When You Decide To Try For A Pregnancy
Ready to start a family? In addition to scheduling a well visit with your gynecologist, quitting birth control, and cutting out unhealthy behaviors like smoking, you should start taking prenatal vitamins.
You wont be able to predict how long it will take you to get pregnant it could be weeks or months and you wont know youve been successful until a few weeks after conception. Prenatal vitamins are an important part of preconception care.
Not So Normal: Cramping
If you notice some abdominal cramping linked to your prenatal vitamin consumption it’s probably best to contact your OB. Chances are that is not normal. You really don’t want to put you or your little one at risk. Med.net suggests not taking the vitamins after consuming dairy or combining the vitamins with other vitamins as it could have adverse effects.
Do I Need To Take Anything In Addition To My Prenatal Vitamin
“Supplement with calcium if your prenatal doesn’t contain enough,” says Kukreja. Most don’t because adding too much calcium to a multivitamin makes it unstable. Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams a day many supplements only contain 150 milligrams to 250 milligrams. You can take a tums tablet daily to supplement it.
In addition, many pregnant women don’t get the institute of medicine’s recommendation for 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. But most prenatal vitamin formulations contain 400 IU, and this should be adequate when combined with a healthy diet, Dayal says. The March of Dimes also recommends that pregnant women get at least 200 milligrams of DHA daily. Found in fish and some plant-based, vegetarian sources, DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential to fetal brain and eye development, Dayal says. Many prenatals contain DHA, but you also can take fish oil capsules they’re mercury-free.
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Additional Nutrients In Prenatal Vitamins
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a necessary vitamin in fetal development and is especially important in eye development, says Dr. Purdie. However, there is a risk of birth defects in the fetus if too much vitamin is consumed in the first 60 days of development, Liskov suggests looking to your prenatal vitamin and your food sources to provide no more than 770 micrograms each day.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin boosts immune health and helps protect your bodys cells from things like pollution, cigarette smoke and ultraviolet sun rays. Although you can consume this vitamin in foods like citrus and bell peppers, consider a prenatal vitamin with 85 micrograms of vitamin C.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These aid in healthy fetal brain development. Often found in fish and nuts, she says many prenatal vitamins include a daily dose of 200 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid .
You Docs: Are Prenatal Vitamins Ok For Women Over 50
Q: I’m taking prenatal vitamins even though I’m 51 and not trying to get pregnant. Is this OK?
A: If they’re safe for developing babies, you’d think they’d be safe for you. But that’s not the case. Prenatal vitamins contain far too much iron for women ages 50 to 70 — 30 mg, almost four times your recommended daily allowance.
With iron, too much of what is otherwise a good thing may increase your risk of diabetes and, worse, can be toxic to your liver. Prenatal vitamins also have too much folate for people who aren’t pregnant. They contain about 800 to 1,000 micrograms of this B vitamin. That’s double what you need, and it can cause trouble: Excess folate in supplement form may fuel the growth of tiny cancers.
And they come up short on calcium for your age group. You need 1,200 mg of that mineral many prenatal vitamins don’t contain that much. If all this isn’t enough to convince you to switch to a regular multivitamin, here’s the kicker: They’re at least double the price of a multi! Make the switch.
Q: I know it’s good to stay away from red meat, but what about venison?
A: Eat it and enjoy: Venison is an excellent source of low-fat protein. A 3-ounce serving has fewer calories than beef or pork and less than half the fat: 5 grams versus 12 grams for 3 ounces of sirloin steak. In fact, healthwise, venison is more like chicken breast than red meat. Substitute it for beef anywhere you can .
First, be sure you’re avoiding your triggers as much as you can .
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When To Contact A Doctor
A person should talk with their doctor before taking any new supplements. The doctor can advise on whether the supplement may interact with any current medications. They may also recommend other lifestyle or dietary adjustments that a person can make to increase their chances of conceiving.
People who have difficulty conceiving should consult their doctor. About 6% of married couples cannot conceive after 1 year of trying. As age can affect fertility, if the person trying to conceive is over 35 years old, they should seek medical advice after 6 months of trying.
A doctor can check both partners to help determine the cause of infertility. They may suggest treatments, such as IVF or medications to help people conceive.
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.
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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.
Make Sure Your Prenatal Pick Contains These Vitamins And Minerals
This B vitamin has been shown to prevent birth defects involving the brain and spine. Its hard to get from food, so the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micrograms. Most over-the-counter prenatals have plenty of folic acid, Hawk says. But if youve previously had a baby with neural tube defects, your provider may prescribe one that has more.
Pregnant women need calcium not only for their bones but for the development of the babys bones, Hawk says. Studies have also found that women who supplement with calcium during pregnancy reduce their risk for hypertension and pre-eclampsia. ACOG recommends that women age 19 and older get 1,000 mg per day of calcium through food and/or supplementation.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium that builds your and babys bones and teeth. Although we can get it from sun exposure and certain foods, most Americans do not get the recommended amount, which is about 600 IUs per day.
Vitamin B6 may help curb nausea and vomiting from morning sickness. And, Hawk says its even more effective when its combined with an antihistamine called doxylamine, which is available over-the-counter. The National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant women get 1.9 milligrams of B6 each day.
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What Goes In A Prenatal Vitamin
Most high-quality prenatals will include folate, iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA, and iodine.
- Folate: The CDC recommends folate specifically to women of reproductive age to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
- Iron: Iron is important for making the extra red blood cells youll need for pregnancy and can decrease the chances of complications such as low birth weight and preterm delivery.
- Calcium: Calcium and vitamin D are helpful for building strong bones and teeth for you and your baby.
- DHA: Finally, DHA is a building block of your baby’s developing nervous system.This omega-3 fatty acid can be found in fish and in omega-3 fortified foods like eggs and dairy.
- Choline: Most prenatals lack choline. But growing evidence of its benefits shows choline improves several pregnancy outcomes and protects against certain neural and metabolic disorders.
When youre on your TTC journey, its important to consume enough of these nutrients to meet your recommended daily allowance . This ensures both mom and baby have what they need for a healthy pregnancy. Natalists prenatal provides comprehensive prenatal nutrition that meets or exceedsACOG‘s recommendations for pregnancy.
Shop the Natalist Prenatal for her
I’m A Vegetarian Should I Be Taking Any Additional Supplements
“Because vegetarians are not consuming animal products, the nutrients they tend to need are vitamin B12, zinc, iron and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA,” says greene. “Look for supplements that contain these vitamins plus DHA from algae, a vegetarian source, rather than from fish.”
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Tips For Taking Prenatals
You may wish to take a prenatal multivitamin with food to help keep the tummy settled. Look for products that can be taken on an empty stomach, such as fermented multivitamins.
It also helps to know your habits in order to set yourself up for success. If you always take your vitamins with breakfast once a day, a one-tablet-daily prenatal may be the best choice for you. However, if you like spacing out your vitamins, other prenatal vitamins are designed so that a daily dose is spread out between multiple tablets that can be taken throughout the day.
Its best to listen to your body and notice if your prenatal is causing any queasiness, so then you can adjust from there. These days some prenatal multivitamins are even formulated with tummy-soothing ginger for morning sickness built right in, which can help if youre experiencing pregnancy-related nausea. Your healthcare professional may also have suggestions to help with any queasiness, such as spacing multi-dose vitamins throughout the day or taking with meals or water.
The key thing to remember is that adding a reliable prenatal multivitamin to your day can help maintain solid nutritional foundations. Whether youre planning to be pregnant or already expecting, these supplements offer highly tailored support for this important time in your life.
*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.
Take A Prenatal Vitamin
A prenatal vitamin is good insurance for you and your future baby. Studies show downing a daily supplement can lower your risk of giving birth prematurely and help with your baby’s development.
But thats not all a prenatal can do. Research has found that women who take prenatal multivitamins also tend to get pregnant faster, so popping a prenatal once a day is always a smart move when youre TTC .
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Other Vitamins And Nutrients
Aside from folic acid, several other key nutrients can benefit pregnant and breastfeeding women and developing fetuses. These include:
Iron: Pregnant women need about twice the usual recommended amount of the mineral iron. Iron is another crucial component in red blood cells. Pregnant women who do not get enough iron may develop iron-deficiency anemia.
Zinc: Supports the immune system and helps the body make proteins, divide cells, and synthesize DNA for new cells.
Vitamin B-12: Helps the body make healthy red blood cells and neurons, which are the specialized cells found in the spinal cord and brain. B-12 also helps these cells to function properly.
Calcium and vitamin D: Work together to help develop fetal bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also crucial for healthy eye and skin development. Calcium may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a leading cause of illness and death in pregnant women, and newborns.
Vitamin A: Helps cells grow and differentiate, contributing to the healthy development of vision and many vital organs.
Vitamin B-6: Plays a vital role in cognitive development, glucose metabolism, immune function, and blood formation. May also help reduce nausea during pregnancy.
Iodine: A trace element essential for the development of the central nervous system, brain, and skeletal system. Severe iodine deficiencies in pregnant women may slow fetal growth or cause neurodevelopmental defects, stillbirth, or miscarriage.
What Are Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are supplements that contain daily vitamins and minerals you need before and during your pregnancy.
Folic acid is the most important vitamin to take when planning a pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin that cells in your body need for growing and developing. Taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least 1 month before and during pregnancy can help lower the risk for problems with the babys brain and spine called neural tube defects . Some women, like those who have had a pregnancy affected by NTDs or with sickle cell disease, may need more folic acid. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the dose that is right for you.
Most nutrients should come from the foods you eat, but its also a good idea to take prenatal vitamins. Your nurse, doctor, or midwife can recommend the best vitamins for you, on top of folic acid.
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What Can Improve Your Chances Of Conception
Though taking a prenatal before and while youre trying to get pregnant likely wont impact your chances of conception, there are some steps you can take to increase those odds:
Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins
There are no risks to taking a prenatal vitamin daily as long as consuming only the recommended amounts of the vitamins and minerals, says Dr. Purdie. She adds that some people may experience nausea or constipation as a result of their prenatal vitamins, but simple lifestyle changeslike taking vitamins with food and increasing water and fiber intakecan help mitigate these side effects.
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Prenatal Multivitamins Don’t Help Much Study Says
11 July 2016
For pregnant women, taking prenatal vitamins may be a waste of money, a new review of previous research suggests.
Instead of taking multivitamin and mineral supplements, pregnant women should focus on improving the overall quality of their diets, and should take just two vitamins: folic acid and vitamin D, according to the review, conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom.
“We found no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal multinutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements, generic versions of which can be purchased relatively inexpensively,” the authors wrote in the report, published today in the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.
Although multivitamin supplements are frequently marketed to pregnant women as a means of giving their babies the best possible start in life, such marketing claims do not actually translate into better health for mothers or babies, the researchers said.
However, eating healthy foods before and during pregnancy is essential for the health of mothers and their unborn children, because vitamin deficiencies have been linked to various complications of pregnancy and birth, the researchers said. Those complications include a pregnancy-induced, high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, restricted fetal growth, skeletal deformities, low birth weight and birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord, the researchers said.
As Soon As You Find Out Youre Pregnant
If you arent already taking prenatal vitamins, you should start as soon as you get a positive pregnancy sign on that pee stick test.
Your OB-GYN may eventually suggest a specific brand or even offer you a prescription to make your vitamin-popping life easier, but you dont have to wait every day counts when youre in the first trimester .
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When To Take Prenatal Vitamins
Its best to take the prenatal at the same time every day so you dont forget about it. You can adjust the timing when to take prenatal vitamins to address some of their side effects. For instance, if you have nausea, you can take the vitamin with food.
You can also take them before lunch A prenate pill that consists of iron, calcium, and folic acid is absorbed better if you take it on an empty stomach, as iron cant properly absorb if you have just eaten dairy food.