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How Long Do You Take Prenatal Vitamins

How Important Is Vitamin D For Fertility

How long should I be taking a prenatal vitamin?

Vitamin D may also prove to have a significant role in fertility acting on both the ovary and the endometrium. At the ovarian level, vitamin D has been shown to enhance ovulation. It appears to work at a cellular level by altering AMH signaling, increasing FSH sensitivity and increasing progesterone production.

What Do Prenatal Vitamins Contain

All prenatal vitamins contain different combinations of micronutrients that are aimed to ensure a pregnant person and their baby get all the vitamins and minerals they need. However, pregnant people aren’t the only people who can take prenatals. They’re also recommended for people who are trying to get pregnant or are breast feeding. Every person is different, and that’s why finding a specific prenatal vitamin that works for you is key.

Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG is co-founder of Perelel Medical, the first & only OB/GYN-founded vitamin brand. Dr. Bayati explains that Perelel formulates prenatals that change with a woman’s needs from conception and through each trimester of pregnancy and post-partum.

“We identified the specific micronutrients and their appropriate RDA for women in the non-pregnant, pregnant, and lactation stages determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine , The RDA for many micronutrients including all the B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, zinc and selenium increase during pregnancy,” Dr. Bayati says. “Thus the IOM recommends a daily prenatal multivitamin before conception and during pregnancy. This is specifically to ensure adequate folate for rapid cell growth needed for fetal and placental development as well as increased need for iron supplementation.”

So Are Prenatal Vitamins Really That Good For You During Pregnancy In A Nutshell: Yes Our Experts Are Here To Answer Your Questions When It Comes To Making Sure You’re Getting The Nutrients You And Baby Need

If you’ve got baby on the brain, you should start taking a prenatal vitamin three months before you begin trying to get pregnant, if possible. “The egg starts maturing about three months before it’s released, and it’s critical that the proper nutrients are present during the earliest stages,” says OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist Robert Greene, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a fertility specialist at cny Fertility center in Syracuse, N.Y.

If you think you’re pregnant and are not taking a supplement, don’t wait until your first appointment for a prescription because you will have missed a crucial developmental period for your baby:

“Neural-tube defects happen in the first four to six weeks of pregnancy,” says Sudeep Kukreja, M.D., associate director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, Calif. So start taking an over-the-counter folic acid supplement with 600 micrograms right away.

Still have questions when it comes to taking prenatal vitamins? You’re not alone. We tackled the most common questions expecting moms have about prenatal vitamins to get you guidance from the experts.

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Prenatal Vitamins For Pregnancy

If youre wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to prenatal vitaminsor whats actually in them that makes them so importantyoure in good company. When it comes to pregnancy, many moms are instructed to follow certain rules without questioning a thing. Its totally normal to want to understand everything there is to know about, well, everything. Here, were offering you a refresher course on prenatal vitamins, because we think its important that youre in the know.

Prenatal And Postnatal Vitamins For Breastfeeding Moms

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Prenatal vitamins during breastfeeding, are extremely important being that your newborn only receives nutrients from you. As weeks pass and an increased milk supply is needed to fill the babys appetite, this becomes even more important.

Throughout lactation, your body needs a higher daily intake of certain nutrients than while pregnant. Some nutrients that are most important for breastfeeding that help support your growing infant are calcium, folate, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, docosahexaenoic acid , choline, and iodine.

Calcium is important to keep you and your babys bones strong and healthy.

Folatehelps your body and your babys body make new cells and to synthesize DNA. Also, it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Iron helps carry oxygen to the blood, which gives mom energy. After birth, your baby typically has enough iron stored to last through their sixth month.

Newborns need vitamin A for optimal health, growth, and development. During the first six months of life, newborns need to increase their vitamin A storage exclusively through breastfeeding.

Vitamin B1 is essential for both you and your babys nervous system and muscle function. It also helps mom metabolize carbohydrates as energy.

Vitamin B2 is necessary for your baby’s bone, muscle, and nerve development. It promotes your babys growth, good vision, and healthy skin. It’s also an essential compound that helps moms body produce energy.

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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 Can I Take Or Do For Postpartum Hair Loss

Hair loss, often seen in the first year following childbirth, can be attributed to stress, hormonal fluctuations, and nutritional deficiencies. Fortunately, postpartum hair loss is temporary and can be improved. Hair health including hair thickness, color, and strengthis somewhat impacted by diet and nutrition overall. Micronutrients play an important, but not entirely clear, role in normal hair follicle development and immune cell function. Certain vitamins and minerals are beneficial for maintaining different properties in the body, including hair, skin and nails. Learn more about prenatal vitamins for hair growth and health here.

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What Form Of Prenatal Vitamin Is Best

There are a variety of types of prenatal vitamins you can choose from and it doesnt matter which you take. If you look at an ingredients list comparing tablets, capsules and even gummies, the components will be pretty similar, King says.

Checking the ingredients is important, too, to make sure youre getting everything you need. Most gummies dont contain iron, King says, since young children may try to snag some thinking theyre candy and too much iron is dangerous for children.

What Are Prenatal Vitamins

Are prenatal vitamins necessary?

Prenatal vitamins are supplements made for pregnant women to give their bodies the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may suggest that you take them when you begin to plan for pregnancy, as well as while youâre pregnant.

Eating a healthy diet is always a wise idea — especially during pregnancy. It’s also a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in your diet.

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What Postnatal Vitamins Should I Be Taking After Birth

Many postnatal vitamins are available and may offer benefits including increased milk supply, enhanced energy, and better mood stabilization. Although most postnatal vitamins differ in their exact formulas, most will contain these beneficial ingredients:

    • Improved cognition and greater memory in infants and children

What Do Prenatal Vitamins Do

If youre wondering, What do prenatal vitamins do? Do prenatal vitamins substitute a healthy diet? read on.

Prenatal vitamins are not substitutes for a healthy diet, as you still need to consume foods rich in nutrients and minerals. They help maintain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to support your pregnancy.

Be sure to discuss with your doctor to determine when to start taking prenatal vitamins and which formulas they recommend. If you take more than the recommended dose, you can harm your baby. Some of their nutrients include:

  • Folic acid: It is a B vitamin that pregnant women need to help their baby grow and develop. It can also prevent birth defects. You can take between 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day.
  • Iron: Patients need to take 27 milligrams of iron a day, asit supplies oxygen to the fetus and supports the placentas development. It can also prevent anemia, a condition in which you dont have enough healthy red blood cells.
  • Calcium: We recommend taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This helps the baby to develop its bones, muscles, and teeth.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid : This is an omega-3 fatty acid that can prevent pregnancy-related complications.
  • Zinc: It reduces preterm births.
  • Vitamin A: Helps with eye development. Patients can take e700mcg a day. If you take it in large doses it can cause birth defects.

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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.

How Are Prenatal Vitamins Different From Traditional Multivitamins

Food

Lots of different prenatal vitamin types are available on the market. While theres not a specific formulation for all prenatal vitamins, youll likely find that prenatal vitamins contain at least these key nutrients:

Calcium. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant and adult women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Prenatal vitamins typically have between 200 and 300 mg of calcium. This contributes to a womans calcium requirements but doesnt account for all of her daily calcium needs. Calcium is important for all women because it keeps their bones strong.

Folic acid. Taking in enough folic acid is linked with reducing neural tube defects like spina bifida. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women take in 600 micrograms of folic acid every day from all sources. Since it may be difficult to get this much folic acid from foods alone, a supplement is recommended.

Foods that have folic acid include beans, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, and broccoli. Many fortified foods including cereal, bread, and pasta have folate too.

Iron. This mineral is necessary to create new red blood cells in the body. Because a woman increases her blood volume during pregnancy, iron is a must-have. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women need 27 mg of iron a day. This is 8 mg more than women who arent pregnant.

Prenatal vitamins often contain other vitamins and minerals. These could include:

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Im Not Breastfeeding Do I Still Need A Prenatal

Yes! As briefly mentioned above, every postpartum person should take their prenatal for a minimum of six months after birth.

So, suppose youre not breastfeeding or producing milk for your baby. In that case, you should continue to take your prenatal vitamin to help replenish your nutrient and mineral stores that can become depleted from pregnancy, labor, and birth.

Of course, please consult your doctor or care provider before stopping or starting any new supplementation program.

Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy

Its important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.

Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

If you did not take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

Try to eat green leafy vegetables which contain folate and breakfast cereals and fat spreads with folic acid added to them.

It’s difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, which is why it’s important to take a folic acid supplement.

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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.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Can men take prenatal vitamins to be more healthy, or are they for women only?

Taking prenatal vitamins and following a healthy diet can lead to a healthy pregnancy and support your babys growth. There are various prenatals to choose from, but Dr. Ellman will be happy to find a prenatal vitamin that works best for your body.

Dr. Ellman is a high-risk OB/GYN doctor who established his medical practice in South Florida over 25 years ago. Book your appointment today.

References

Folic Acid Helps Prevent Some Birth Defects. .

Shmerling, R. H. & Shmerling, A. . Fertility and diet: Is there a connection? Wilson, D., et al. . Pre-conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Congenital Anomalies .

Dr. Ellman has practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Boca Raton area since 1995. In addition to treating patients at West Boca Hospital, Dr. Ellman also treats patients through his own private practice, Womens Healthcare of Boca Raton, located on the West Boca Medical Campus.

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Why Take Them Before Youre Even Pregnant

Heres the deal: Pregnancy takes a lot of you. Your cute little fetus is actually a major drain on your bodys natural resources, which is why you spend so much time in those 9 months feeling nauseated, exhausted, achy, crampy, moody, weepy, and forgetful.

Your baby gets all the nutrients it needs directly from you, so its easy to become deficient in important vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Making sure your body has what it needs to nourish both of you is much easier if you get started before baby is in the picture.

Think of it like building up a reserve: If you have more than enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need to thrive, then you can afford to share those vitamins and nutrients with your baby as they grow.

A Closer Look At The Nutritional Needs Of Nursing Moms

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of infancy.3 But lactation requires a lot of energyyour body needs about 450500 extra calories a day to make breast milk for your baby.4 In fact, nursing women need more carbohydrates, proteins, and fats than during pregnancy.5

With so many responsibilities as a new mom, you might find it challenging to get adequate amounts of nutrient-dense foods. A postnatal multivitamin helps fill key dietary gaps in moms by providing higher levels of Vitamin D to support overall health and B vitamins for cellular energy demands. And if mom doesnt get enough of the right vitamins, this can impact infant growth and development.

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Can I Take Prenatal Vitamins If I Dont Want To Get Pregnant

Prenatal vitamins are specific to the needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Theyre geared to make up the common nutritional deficiencies a pregnant woman could have. But they arent really intended for women who arent expecting or lactating.

Taking too much folic acid each day can have the adverse side effect of masking a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Excess iron can be a problem, too. Getting too much iron is associated with health problems like constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.

Excess amounts of nutrients like vitamin A taken from synthetic vitamins could be toxic to a persons liver.

Again, its better if you get these nutrients through your diet instead of a pill. For these reasons, most women should skip prenatal vitamins unless their doctors tell them otherwise.

Can You Just Replace Your Daily Multivitamin With A Prenatal

Food

In general, yes! A prenatal multivitamin can replace your everyday multivitamin, but not vice versa. While some prenatals include nutrients that are important whether or not you’re pregnant, generic multis don’t always include enough of the nutrients you’ll need in higher quantities for pregnancy .

Because of the formulation of the Modern Fertility Prenatal Multivitamin, it’s designed to support your body whether you’re pregnant or not and even if you’re still a few months or years out from trying to get pregnant.

If you want to get a leg up on nourishing your body for a future pregnancy, replacing your daily multi with a prenatal can help you fill up those nutritional reserves earlier. Taking a prenatal now, before youre trying to conceive, is a low-cost, low-risk way to get a headstart on a healthy pregnancy no matter when it happens.*

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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