The Right Picks To Take You Through Your Pregnancy Journey
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Nutrient needs are increased during pregnancy to support the growth and development of the fetus while also supporting the health of the mother. But with so many prenatal vitamins out there, how do you make the right choice? It is important to make sure prenatal supplements have been tested by third-party labs and offer maximum transparency to consumers.
A prenatal vitamin is a multivitamin that is designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding in mind. The number of vitamins and minerals in these supplements are safe and appropriate when trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and postpartum while you are breastfeeding. Some specialized prenatal vitamins may also have other pregnancy-related additives, including DHA .
Do You Need Vitamin Supplements
It is a good idea to include a large variety of foods and maintain a balanced diet. This would help you to receive all the nutrients required during pregnancy. Vitamin supplements are beneficial, but always check with your doctor before taking them. Remember, a healthy diet is of utmost importance. Any supplements taken cannot replace a healthy diet. They work best only when taken along with a healthy diet in order to ensure that the pregnant woman is receiving all of her required daily nutrients.
About the Author
Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.
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Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamin
These vitamins contain “methylated folate,” a buzzy word in this area. Folate is one of the most important vitamins in prenatal pills, but some women have a genetic condition that makes it hard for their bodies to convert the folic acid in most prenatals to the active form the body can use, Wright explains.
But there’s a catch: You won’t know if you have the condition unless you have genetic testing done. So, if you want to be super safe and cover all your bases, then a methylated version of folate might be worth the money. Still, she emphasizes that for the majority of women, the regular variety is just fine.
How Do I Choose Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are readily available over the counter and a prescription is generally unnecessary.
If youre concerned about which to choose, dont be. Theres not much difference between over the counter and prescription prenatals, and both are adequate, assures Dr. Nwankwo.
Sometimes prescription prenatals may have special formulationsfor example, they may have a stool softener added to help with constipation, or they may have additional iron. The pills may also be smaller and easier to take. But its not necessary, she says. It also doesnt matter whether you take a tablet or a gummy, just make sure it has the right amount of vitamins you need.
Every vitamin can differ in the types and amounts of nutrients it contains because specific vitamin ingredients arent regulated by the FDA. If the vitamin you choose doesnt contain the full recommended daily amount of a nutrient, be sure to eat foods that are high in that vitamin or mineral.
When shopping for prenatal vitamins look for these four primary nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy, per Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):
- Folic acid: 600 mcg
- Iron: 27 mg
- Calcium: 1,000 mg
- Vitamin D: 600 IU
The following vitamins are also essential during pregnancy, and you may not get enough of them through diet alone. Having these in your prenatals are helpful too:
- Vitamin A: 770 mcg
- Vitamin C: 85 mg
- Vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
- Choline: 450 mg
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Vitamin B9 Or Folic Acid Or Folate
Vitamin B9 helps to prevent NTD such as spina bifida. A deficiency of folate may lead to abnormalities in the mother as well as the baby. It also helps to support the placenta. Deficiency of folate can lead to anemia, including symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, palpitations, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and other foods such as broccoli, mushrooms, beets, cauliflower, peas, beans, legumes, margarines, breads, brown rice, brewers yeast, strawberries, orange, orange juice, banana, pasta, nuts, and fortified cereals. Approximately 400 600 mcg of folic acid is required by pregnant women. Folic acid should be taken before conception.
The Honest Company Prenatal Once Daily
If you are really concerned about fetal development and your growing nutritional needs during pregnancy, you must take Honest company prenatal vitamins to detail your needs. The product is packed with essential vitamins and minerals necessary for baby growth. However, it’s a non-GMO, dairy-free, healthy formula to promote neonatal health.
Its an organic formula with Vitamin B6, organic ginger, and gentle forms of microminerals. Enzymes from papaya, pineapple, and kiwi promote healthy digestion. In addition, each capsule is coated with naturally derived vanilla. Folic acid and iron are essential for fetal development, and a combination of vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, choline, B3 vitamins is important for healthy growth and a strong immune system.
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Vitamin A And Beta Carotene
Vitamin A and beta carotene both help in the development of bones and teeth. Approximately 770 mcg of vitamin A and beta carotene is required by pregnant women. It is mainly present in milk, eggs, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, green and yellow/orange vegetables, and yellow/orange fruits. Other foods such as salmon, as well as fortified breakfast cereals, are a good source of vitamin A.
Research suggests that vitamin A deficiency is very rare in women and newly born babies. This vitamin is known for aiding a healthy reproductive system. For malnourished women, vitamin A is effective in reducing problems during or after pregnancy. A deficiency of vitamin A may cause xerophthalmia in pregnant women and increase the risk of anemia, and may lead to slow infant growth.
Important Vitamins For Pregnancy
by Meenakshi Nagdevelast updated – February 27, 2020 Evidence Based
A healthy diet contains most of the necessary vitamins. These vitamins give the body essential nutrients that are required, especially during pregnancy. Also, it helps pregnant women to stay healthy and repair damages, if there are any. According to a recent study, women with poor diets before pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely than women who have healthy diets. So a balanced healthy diet is required during pregnancy to ensure good health of the mother and baby. The food for a healthy diet during pregnancy should include fruits and vegetables, dairy products, poultry, whole grains , beans, fish with a low mercury level, and lean red meat. This article discusses the role of vitamins during pregnancy and various food varieties that contain those vitamins. It would help expecting mothers to include the right variety of food in their meals.
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When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
The best time to start taking prenatal vitamins is before conception. Folic acid is especially important. You should begin taking a folic acid supplement at least 1 month before you try to get pregnant to prevent birth defects.
Some doctors recommend that all women who could have a baby take prenatal vitamins, even if they dont plan a pregnancy.
Are There Any Pregnancy Vitamins To Avoid
You should avoid supplements containing vitamin A during pregnancy, as large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. “If you’re considering taking any supplement other than those specially formulated to support when trying to get pregnant, maintaining a healthy pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding, it is important to check with your pharmacist or doctor to ensure the product is suitable for you to take,” Mehta clarifies.
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Vitamin C In Pregnancy
Vitamin C protects cells and helps keep them healthy.
It’s found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and a balanced diet can provide all the vitamin C you need.
Good sources include:
- soya drinks with added calcium
- bread and any foods made with fortified flour
- fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards
Nordic Naturals Prenatal Dha
The makers claim that these vitamins are award-winning and support fetal brain development. They come as soft gel capsules that contain purified deep sea fish oil, from anchovies and sardines, as well as vitamin D3 and rosemary extract. They also contain no gluten, milk derivatives, or artificial colors or flavors.
A person can choose a strawberry-flavored or unflavored product, and the company say that there is no fishy aftertaste.
However, some reviewers say that the aftertaste is an issue, and others have concerns about the quality of these vitamins. However, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
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What Are Prenatal Vitamins And Why Are They So Beneficial
In an ideal world, a pregnant mother would get all of her nutrients from food. But as Sakara cofounder Danielle DuBoise, who developed the wellness brands new The Foundation: Prenatal while pregnant, underlines, thats not realistic. No one eats perfectly 100% of the time, says DuBoise, citing research that the average American is lacking essential nutrients in their daily diet. So for most people, supplementation is critical.
According to Manhattan-based nutritionist , prenatal supplements can fill in any nutrient gaps caused by our modern, hectic lifestyles, or particular tastes, which result in consuming less than an adequate amount of the nutrients we need on a daily basis. Think of it as an insurance policy that youre getting enough of the nutrients you need to support a healthy pregnancy, for baby and mom alike, she says. Similarly, Shepherd encourages her expectant patients to consider taking a prenatal vitamin as building up a reserve. Because the baby gets all the nutrients it needs directly from mama, its easy to become deficient in vitamins she explains. A well-rounded balance of vitamins and nutrients during pregnancy will help mom provide the nutrients needed, as well as help the baby do things, such as form vital organs and body systems.
Nature Made Prenatal + Dha 200 Mg Multivitamin
The best thing about this prenatal vitamin: a huge dose of DHA, a fatty acid crucial to fetal brain development, Wright says.
“A lot of prenatals advertise they have this, but they have a minuscule amountyou want a minimum of 200 mg of DHA per serving,” she says. You can also get DHA by taking a separate fish oil supplement.
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Best With Methylated Folate: Megafood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Vitamins
Folate is a key nutrient for women during their reproductive years, but it’s important to get the right form. Many brands use folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, but this form isn’t necessarily the most bioavailable for everyone. For this reason, whether you have the MTHFR mutation or not, it’s important to select a prenatal vitamin with methylated folate.
Megafood’s Baby & Me 2 contains 600 micrograms of L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 170 percent of the daily recommended value for pregnant women.
Megafood is one of the most trusted brands in the supplement industry because of its commitment to transparency. Their products are certified glyphosate-, GMO-, soy-, gluten-, and dairy-free and have been tested for over 125 pesticides and herbicides.
When you’re pregnant, your iron needs increase by 50 percent18 milligrams for adult women to 27 milligrams per day for pregnant adult women. The growing baby requires adequate iron to support the healthy growth of cells, tissues, and organs and mom needs extra iron to support the increase in blood volume when pregnant.
The extra red blood cells that are produced carry oxygen to the baby and, without enough iron, mom can develop iron-deficiency anemia which has been associated with increased risk of low-birth-weight infants, premature delivery, and infant mortality.
Do I Need To Take A Prenatal Vitamin
If youre pregnant, definitely. Pregnancy puts a lot of demands on your body, including increased needs of certain vitamins and minerals. Prenatals are specifically designed with this in mind, and may even help to reduce your babys risk of developmental issues for a fetus or health concerns.
Additionally, prenatals are perf for pre- and post-pregnancy support.
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What’s The Deal With Folic Acid
“Folate is a B vitamin that plays an integral role in DNA synthesis, red blood cell production, and fetal growth and development,” says Oddy. “Its recommended to take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid – or the more biologically active form of Folic Acid, Folate – per day, for 3 months prior to conception, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and congenital abnormalities.”
She points out that women who are at a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects might benefit from up to 5mg a day but explains a doctor will notify you if this is relevant to you .
“Folic acid helps the babys neural tube, which is part of the babys nervous system, to grow,” Mehta agrees. “Taking a folic acid supplement has also been shown to reduce the risk of the baby developing spina bifida and other conditions affecting their neural tube and spine.”
Mehta also recommends that if you’re trying to conceive, ideally you should take a daily supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid around three months before you hope to get pregnant, too.
What Nutrients Are Included In A Prenatal Vitamin
The nutrients provided by a prenatal vitamin vary. When developing our ranking, the Forbes Health editorial team evaluated prenatal vitamins on their inclusion of:
- Vitamin A
When comparing ingredient lists, talk to your doctor or midwife about which prenatal vitamin is a good fit for you. Generally speaking, folic acid is a key nutrient. Many prenatal vitamins contain around 800 micrograms of folic acid, and OB-GYNs typically recommend taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms.
DHAan omega-3 fatty acidis also often recommended, as it may help with fetal brain development. Many prenatal vitamins include DHA. You can add a separate DHA supplement to your routine, too.
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Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, others should be avoided.
Certain vitamins, plants, and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
Coconut Oil Or Belly Cream
You will hear a lot of people tell you to get stretch mark cream, but there is no science that says those creams work. Stretch marks are genetic and if you are prone to them, there is no way around it.
So while I dont recommend belly creams for stretch marks, coconut oil can help with the itchy belly that you will experience. Coconut oil is a natural substance that will cure the itch while giving your belly a soft feel.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins
There can be. Nausea and digestive upset is one of the main ones, and typically iron is the culprit. It can be pretty hard on the stomach.
Additionally, if your prenatal contains DHA from fish oil, you may get a case of the fishy burps every once in a while. NBD, just a little gross just like almost everything else when youre pregnant .
Look For Highly Absorbable Forms Of Nutrients
Like Swick mentioned above, look for formulations designed to be highly bioavailable and easy to use and absorb. AND, dont buy the most high quality, bioavailable, hockey puck-sized prenatal if you HATE swallowing pills.
Consider what you like and what youre able to tolerate during your pregnancy, keeping in mind that there are tons of gummy and liquid options available now.
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