so it’s important not to do it regularly.

If your practitioner says you need more of a certain nutrient than your prenatal vitamin provides, take the additional amount as a separate supplement.

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What Should You Be Wary Of When Taking A Prenatal Vitamin

Vitamins are essential nutrients that keep the body healthy, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing, cautions Shepherd, who recommends that her patients consult with their doctor and purchase supplements from a reputable sourcenot all supplements are created equal, after all. DuBoises motivation to make a clean prenatal vitamin was driven by the fact that the supplement industry is largely unregulated, and its possible that common vitamins on the market can contain cheap, toxic fillers and are manufactured with chemical solvents. Its terrifying for the average person, but even scarier while pregnant! says DuBoise. The bottom line is: Before you take any prenatal supplements, discuss them with your doctor, and do your research

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