Who Should Take A Prenatal Vitamin
In general, prenatal vitamins are designed specifically for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. While you can try getting the recommended nutrients for healthy pregnancy just through food, that involves a lot of researching and tracking. Supplementing with prenatal vitamins gives you peace of mind that youre more likely to be getting the recommended amounts of nutrients on a daily basis, especially on days when your diet is not so great.
Do talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements youre taking or planning to take.
Why Use Prenatal Vitamins
During pregnancy, your body goes through a great number of changes in order to make way for a baby.
Creating and nurturing a tiny human is no simple feat, yet our bodies seamlessly step up to the task.
Besides a growing tummy, our hormones fluctuate and readjust our entire body system.
Respiratory rate rises, heartbeat quickens, kidneys work overtime, our spinal curvature is realigned, blood volume nearly doubles, hair grows faster, and our feet and ankles swell due to extra fluid.
Our body quite literally changes from head-to-toe!
As a result, dietary and nutritional needs also change during pregnancy.
Mom needs extra support and nutrients beyond the recommended daily amount to feed and nourish the baby. And baby needs those nutrients for proper growth and development.
A nutritious diet with a variety of whole foods including an abundance of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are essential for a healthy mom and baby.
The idea behind prenatal supplements is to ensure you and baby are getting the optimal nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
A healthy diet is pivotal, but prenatal vitamins are the extra bit of insurance to make sure you and baby are optimally taken care of and to bridge any nutritional gaps that may be lacking in your diet.
Keep in mind, prenatal vitamins are meant to supplement a healthy diet, not replace it.
When Not To Take Prenatal Vitamins
A major reason why you might not want to take a prenatal if you dont need one is that they have higher amounts of folate included because it supports cell growth and production and is essential for preventing birth defects of the neural tube. Excess folate can cause side effects in some people who are sensitive, so this is an important factor to consider.
Additionally, some struggle to take methylated nutrients. Optimal Prenatal includes L-5MTHF, or the activated form of folate. If you have MTHFR mutations, folic acid wont work for you, but some do better with the folinic acid form. In this case, working directly with your practitioner to establish the right dosage and supplementation is essential.
Other reasons to stop taking a prenatal vitamin or to avoid taking one are if your doctor has specifically advised against it, or if you are going through cancer treatment or chemotherapy. This is because prenatal vitamins optimize cellular growth and reproduction, but in cancer, the cells that are reproducing are damaged. You dont want to encourage this. Always make sure your oncologist is aware of any supplements youre taking and follow their advice thoroughly.
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You May Not Be Able To Eat Much In The First Trimester
Additionally, when the first trimester hits, you may not be able to eat much. During this time, your body largely relies on the nutrient stores you built up before you became pregnant! With morning sickness, food aversions, and fatigue eating anything can be challenging let alone a super nutrient-dense diet. More and more research is coming out showing preconception nutrition is not only linked to better birth outcomes but long-term health outcomes of the child. Ace preconception nutrition and youll have a smooth ride during pregnancy!
Will you start taking prenatal vitamins before or after you get pregnant?
Now you know why its such a good idea to take prenatal vitamins pre-pregnancy! Not only do you get the key nutrients all pregnant women need, but you also lower the risk of any side effects or birth defects from the get-go. Adding a prenatal vitamin wont replace the need for a healthy diet. But it will help support your growing baby and give you peace of mind that you are getting an extra nutrient boost. Remember to always check with your health care provider before adding any new supplements to your routine to be extra safe!
If you want more prenatal nutrition advice and specific prenatal vitamin recommendations, head over to The Prenatal Nutrition Library. This online space has everything you need to know about preparing for a healthy pregnancy, directly from a registered prenatal dietitian nutritionist. Come join us!
Why Its Important To Take Prenatal Vitamins
The big reason why people who are pregnant should take prenatal vitamins is pretty simple: you need to keep both you and your baby healthy. All of the nutrients and vitamins a pregnant woman takes in will go to the baby first, says King. The baby needs that nutrition to grow.
But the mother also needs those vitamins. While the vitamins and nutrients are essential for the babys development, the mother also needs key vitamins for both her and the baby, King notes.
Some of those include:
- Folic acid for your babys neurological development.
- Iron because your blood volume will double and to provide oxygen for your baby.
- Calcium and vitamin D for your babys bone development.
- Vitamin A helps your babys eye development.
Most prenatal vitamins should contain these, particularly iron and folic acid, both of which are essential. Check with your healthcare provider just in case, though, because if your prenatal vitamins dont contain certain nutrients, they might recommend a stand-alone dose.
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Cut Down Your Caffeine Intake And Cut Out Other Vices
Theres a whole host of studies showing that too much caffeine and alcohol can derail your campaign to conceive. So if you really want to get pregnant soon, limit your caffeine intake to about 200 milligrams per day which is the equivalent of about two cups of coffee.
But cut out alcohol altogether it can do a number on both female and male fertility. And though it probably goes without saying, nix nicotine now if you havent already. It can cause major cell damage to your eggs and increase the chances of miscarriage once you do get pregnant.
What Impacts My Fertility
There are a lot of factors that contribute to your fertility. You and your partners age, medical history, and family history are top factors to consider when thinking about how long it will take you to get pregnant. For a healthy woman in her 20s or early 30s, the chance of conceiving each month is 25%-30%.
Here are lifestyle factors you can control when trying to conceive:
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This Is What You Need To Know About Taking Prenatals Before During And After Pregnancy
If you’re growing a baby, you’ve probably been told by your doctor, sister, cousin, aunt, neighbour and favourite mum-influencer that taking daily vitamins is good for pregnant women. But, do you actually know why prenatal vitamins are important?
In short, taking prenatal vitamins is the easiest way to give you and your baby a boost of all the vitamins and minerals you both need to survive and thrive during pregnancy.
Just like your belly, we know your to-do list is ever-growing, but you should definitely add taking prenatal vitamins to the top of it.
But, there are so many supplements on the market, so knowing what kind to get can be tricky.
From why you need to take them to when you should take them and even a certain brand with the best ones, we are giving you the rundown on all things prenatal vitamins.
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.
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Six Reasons To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before You Get Pregnant
Pregnancy is a unique stage in a womans life, and her nutritional needs during this time are different than at any other time. Not only do pregnant women need enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support their own health, they also must take in enough nutrients to support their developing babies. However, the time to start taking prenatal vitamins is actually before you get pregnant, and regardless of pregnancy status, women can benefit from taking prenatal vitamins because of the following reasons:
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins Early
The benefit of starting vitamins early is that some very important nutrients, particularly folic acid, will be up to par during the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Even before you get the positive pregnancy test.
If you wait until you find out that youre pregnant, you may miss the window of time where the extra nutrients are the most beneficial!
Some people maintain a diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals they need, and more. However, most of us dont, and thus supplementing is necessary.
Prenatal vitamins by no means guarantee that you will have a healthy baby. But they certainly do help set you on the right track.
Lets break down the most important components in your prenatal vitamins and how they can help you and your developing baby.
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Whats Inside Prenatal Vitamins
As mentioned previously, prenatal vitamins are similar to multivitamins because of the vast array of vitamins and nutrients contained in each serving. However, along with providing essential nutrition to the pregnant woman, prenatal vitamins also provide key building ingredients that growing fetuses need to develop correctly. Often prenatals will contain more significant amounts of nutrients than would be found in standard multivitamins. In particular folic acid and iron might be higher and DHA, which usually arent found in regular multivitamins.
Benefits Of Taking A Prenatal Vitamin Before Pregnancy
Benefits Of Taking A Prenatal Vitamin Before Pregnancy
There are so many things that contribute to having a healthy pregnancy. You should strive for a healthy diet, regular physical activity, low stress levels, plenty of fluids, and consider starting a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are one way to contribute to a healthy pregnancy!
These are supplements specifically crafted for pregnant women to ensure daily nutrient needs are being met, although they do not contain all the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. They contain different vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid/folate, other B vitamins, vitamin A, and more. It is typically a no-brainer to grab a prenatal vitamin once you find out you are pregnant. But it is actually advantageous to start taking them before!
Most health care professionals, including myself, recommend taking a prenatal vitamin before you even try to conceive. Really as soon as you know you will be trying even if it is greater than 6-months away. The more prepared you are for pregnancy, the better. Thats why today were dedicating a post to the benefits of prenatal vitamins before conception. Keep reading to learn why you should start taking prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant!
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Choosing The Right Prenatal Vitamins For You
There are multiple factors to consider when choosing the right prenatal vitamins. Your primary concern should be choosing vitamins that include the nutrients that your doctor recommends for you, especially if these include folic acid and iron.
Beyond doctors recommendations, you should consider which types of vitamins you prefer. For instance, if you have trouble swallowing large pills or remembering to take pills daily, you may want to choose vitamins that accomodate your specific needs. Also, if you think you might suffer from morning sickness, find a vitamin that will be gentle on your stomach.
If you are considering having a baby, schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist at the AFCT. We will guide you through prenatal vitamin selection and help you plan your vitamin regime. We work closely with our patients to ensure that you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
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.*
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One A Day Womens Prenatal Multivitamin Two Pill Formula
With this option, you receive one multi-vitamin tablet and one DHA/EPA liquid gel to take daily. There is no need to take a supplement for omega-3s.
One A Day Womens Prenatal multivitamin tablets contain at least 100% of the Daily Value for key nutrients like Folic Acid and Iron. One A Day Womens Prenatal liquid gel contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid that helps support healthy fetal brain and eye development during pregnancy
Find Out Your Family History
Have any of your family members had a child born with birth defects, diabetes, seizure disorders, or developmental issues? Nowâs the time to find out and let your doctor know. It will affect what tests they suggest you have.
For instance, Tay-Sachs is a rare disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. Itâs most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. If it runs in your or your partnerâs family, a blood test can tell if you or your partner carries the gene for the condition, and the chances that youâll pass it on to your child.
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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.
New Chapters Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
When it comes to choosing a prenatal, make sure it includes vitamin A, folate, B vitamins including vitamin B6 and B12, vitamin D3, chromium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium. I also recommend choosing a whole-food supplement. This means that the nutrients come from food sources not just synthetic. This is why I love New Chapters Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin.
New Chapters prenatal is fermented, which unlocks and activates the nutrients. This makes them more absorbable for the body. Its also packed with additional superfood ingredients. These unique ingredients help support optimal health including stress and immune balance.* The prenatal multivitamin contains a blend of nourishing herbs like turmeric, peppermint and lemon balm, plus clinically studied ginger to help soothe nausea .*
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Boost Your Dairy And Iron Intake
Besides eating right and taking prenatal vitamins, try to fit in one serving of full-fat dairy a day as part of your plan to get more calcium. Research shows that one serving of whole milk or cheese can lower your chances of ovulatory infertility .
Also aim for two servings a day of iron-rich foods like leafy greens, beans and lean meats since anemic women can have irregular cycles.