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What Are The Most Important Vitamins For Pregnancy

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The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

as of 13/04/2022 4:52 pm


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Vitamins Supplements And Pregnancy

While supplements and vitamins are necessary for most people to lead a nutritionally balanced, and healthy life, for pregnant women supplements are especially crucial. In fact, supplements and prenatal vitamins are a good idea before you become pregnant. Certain supplements such as folic acid are necessary for the development of your healthy embryo soon after conception. Maintaining your very best health by supplementing your diet this way helps to ensure a good start to your pregnancy.Additionally, prenatal vitamins and supplements help prepare your body for the demands encountered when growing a baby. During pregnancy your body does double-time in the supply of oxygen and blood, to meet your growing babys needs, as well as your own. The demand for calcium for bone development, and to shore up your own skeletal system, is increased. In order to process that calcium, you need additional vitamin D.

Current Strategies And Interventions

Several strategies exist globally to address micronutrient malnutrition in women and children. Common strategies include diet diversification, biofortification of staple crops, large-scale, targeted, and home fortification . Micronutrient supplementation is another common strategy, often used for short-term, preventive purposes targeting specific at-risk population groups . Micronutrients are ingested in the forms of tablets or other vehicles and bioconverted to their active form. Thus, supplementation is a recommended part of routine antenatal care to overcome complications associated with micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy, and to support maternal health and fetal development. This review will focus on micronutrient supplementation interventions during pregnancy.

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Vitamins Are Important Postpartum As Well

While there are clear benefits for taking a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy, there is also significant evidence that prenatal or postnatal vitamins may help even after delivery with things like improving the nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers, preventing anemia and calcium deficiencies and enhanced energy and better mood regulation.

Some women, such as those with a vegetarian or vegan diet, may not get adequate nutrients through diet alone and may be at greater risk for deficiencies.

Most health care providers recommend taking a prenatal vitamin as long as you are breastfeeding to ensure your baby continues to get sufficient nutrients like A,D and B vitamins, DHA and iodine, Dr. Valentine said. If not breastfeeding, then the general recommendation is to continue taking them a minimum of 6-8 weeks postpartum while your body is healing.

Talk to your health care provider about whether youd benefit from taking prenatal or postnatal vitamins after delivery.

What Supplements Do I Need In Pregnancy

What Are The Most Important Vitamins For Pregnancy


A healthy, balanced diet will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. Folic acid and vitamin D are so important for your baby, that you should take supplements to make sure you are getting enough.

If your blood tests show that you are anaemic in pregnancy, then your doctor or midwife will give you an iron supplement. Otherwise, you do not have to take an iron supplement in pregnancy.

There is no need to take any other vitamin and mineral supplements unless your GP prescribes them. Some women chose to take a pregnancy multivitamin, which is fine if you choose to do so.

Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A, as too much could harm your baby.

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When Do I Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Start taking folic acid at least 1 month before you start trying to get pregnant. The first few weeks of pregnancy are a really important time for fetal health and development. Taking folic acid and other prenatal vitamins can help reduce the risk of some birth defects. Keep taking prenatal vitamins throughout your entire pregnancy.

When To Take Prenatal Vitamins

If planning a pregnancy, begin taking prenatal vitamins before conception. Additionally, all adults should meet expert recommendations for vitamin intake. Doing so ensures the fetus develops properly even before a person realizes they are pregnant. For example, the vital neural tube develops during the first month of pregnancy, which is often before a person begins taking prenatal vitamins.

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Find A Whole Food Multivitamin

Before you ever try to conceive, your OBGYN may recommend you start taking a prenatal vitamin. It doesn’t hurt to get extra vitamins before getting pregnant, but it becomes absolutely important once you see that positive result window.

As Lathon explains, a prenatal multivitamin provides many essential nutrients needed during pregnancy to ensure healthy development. Just make sure it’s a whole food vitamin, also known as a food-based multi-vitamin because they are made from food and are free of synthetic fillers.

“This results in a higher quality vitamin that is much easier to absorb and has greater bioavailability, meaning the body is better able to break down and utilize the vital nutrients,” she says.

Does The Fda Regulate Prenatal Vitamins

The Importance of Vitamins Before, During, and After Pregnancy

Keep in mind, the FDA does not review over-the-counter prenatal vitamins before they enter the market. This means that they may not contain what they say on the label. They could even contain potentially dangerous contaminants such as heavy metals.

Some organizations such as NSF International and U.S. Pharmacopeia will audit supplements to make sure products meet certain standards. You can look for certifications like Good Manufacturing Practice and independent third-party testing. Your healthcare provider might also be able to recommend a reliable supplement.

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Five Important Prenatal Nutrients

Folate has been shown to support the prevention of neural tube defects and anemia. Vitamin D

Vitamin D impacts a pregnant womans blood pressure, brain function, immunity and mood which is why it is important for women to ensure they are consuming sufficient Vitamin D within their diets. Moreover, Vitamin D deficiencies have been shown to lead to abnormal bone growth and fractures in newborns, as well as complications during delivery. Iodine

Within the first trimester of pregnancy, the babys thyroid becomes active, and the only source of thyroid hormone to the baby is directly from the mother. Iodine deficiencies have been linked to irregularities in brain development and complications during delivery.

Can I Overdose On Folic Acid

Most women shouldnt take more than 1mg of folic acid a day. Some women who are at a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects might benefit from up to 5mg a day .

Family history of or previous pregnancies with neural tube defects, diabetes, and taking anti-epileptic medication when you’re pregnant raise your risk of having babies with neural tube defects. If you are at higher risk, talk to your GP or midwife as they can prescribe a higher dose and/or recommend additional screening tests .

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Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins Before Conception

While not all pregnancies are planned, if you hope to get pregnant in the near future, start taking prenatal vitamins now. Its important to build up your stores of DHA , choline, iron, folic acid and other vital minerals and vitamins to prepare your body for when itll need to support a growing baby.

From conception to delivery, your baby requires extra energy for growth, brain and immune development. So, getting adequate amounts of protein, choline, folic acid, vitamin D, DHA, fiber-rich foods and iron through diet and supplemental intake is important, Dr. Valentine said. Not getting enough of these key nutrients can put a baby at risk for developmental complications, such as neural tube defects like spina bifida, which often occur in the first month of pregnancy when the neural tube is growing.

When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

11 Important Vitamins for Pregnancy

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.

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Look For An Independent Seal Of Approval

Several groups independently verify dietary supplements using rigorous criteria. If youd like extra reassurance that your supplement meets high standards, look for seals from the following organizations:

However, keep in mind that getting approval from one of these groups is a voluntary, not required, step for manufacturers. So if your prenatal vitamin isnt marked with one of these seals, it doesnt necessarily mean its not good. Bottom line: If youre at all concerned about the quality of the supplement youre taking, talk to your doctor.

Iron And Folic Acid Versus Folic Acid Supplementation

Seven studies were included in the meta-analyses for iron and folic acid supplementation versus folic acid supplementation or placebo . Of these, three studies were conducted in the East Asia Pacific region, specifically in China , two studies were from sub-Saharan Africa , one from South Asia in Nepal , and one in Iran, the Middle East and North Africa region . Across all studies, similar formulations of IFA and FA were utilized, with the majority of studies providing 50 or 60 mg of elemental iron and one study providing 30 mg of elemental iron . Folic acid was typically provided in amounts of 400 µg, with two studies providing 5000 µg and another 1000 µg of folic acid .

IFA supplementation compared to FA, across five studies , showed a 48% reduction in the risk of maternal anemia in the third trimester of pregnancy . For the risk of low birthweight babies, a 12% reduction was noted across four studies . However, IFA did not reduce the risk of perinatal mortality .

Forest plot of comparison IFA versus FA supplementation/placebo, from baseline to post-intervention on the risk of low birthweight infants.

No subgroup analysis for primary outcomes was conducted for this comparison due to an insufficient number of studies per subgroup of interest.

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One A Day Men’s & Women’s Pre

as of 13/04/2022 4:52 pm


  • One a day pre pregnancy multivitamin couple’s pack contains two sets of complete multivitamins specially designed to support pre pregnancy health as a couple
  • For her, One a day women’s Prenatal multivitamins are the OB/GYN recommended over the counter brand of prenatal multivitamins with folic acid, to support the earliest and most critical stage of pregnancy
  • For him, One a day men’s pre conception Health with powerful antioxidants like vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc, and lycopene which support healthy sperm
  • Adding a prenatal multivitamin to expecting mother’s daily routines is an important step in providing nutritional support for pregnant women and babies throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Contains 30 one a day women’s prenatal multivitamin softgels and 30 men’s pre conception health tablets Sat. fat less than 20 gram

Most Important Prenatal Nutrients For Pregnancy

The 4 Most Important Supplements for Pregnancy

Youre essentially working overtime growing a little human being, and while a healthy, balanced diet is very much needed to ensure youre compensating for this additional energy expenditure, adequate supplementation is imperative to make sure youre meeting your higher prenatal nutrient needs. Lets look at the prenatal nutrients recommended in order to avoid nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy.

Supplementation does vary depending on the individual woman, and it is recommended that all supplements are approved beforehand by your doctor or medical professional.

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Supplements To Take During Pregnancy

In addition to the vitamins and nutrients discussed above, here are two of the best supplements to take while pregnant.


Doctors will often encourage their pregnant patients to take a fish oil supplement. Heres why.

Why theyre important: Omega-3 fatty acid stores tend to deplete quickly throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids provide DHA, one of its most biologically active acids.

DHA can help ease the risk for an early preterm birth . Additionally, low DHA levels can influence changes in brain function. Consequently, this can lead to genetic variations, decreased learning abilities, and impaired vision.

The benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acid extend to postnatal nutrition, too. Researchers suggest that rapid depletion of fatty acids during pregnancy and breastfeeding can contribute to the baby blues. In turn, taking this healthy omega can have a positive influence on maternal well-being.

Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • cold-water fish
  • seeds
  • plant oils

The ACOG recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week. However, pay special attention to avoid raw or undercooked fish. Additionally, you should also avoid fish with high mercury levels while pregnant.

That said, talk to your doctor about incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your prenatal plan if you suspect youre getting enough DHA.


  • women who nurse an infant whos at risk for allergies
  • Which Prenatal Supplement Is Right For Me

    To choose the best supplement for you, consult with your doctor first. They will need to assess your current nutrition levels and identify any deficiencies present. They will need to take into account your dietary restrictions, if any. For example, vegetarians may struggle more with iron and vitamin B12 levels. Based on all of these factors, you and your doctor can choose the best supplement for you.

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    Dont Rely On Dr Google

    While its easy to jump online to find instant answers to any questions you have, the Internet is full of myths regarding pregnancy and prenatal care, Fiorentino says. Many opinions broadcast by social media storm can quickly turn from myth to fact.

    Before you take what you read online to heart, ask your doctor about it.

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    The Importance Of Prenatal Nutrition

    What Are The Most Important Vitamins For Pregnancy

    Meeting your daily nutrient needs during pregnancy is necessary to keep up with your rapidly changing maternal metabolism.

    Of course, maternal nutrition is essential for healthy fetal growth and development. In fact, theres growing research that suggests the effects of prenatal nutrition can trickle into adulthood.

    For that reason, its important to learn about necessary vitamins for pregnant women, as well as additional supplement and macronutrient needs.

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    Supplements Considered Safe During Pregnancy

    Just as with medications, your doctor should approve and supervise all micronutrient and herbal supplements to ensure that theyre necessary and taken in safe amounts.

    Always purchase vitamins from a reputable brand that has their products evaluated by third-party organizations like the United States Pharmacopeia .

    This ensures that the vitamins adhere to specific standards and are generally safe to take. Not sure which brands are reputable? Your local pharmacist can be a lot of help.

    Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All

  • What is folic acid?

    Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is important for pregnant women. Folic acid may help prevent major birth defects of the fetuss brain and spine called neural tube defects .

  • How much folic acid should I take?

    When you are pregnant you need 600 micrograms of folic acid each day. Because its hard to get this much folic acid from food alone, you should take a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms starting at least 1 month before pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

    Women who have had a child with an NTD should take 4 milligrams of folic acid each day as a separate supplement at least 3 months before pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. You and your ob-gyn or other obstetric care provider can discuss whether you need to supplement with more than 400 micrograms daily.

  • Why is iron important during pregnancy?

    Iron is used by your body to make the extra blood that you and your fetus need during pregnancy. Women who are not pregnant need 18 mg of iron per day. Pregnant women need more, 27 mg per day. This increased amount is found in most prenatal vitamins.

  • What is calcium?

    Calcium is a mineral that builds your fetuss bones and teeth. Women who are age 18 or younger need 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Women who are 19 or older need 1,000 mg per day.

  • Give you energy

  • Supply energy for your fetuss development

  • Promote good vision

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    Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins When Trying To Get Pregnant

    A prenatal vitamin will definitely give you the vitamins and minerals youll need while preparing for pregnancy and when pregnant, while a regular multivitamin might not do the trick but youll need to check the label of any vitamin you plan to take to be sure.

    The most important nutrient that youll want to check for is folic acid. Prenatal vitamins contain the amount of folic acid needed for a babys healthy cell and neural tube development during pregnancy and its particularly important to get this amount early in pregnancy. In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends all women of childbearing age take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily. And the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women get 600 mcg of folic acid each day. But because it can be hard to get that much folic acid just from food alone, ACOG also recommends that pregnant women take a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mcg prior to getting pregnant and early on in pregnancy at least one month before getting pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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