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Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Gain Weight

Vitamins And Your Metabolism

Do vitamins make you gain weight

This may impact upon your weight because of its effect on the metabolism, which is assisted by a wide variety of nutrients. Importantly, your metabolism regulates the rate at which the body burns off kilojoules, and a well-functioning metabolism is important for weight control.

On the other hand, some people may blame multivitamins for weight gain or a lack of weight loss because they ignore the bigger picture of their overall lifestyle. This is especially true of people who take multivitamins because their diet is otherwise lacking.

Can Prenatal Vitamins Cause Diarrhea

Pregnancy brings on a host of symptoms, many of which affect the digestive tract. Furthermore, most pregnant women take prenatal vitamins, which can also affect digestive function and exacerbate stomach or intestinal discomfort. If youre taking prenatal vitamins, its perfectly normal to occasionally find yourself experiencing diarrhea, or loose stools.

Vitamins To Gain Weight

People not wishing to gain weight often complain that taking vitamin and other supplements leads to weight gain as a side effect. Therefore, it has been proven that having vitamin supplements can increase weight. Vitamin C is particularly associated with weight gain as it slows down the process of metabolism. Therefore, people who have issues regarding metabolism, can have supplements rich in vitamin C. Secondly, vitamin D is also helpful for a healthy weight gain in people. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy bone growth and hence having these supplements can be beneficial for gaining weight.

On the other hand, if you wish to gain weight in order to have a healthy pregnancy, then you should go for prenatal vitamins. These vitamins are meant to maintain a proper health during pregnancy. Having prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy will help in reducing the risk of having a baby with a very low body weight. However, it should be noted that taking prenatal vitamins to gain weight is only effective if taken while you are pregnant. Similarly, multivitamins may cause weight gain in some people. However, the issue is still debated.

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Prenatal Vitamins Vs A Regular Multivitamin

Prenatals are tailored to the right quality and quantity for pregnant women and women trying to conceive. Certain vitamins are fat soluble and are stored for long periods of time. These stores can therefore be overloaded with normal multivitamins, and vitamin A for example, can actually be toxic to the baby at high levels. Prenatal supplements also contain specific ingredients to assist with the healthy development of a baby, for example Folic Acid.

Below is an example of some of the differences in nutrients you may find in a womens multivitamin compared with a prenatal vitamin:

Vitamin or Mineral
38% more

What Are Prenatal Vitamins

Can Prenatal Vitamins Make You Gain Weight?

Prenatal vitamins contain the essential micronutrients that a future mom needs to support a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are not simply like the other multivitamins as they are tailored to fit the specific needs of pregnancy.

It is important to take note that prenatal vitamins arent made to help women gain weight while pregnant or trying to be pregnant. The vitamins and minerals found in prenatal pills have their own specific purpose for the development of the fetus and safeguarding the health of pregnant women.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, a quality prenatal vitamin must meet the recommended micronutrients based on the guidelines set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, namely:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is known for its role in visual development. Its derivative, called retinols, help with the development of the eyes, ears, limbs and heart.

Vitamin B Complex

This group of vitamins helps convert food to energy so that your body can utilize the nutrients more efficiently to support pregnancy. The B vitamins are also essential for your babys blood and brain development, especially the Vitamin B9 which you can get from natural food sources. Since most pregnant women are unable to get sufficient amount of folate from their diet, its synthetic form is often given as a supplement.

Vitamins C and E

Vitamin D




Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium



Read Also: How To Check Vitamin B12 Levels

The Confusion In Gain Weight

Many women say that they gain weight while taking prenatal vitamins. But that statement cannot be backed up by science because all pregnant women do gain weight! This is where most confusion goes, however:

Various women react to these vitamins differently. For example, many say it causes more water retention which results to bloating. Moreover, high dosage of Vitamin A or iron can lead to problems of the kidney like fatty liver. If the liver cannot regulate the fats, it will lead to weight gain.

Another claim is that prenatal vitamins can make you crave more food. Now, if you give in to those cravings, you will surely grow bigger.

While some people experience all of these, another half of the population has not. Therefore, no one can really proclaim whether or not do prenatal vitamins make you gain weight. It has no calories and energy to store and burn. It merely is a supplementary to some people like the ones below.

Tips In Maintaining Healthy Weight While Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Pregnant or not, it is important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent complications and illnesses that can compromise your wellbeing. So if you feel like youre gaining too much weight while taking prenatal vitamins, then here are some tips that can help you keep those extra pounds at bay:

Track down your calories.

Tracking the calories from the food you eat is one of the best ways to stick with a normal weight. You may take advantage of calorie calculator apps that you may find online to make it a lot easier for you to keep an eye at your daily caloric intake.

Avoid eating for two.

You might already heard of the common pregnancy myth that you should be eating for two while pregnant. More often than not, this belief will just make you eat a lot more than what you actually need. In fact, eating twice as much food as you usually take during pregnancy can be dangerous to your health.

Take note that even if the caloric requirement increases during pregnancy, it is simply within 340 to 450 calories a day. These extra calories are roughly equivalent to one full glass of skim milk and half of a sandwich.

Eat twice as healthy instead.

Take the additional calories you need from healthy sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Not only will it help you stick within the recommended weight gain while pregnant, it will surely help minimize the chances of getting health problems in the future.

Take time to exercise.

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But Why The Sudden Weight Gain

If you experience sudden weight gain at any point throughout your pregnancy, visit your doctor as soon as possible. If combined with a severe persistent headache, visual changes, or right upper abdominal pain, this could signify preeclampsia .

Preeclampsia is nothing to mess with. It can have severe effects on both you and your baby, such as low birth weight, miscarriage, stillbirth, seizures, and even maternal death.

Where To Get Pregnancy Supplements

Do vitamins cause weight gain or weight loss? simple explained

You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or a GP may be able to prescribe them for you.

If you want to get your folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, make sure the tablet does not contain vitamin A .

You may be able to get free vitamins if you qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.

Find out more about the Healthy Start scheme.

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Will They Make Me Gain Weight

There is no evidence that prenatal vitamins make you gain weight. Most pregnant women gain about 25-35 pounds throughout their pregnancy, whether they use a prenatal vitamin or not. And since vitamins contain zero calories, the weight gain is likely due to the pregnancy itself.

The iron in prenatal vitamins can cause constipation and bloating, making your clothes feel tighter. But no one can definitively proclaim them as causing you to gain weight.

When experiencing constipation and bloating, I recommend that moms increase fiber and fluids, but if thats not enough, they can take docusate sodium.

Editor’s Note:

Vegetarian Vegan And Special Diets In Pregnancy

A varied and balanced vegetarian diet should provide enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy.

But you might find it more difficult to get enough iron and vitamin B12.

Talk to a midwife or doctor about how to make sure you’re getting enough of these important nutrients.

If you’re vegan or you follow a restricted diet because of a food intolerance or for religious reasons, talk to a midwife or GP.

Ask to be referred to a dietitian for advice on how to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.

Find out more about healthy eating if you’re pregnant and vegetarian or vegan.

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When To Call Your Doctor

Now that you have a better idea of normal weight gain during pregnancy, its also a good idea to know when to seek medical advice. If you are experiencing any sudden changes in your weight , call your doctor. You should also call if you have questions about where you fall along the expected weight gain spectrum and how to stay on track.

Michael is an experienced healthcare marketer and father of two. He has worked alongside healthcare leader at Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, St. Luke’s, Baylor Scott and White, HCA, and many more, and currently leads growth marketing at Solv.

Dr. Rob Rohatsch currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Solv Health, a healthcare technology company that was founded to transform healthcare by shifting the power back to patients, where it belongs. Solv has established a national network of providers to make same-day or next-day healthcare accessible to anyone, both in-person and virtually. Today, 100 million Americans live within five miles of a same-day bookable appointment with a Solv provider.

Dr. Rohatsch brings his extensive background in multi-site ambulatory medicine operations, on-demand healthcare, and consumerism to Solv, where he helps drive strategic initiatives in a cross functional executive role. He brings comprehensive healthcare expertise ranging from medical group operations to revenue cycle management and clinical expertise.

  • Physical Growth in Newborns

What Impacts My Fertility

Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Gain Weight: Finally, The ...

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:

  • Eat healthily
  • Limit caffeine use to one cup per day
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    Vitamins That Cause Diarrhea

    Fact Checked

    Vitamins are a daily requirement essential for proper function. There are 13 essential vitamins for proper function four of them are fat-soluble, and nine are water-soluble. While a balanced diet would provide the necessary amounts of these vitamins, many people make up for deficiencies by taking a multivitamin. Before you take a supplement, however, be cautious too much of certain vitamins and too little of others can create stomach problems like diarrhea.

    Types Of Prenatal Vitamins

    Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamins A, E, as well as C. The elements in the vitamins differ with the products. Your doctor should recommend the type of vitamin or supplement you require based on specific needs.

  • Irons are essential nutrients for the placenta as well as fetus development. Besides, Iron is necessary for increasing red blood cells of the mother. Pregnant women take 30 mg iron daily. The nutrients prevent anemia in an iron deficiency condition.
  • Calcium is vital for developing the skeleton of the fetus. 1000 to around 1300 mg calcium daily is the recommended amount for pregnant and lactating women.
  • Folic acid gets used in the development of the spinal cord of the baby. It is recommended that mothers of childbearing ages should take 0.4 mg of folic acid every day.
  • Zinc supports healthy baby development. Besides, the element increases the birth weight of the baby. Zinc shortage causes slow fetus growth.
  • Iodine is required for the development as well as the functioning of thyroid glands. Iodine deficiency causes hypothyroidism in pregnant moms and babies. Expectant or breastfeeding moms are required to consume 220 to 300 mcg iodine.
  • Vitamin A helps the proper development of the eyes. The deficiency of the elements can cause night blindness. Mothers should consume 770 mcg Vitamin A daily.
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    Where Does The Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy

    After your initial positive pregnancy test, you may feel a bit of ambivalence every time you step on the scale. On the one hand, you know that your amazing body is growing a baby, so you fully expect to be steadily gaining weight. On the other hand, it can be perplexing to know that you may be gaining 30 or more pounds over a 40-week period, given that the average birth weight of a newborn is only 7.5 pounds, according to experts at the University of Michigan.

    During pregnancy, your metabolism and hormones kick into high gear, storing fat and nutrients. Your uterus and placenta are growing, your blood volume expands by 33 percent , your breast tissue expands, and you hold onto more fluid.

    The American Pregnancy Association breaks down the average weight gain during pregnancy in the following manner:

    • Baby: 7 to 8 pounds
    • Placenta: 1 to 2 pounds
    • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
    • Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
    • Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

    Depending on each womans metabolism, health history, and pregnancy, this weight gain may vary. However, its helpful to get a glimpse of where some of the extra weight goes during a pregnancy.

    Do Prenatal Vitamins Cause Constipation

    Pregnancy Vitamins – What Nutrients does a Fetus need & what Foods should I eat | Pregnancy Diet

    Constipation is a common problem for pregnant women. During pregnancy, high levels of progesterone slow the movement of food through your digestive tract and as your baby grows pressure from your uterus onto the rectal area can worsen can tend to restrict the movement of feces. It can also cause pelvic pain which may inhibit a persons voluntary effort to pass stool.

    According to doctors at Mayo Clinic, these vitamins are recommended because they are an essential part of nutrition during pregnancy. Some individuals can experience constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort from the prenatal vitamins. You should not quit taking the vitamins but work with your doctor in order to find a different vitamin or a remedy that can relieve the symptoms.

    Iron is the main prenatal vitamin that causes constipation. During pregnancy your iron requirements increase as you produce additional blood volume. Iron and is a metal that carries electrical and magnetic charges, making it responsible for slowing of bowel movements, leading to constipation.

    A quickly absorbed form of iron is more in getting iron into the body but it is more likely to cause constipation. Whereas, a slow release form of iron may not cause much constipation but it is not beneficial to your body. The only iron that does not cause constipation is the one you receive from your diet.

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    When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

    Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth and life for your baby. While most assume once theyre pregnant is when to start a daily prenatal vitamin, it is ideal to start 90 days before trying to conceive. A well-nurtured body is essential for you and your developing baby from the moment of conception and throughout pregnancy.

    Check out our blog on The Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy!

    Important Nutrients To Have A Healthy Baby

    Some nutrients are very important when you are pregnant like iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. It is sometimes hard to get enough of these nutrients from your diet. An extra vitamin/mineral supplement may be recommended by your doctor or dietitian.

    Folic Acid


    Iron is important to make healthy blood for you and your baby. When you are pregnant, your body needs to make more blood, almost double, for your body, your growing baby and placenta. During your pregnancy your blood iron may become low . Low iron in the blood can cause you to feel tired, have pale skin, and be more likely to catch colds and infections. Iron, in the form of hemoglobin, carries oxygen to your bodys cells and gives you more energy. Iron deficiency can affect brain development, behaviour and general health of children.

    The following chart outlines daily iron requirements, otherwise called the Dietary Reference Intake :


    Calcium & Vitamin D

    Essential Fatty Acids

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    At What Rate Should I Gain Weight During My Pregnancy

    How much you should gain depends on your weight before you were pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy. For the average woman who starts her pregnancy out at a normal weight, your weight gain will look something like this.If you start out your pregnancy over or under-weight, you will want to talk with your health care provider about what your weight gain rate should look like.

    Healthy weight before pregnancy:Throughout your pregnancy, the goal is to keep weight gain as steady as possible because your baby requires a daily supply of nutrients that comes from what you eat.It is normal for your weight gain to fluctuate a little from week to week. However, you should contact your health care provider if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially in your third trimester. This could be a sign of certain complications.


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