Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins – If you’re pregnant (congrats!) or trying to conceive, you might get that irresistible urge to start buying baby clothes and blankets (they’re just so cute!). But before you get to the fun baby stuff, there’s something else you should cross off your mom-to-be shopping checklist: prenatal vitamins.

The benefits of prenatal vitamins extend to both you and your baby. They work by helping you meet the nutritional needs that a pregnant body needs. Now you’re sharing nutrients with a growing fetus, so your diet alone may not be enough to give you the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients.

Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins

Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins

Getting enough nutrients also lowers the risk that your baby will experience birth defects or that you will go into preterm labor. They are super important! But with so many vitamin options to choose from, figuring out which one is right for you can be a little overwhelming.

Nature Made Prenatal Multi + Dha Softgels 90.0ea

To get you started, here’s a crash course on the benefits of prenatal vitamins—and how to choose the right one for you.

Prenatal vitamins fill in any nutritional gaps your body needs to support a growing baby, especially when diet alone is not enough to meet the body’s nutritional needs. “Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in the development of your baby,” says Cordelia Nwankwo, MD, an ob-gyn in Washington, DC. , the nutrients you consume are going to you

On the list of very important nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy, folic acid is there. It is important in developing the baby’s brain and spinal cord. “Folic acid will help with neural tube development and can help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida,” says Dr. Nwankwo.

Spina bifida is a condition where the neural tube fails to develop or close properly. It may later cause your child to experience symptoms such as learning difficulties, or may sometimes require surgical intervention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is important that women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant take 400 mcg of folic acid daily.

Expert Advice On The Best Prenatal Vitamins, When To Start Taking Them And For How Long— Even If You’re Not Pregnant

Prenatal blends usually have a lot of iron, because you will need more of it when you are pregnant, and it can help prevent anemia, says Dr. Nwankwo. If you are anemic, there is a risk that your baby will not get all The oxygen it needs. “Severe anemia can affect the delivery of oxygen to the baby by red blood cells,” explains Dr. Nwankwo. Severe anemia can also put you at risk of delivering early or having a baby with a low birth weight, according to a study in the journal Anemia.

Vitamin D specifically can boost your immune system and bone health, says Dr.

For this benefit, look to vitamin A, says Dr. Nwankwo, which you can probably get plenty of from a combo of diet and prenatal vitamins.

Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins

But be careful not to take too much of it, which can happen if you do something not recommended like doubling up on your prenatal vitamins. Getting more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A per day can increase the risk of disturbing the development of your fetus, a study published in the journal.

Prenatal Vitamins: A Small Introduction To A Big Pill

Another nutrient that can support the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system is vitamin B6, and Dr. It works by helping the body process certain amino acids that can otherwise lead to nausea, and it’s best to take it before you even get pregnant.

“It works best when it’s started 1-3 months before conception,” advises Dr. Nwankwo. Besides getting it from your prenatal vitamins, you can also find it in foods like bananas and salmon.

No, says Dr. Nwankwo. “Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements,” she explains. But making sure you take your prenatals will increase the chances that your body gets enough nutrients to keep you healthy and support a growing baby (because, let Let’s be honest, even if you eat a really healthy diet, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need every day!).

If you’re dealing with other health conditions or taking certain medications, it’s also a good idea to check with your doctor about their recommendations for your vitamin intake. For example, women taking certain seizure medications should get 4,000 mcg of folic acid per day, instead of the recommended 400 mcg, says Dr. Nwankwo. She also recommends that women who have certain GI issues or a history of bariatric Surgery also seeks help from a nutritionist to make sure they get the proper dose of vitamins.

Benefits Of Taking A Prenatal Vitamin

Dr. Nwankwo suggests starting prenatal vitamins as soon as you’re thinking of conceiving, but ideally three months before conception. The CDC also specifically recommends that you ensure you get enough folic acid one month before you become pregnant in order to prevent birth. Defects in the baby’s brain and spine If you are thinking about getting pregnant, it is best to calculate your prenatal timeline with your doctor, who can help you find the best approach regarding your vitamin intake.

You’ll also want to continue taking your vitamins if you’re breastfeeding, says Dr. Nwankwo. “Postnatal vitamins should be continued while breastfeeding for about six months at least.” It’s still important to meet any nutritional gaps, because your baby Also get nutrients from your breast milk.

To be honest, there isn’t much of a difference between the two, says Dr. Nwankwo. Both can help you meet your nutritional needs, but certain recipes can be made with specific blends that help mitigate another issue.

Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins

For example, some prescription prenatals are made with a stool softener to help with constipation, or they may have additional iron if your doctor feels you need it.

What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy?

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“For the most part, prenatals are well tolerated,” says Dr. Nwankwo—but you may experience minor side effects, such as constipation, if you consume too much iron. In some women, prenatal vitamins can also worsen nausea in early pregnancy. .

If that’s a concern, Dr. Nwankwo suggests taking gummy vitamins instead, which can be a little easier to get down than big pills when you’re feeling nauseous.

Once you have checked the boxes on all of these, you can also look for other vitamins, such as B6 or choline, which support your baby’s growth in different ways. Here you can check out the 13 best prenatal vitamins on the market, according to experts.

Best Prenatal Vitamins For Soon To Be Moms, According To Experts

The bottom line: Prenatal vitamins have many benefits for you and your baby and are a staple of healthy pregnancies. Whether you’re newly pregnant, trying to conceive or breastfeeding, prenatal vitamins are a worthwhile supplement.

Jasmine Gomez is the Business Editor at Women’s Health, where she covers the best product recommendations for beauty, health, lifestyle, fitness and more. When she’s not shopping for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Follow her @JazzeGomez.

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Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins

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Prenatal Vitamins & Minerals With Dha, Folic Acid

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While a balanced diet is a preferred way to meet nutritional needs, some women may have trouble reaching their daily recommended intake for specific vitamins and minerals from diet alone. The

Vitamin Family offers a line of prenatal vitamins designed to guide moms and babies through preconception to pregnancy and in the weeks and months after delivery.

Vitamin Family helps support moms with healthy doses of key nutrients. Talk to your doctor to see if a

Here’s When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

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.

References: 1. US. it. Food and Drug Administration. Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide: Appendix C. Daily Values ​​for Infants, Children Less than 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant and Lactating Women. April 2005. Retrieved from


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