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Taking Prenatal Vitamins Not Pregnant

Ways To Get More Folic Acid

Should I take prenatal vitamins even if I’m not pregnant?

While folic acid is essential and a literal building block for life, getting enough of the vitamin can be a tall order. Usually, vitamin B9 is found in fortified or enriched foods, especially grain-based options like bread, cereals, and pasta. But folic acid is naturally found in leafy green vegetables, beans, and oranges. Women can also get folic acid in multivitamins. Look for a USP or NSF seal on vitamin labels to ensure that the supplements were made following GCMP standards and are accurate to the ingredient list and potency. Women are encouraged to get 400mg of vitamin B9 per day, with women who are or may become pregnant often are increased to 800mg. Dose increases should be upon physician recommendation only as overdosing on folic acid can hide vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.

Prenatal Vitamins Supplement Not Replace A Balanced Diet

Any balanced diet will contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, but you should still take a prenatal vitamin to make sure that you are getting enough of the nutrients your body and your baby needs. Additionally, since prenatal vitamins are formulated with the idea that the person taking them is eating a healthy diet, there is no need to seek out additional vitamin supplements in any form, be it a pill, diet drink, or fortified smoothie. Be sure to let your doctor know if you use any of these products so you can be certain you are not getting too much of a good thing.

Do I Need To Take Supplements

It’s recommended that all pregnant women in Australia take folic acid, iodine and vitamin D supplements.

Having a healthy diet is important and should provide you with the other nutrients you need. Check the Australian Dietary Guidelines for more advice. However, some pregnant women may need supplements of other nutrients besides folic acid, iodine and vitamin D.

If you have a known deficiency, your doctor might advise you to take a supplement. For example:

  • if you are vegetarian or vegan and not getting enough vitamin B12
  • if you don’t get enough calcium, which is vital for bone health, from dairy or other calcium-rich foods
  • if you are low in iron
  • if you may be low in omega-3 fatty acids, e.g. if you eat very little seafood

If you’re not sure whether you need a supplement, talk to your doctor.

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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.

When Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins

Heres What Can Happen If You Take Prenatal Vitamins When Youre Not ...

Folic acid should be started at least one month prior to conception.

It’s best to start taking prenatal vitamins while you’re trying to get pregnant. The birth defects prevented by folic acid happen within the first few weeks of pregnancy — before you even know you’re expecting.

Don’t worry if you didn’t take prenatal vitamins before you got pregnant. Many women havenât in the past, and they still had healthy babies. Just start taking them as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

When you get pregnant, ask your doctor which prenatal vitamin is best for you. If youâve been taking one already, bring the bottle in so your doctor can check its nutrients.

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Some Of The Extras We Need To Grow A Healthy Baby


Did you know that folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy? Basically, a lack of folic acid can cause damage to your baby’s neural tube, affecting its brain and spinal cord.

But folic acid comes from fruit and leafy greens, right? Correct, but while you might assume you get enough folic acid from a healthy diet, eating bulk berries and spinach won’t cut it during pregnancy.

This is because your folate requirements actually increase To add to that, one in three people have difficulties absorbing folic acid. So, even if you’re getting enough, your body might be saying, “no, thank you.”

It seems rude, right? But, this is because folic acid is actually a synthetic form of folate, the vitamin found in fruit and veg, and sometimes our systems want au natural nutrition.


When youâre pregnant youâre actually making more blood to carry nutrients and oxygen to your baby. This increase in blood volume means that you need more iron – your requirements increase by 50% during pregnancy.

This along with changes in taste and food preferences (especially if youâre grossed out by red meat means it can be especially difficult to get enough iron in your day to day diet.


During pregnancy, your thyroid is more active than normal, meaning that it needs to produce more hormones to support the growth and development of your baby.

So how on earth do we get in these essential vitamins and minerals? Enter, our Next-Gen Prenatal.

Calcium Vitamins During Pregnancy

Calcium is one of the essential nutrients for pregnancy. It helps ensure that muscles and nerves function properly, as well as their expected role in growing strong, healthy bones.

A pregnant body will use whatever resources it can to prioritize the growth and development of the baby. That priority includes stealing calcium from the mothers bones and teeth.

Prenatal vitamins will typically contain 200-300 milligrams of calcium. Pregnant women need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium, so its crucial that they increase their calcium intake with calcium-rich foods, such as orange juice, tofu, kale, bok choy.

Those who are lactose intolerant or vegan may want to discuss options with their doctor, such as increasing their daily dose of prenatal vitamins or switching to prescription vitamins during the crucial months when their body needs it most.

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Better Options For Hair Health And Growth

If you are concerned about your hair health and growth rate, or you are experiencing increased shedding and hair loss, it is a better bet to start with your doctor instead of just hopping on the prenatal supplement train.

Hair loss or slowed growth can occur due to genetics, nutrition, autoimmune disorders, and even severe stress, so it is important to talk to a doctor to figure out the most likely root cause.

You may be guided to take a hair, skin, and nail supplement, adjust your diet, reduce your stress levels, or even consider a medication to help slow the progression of genetic hair loss.

Always Check With The Doctor

Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins If NOT Pregnant?

Its advisable always to inform your physician when taking any medications or supplements, even if they are over-the-counter. By keeping them in the loop, patients will have one more person watching for the right test values, looking out for interactions, and addressing complications. Plus, when a doctor is included as a partner in health, they will be able to offer personalized advice based on their patients health and individual needs. A doctor can help their patients choose the right nutrients to supplement the right amounts for an individuals body and lifestyle and adjust other medications to compensate for a rapidly changing pregnant body.

The same goes for those who choose not to take prenatals. A doctor can help their patient decide whether a different time of day or different vitamins might be better or help monitor for deficiencies so the patient can make informed decisions.

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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.

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How Will Prenatal Vitamins Make You Feel

Prenatal vitamins may make you queasy, especially if you already have bouts of nausea. To ease nausea:

  • Try taking vitamins with food or before you go to sleep.
  • Talk with your doctor about switching to another kind.
  • Ask about a chewable vitamin, which may be easier on your stomach.

The iron in prenatal vitamins can make you constipated. For relief:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables because their fiber helps keep you regular.
  • Drink water to wash down the extra fiber and help you digest it more easily.

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Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins If You Arent Pregnant

In most cases, it isnt necessary or advisable to take prenatal vitamins when you arent pregnant and arent thinking about becoming pregnant. There may be some circumstances where this isnt the case, but usually, a general multivitamin would be enough if you need a supplement at all. Most nutrients should come from your diet and we suggest asking a medical professional about whether or not you should take supplements.

Other Supplements In Pregnancy

Taking Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant: Pros And Cons

Other than folic acid, vitamin D and iodine and any supplement prescribed for you by your doctor, there is limited evidence to support the use of supplements during pregnancy.

Emerging research has shown that omega-3 supplements during pregnancy might help reduce the risk of premature birth, and that probiotics might help control blood glucose levels in pregnancy. But it’s not clear whether the benefits of taking these supplements outweigh any possible harms. Until there is better evidence available, it’s best to avoid them unless prescribed by your doctor â particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Because nutritional supplements are classed as ‘complementary medicines’, they are not scrutinised or regulated as much as other medicines.

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What Happens If Pregnant Women Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy

LFor women in developed countries who live above the poverty line and are able to invest in a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet, prenatal vitamins may not be as necessary as other women with fewer opportunities and limited access.

Not only do women need access to all the quality and varieties of food they will need, but they will also need access to information so they can adequately educate themselves. Additionally, access to quality medical care to navigate specific uncertainties and personal health questions is vital.

For women who lack information, quality medical care, and access to the quantities of quality food that theyll need throughout the pregnancy process, vitamins will be crucial. This need for prenatal vitamins is especially true of women who live in rural areas, below the poverty line, or in developing countries.

Beyond the conversation about access and resources, women who dont take prenatal vitamins may be at risk of an unsafe pregnancy, or they may place the baby in danger of congenital disabilities and a number of debilitating lifelong conditions, such as those mentioned previously.

It Helps To Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia From Occurring

Women require a significant amount of iron during pregnancy almost twice as much as they did before conception. After becoming pregnant, the body needs iron to produce hemoglobin for both mother and unborn child. This mineral aids in the transportation of oxygen from the mothers lungs to the fetus. A prenatal vitamin that contains iron can help avoid iron deficiency anemia, which can cause severe tiredness and other symptoms in the mother and child.

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What Factors Should Go Into Your Decision

Your body needs certain nutrients to function efficiently and your diet needs to provide the proper balance. There are health conditions that can impact the number of nutrients necessary to run efficiently, so it is important to discuss any concerns with your primary care provider so they can help you find the right supplement for you and your specific health concerns.However, like in anything, its important to find balance. Your diet might not provide enough of certain nutrients without some sort of supplement, but its important to avoid taking too much as well. It can be confusing to find the proper balance of nutrients without consulting a nutritional expert.If you have questions about which supplements are appropriate for your situation, speak with your primary care provider.

Benefits Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins When You’re Not Pregnant

Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins if You’re Not Pregnant?

Prenatal vitamins can be a great way to prepare and nutritionally support the body to safely grow another human. For women hoping to conceive, adequate dietary and/or supplemental folate can help promote a healthy pregnancyespecially in the first few weeks of a fetal development, as the need for this essential B vitamin is most critical soon after implantation.*

Armed with this knowledge, it’s absolutely a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin when you’re not pregnant if your goal is to conceive. However, it’s important to note that a comprehensive, non-prenatal multivitamin with a healthy dose of bioavailable folate can also achieve the same end goal.

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Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins When You’re Not Pregnant

Taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant is a regimen some women swear by for health and beauty benefits, but whether the technique is a safe thing to do is not clear-cut.

Prenatal vitamins typically contain folic acid, a derivative of vitamin B, which helps to prevent brain and spine birth defects in babies, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all women of reproductive age take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, but the health agency doesn’t say the daily serving has to come from a prenatal supplement.

Jeff Gladd of Fort Wayne, Indiana, chief medical officer and private practice integrative medicine doctor at Fullscript, an online supplement dispensary, told Fox News Digital that women who are not pregnant generally benefit from taking prenatal vitamins as their multivitamin.

“There are some caveats they should be aware of which can make prenatals an advantage for some that are not pregnant while being a disadvantage to others,” Gladd said. “Knowing one’s nutrient needs more in-depth with regular blood work is often the differentiator.”

Prenatal vitamins tend to “beyond a general multivitamin” because “pregnant women often need additional support” for their babies, according to Gladd.

The vitamins formulated for pregnant women are high in iron, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.

Can You Take A Prenatal Vitamin If Youre Not Pregnant

Yes! In fact, you should be taking a prenatal vitamin if:

  • You are actively attempting to conceive, OR
  • You are not using any contraception and you are a person with a uterus open to pregnancy.
  • About half of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Since birth defects occur so early in pregnancy, its a good idea to be taking a prenatal vitamin if youre in a position to become pregnant even if youre not trying.

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    When To See A Healthcare Provider

    Disruptive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, constipation, and skin changes that persist after changing vitamin brands may warrant a conversation with your provider, according to Dr. White. It could indicate a problem that has nothing to do with the vitamin, she says, adding that prenatal vitamin side effects should be mild and short-lived.

    What Are The Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins While Not Pregnant

    Can I Take Prenatal Vitamins If Im Not Pregnant

    While you might not be pregnant right now, incorporating prenatals into your daily routine would be a good idea if you plan to become pregnant in the near future. Women who are not pregnant but are planning a pregnancy, or are open to the possibility of becoming pregnant, should take prenatal vitamins, says Dr. Canter. The reason is that open neural tube defects in newborns which can occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant can be prevented by taking prenatal vitamins which contain folic acid. Plus, the additional nutrients in the prenatal vitamins provide additional benefits to mother and baby.

    While this all sounds great for the expectant mother, Dr. Canter debunks the myth that prenatals actually give you glowing skin or longer, stronger hair and nails. There is no evidence that prenatal vitamins do anything for hair, skin and nails. She also adds, If you are not expecting, and not planning a future pregnancy, the higher doses of certain vitamins and minerals in the prenatal pill could cause harm if used over a long period of time. Long term use of prenatal vitamins, when not expecting, lactating or planning a future pregnancy, can cause a strain to the liver, mask other medical conditions and cause new chronic conditions.

    While prenatal vitamins wont be your quick fix for thicker hair and healthier-looking skin, there are other supplement options out there that wont harm your body.

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