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.
Tips For Choosing The Best Prenatal Vitamin
There are plenty of prenatal vitamin supplements on the market so how do you pick the best one? Your individual needs may differ, so its best to work directly with your doctor when deciding on the right prenatal vitamin for you.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you choose the best prenatal vitamin:
Other Ways To Boost Fertility
There is good news! About 90% of couples get pregnant within one year of trying, and you could very well be in that 90%. Although, if its taking longer than youd like, or if you or your partner have a family history that could impact your chances of conceiving, there are specialists ready to help you on this journey. Check out our Q& A for some common questions about when to see a fertility specialist.
Helpful tips for improving your chances of conception:
- Figure out when your six-day fertile window is , and have sex in this time period!
- Try to stay within an ideal weight for your height youll have the best chance of conceiving if youre not under or overweight.
- Regular exercisenot vigorous exerciseis a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Prevent Cold Sores
When Should You Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
Prenatal vitamins arent just for pregnant peopletheyre for people trying to get pregnant, too. ACOG recommends taking a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before becoming pregnant.
Begin taking prenatal vitamins when you start tryingdont wait until youre pregnant, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. I encourage all my patients to take folic acid supplementation before they conceiveat least 400 micrograms per dayas we know that women on folic acid supplementation can significantly reduce the risk of certain birth defects like spina bifida.
And even if youre not trying to conceive, if youre not using contraception, you could become pregnant if youre having sex, she says, adding if youre not using contraception, you should take a prenatal vitamin just in case.
|Compare Best Prenatal Vitamins For 2021|
Important Vitamins And Minerals After Conceiving:
- Calcium for your baby’s bones. If you are low on calcium, your baby will draw the calcium it needs from your bones.
- Vitamin D is required to allow the body to absorb calcium.
- Iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function. Iodine deficiency can cause many problems including mental health issues, miscarriage, stillbirth and growth abnormalities. However, due to the iodization of salt, the median intake of iodine for women in the USA is approximately 190 – 210 mg per day.19The Institute of Medicine recommends pregnant women get 220 mg per day. Half a teaspoon of iodized salt contains 190 mg.
Read Also: What Vitamins And Supplements Are Blood Thinners
Other Vitamins And Nutrients
Aside from folic acid, several other key nutrients can benefit pregnant and breastfeeding women and developing fetuses. These include:
Iron: Pregnant women need about twice the usual recommended amount of the mineral iron. Iron is another crucial component in red blood cells. Pregnant women who do not get enough iron may develop iron-deficiency anemia.
Zinc: Supports the immune system and helps the body make proteins, divide cells, and synthesize DNA for new cells.
Vitamin B-12: Helps the body make healthy red blood cells and neurons, which are the specialized cells found in the spinal cord and brain. B-12 also helps these cells to function properly.
Calcium and vitamin D: Work together to help develop fetal bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also crucial for healthy eye and skin development. Calcium may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a leading cause of illness and death in pregnant women, and newborns.
Vitamin A: Helps cells grow and differentiate, contributing to the healthy development of vision and many vital organs.
Vitamin B-6: Plays a vital role in cognitive development, glucose metabolism, immune function, and blood formation. May also help reduce nausea during pregnancy.
Iodine: A trace element essential for the development of the central nervous system, brain, and skeletal system. Severe iodine deficiencies in pregnant women may slow fetal growth or cause neurodevelopmental defects, stillbirth, or miscarriage.
Do Prenatals Help You Get Pregnant
If youre wondering when to start taking prenatals and whether they can boost your fertility, read on. Youll find answers to questions like: Do prenatals help you get pregnant? Do prenatal vitamins make you fertile?
Prenate pills do not increase fertility, but they can help you experience a healthy pregnancy and prevent complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice women on when to start taking prenatals. Women who are planning to get pregnant should take their vitamin three months before conception.
Here are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy:
So, do prenatal vitamins make you fertile? A recent study does mention that vitamin B, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy diets may increase fertility, and you can find some of these ingredients in the Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins Product.
The Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins can help regulate your cycle and prepare your body for pregnancy.
Suppose youre already pregnant and havent been taking prenatals. You can work closely with your doctor so they can advise on when to start taking prenatal vitamins and whether the Conception Fertility Prenatal Vitamins product is right for your body.
Read Also: What Vitamins Does A Woman Over 50 Need
Does Crushing Smashing Or Putting Prenatal Vitamins In Shampoo For Hair Growth Work
Some users claim that smashing or crushing the supplement pills in shampoo or soap may help. This probably may not be helpful.
Prenatal vitamins need to be absorbed by living cells of the dermal papillae and not the dead cells of the hair follicle. The active form of the vitamin also needs to be absorbed by the cells and not a degraded less bioactive product as a result of oxidative effect of UV which is in the environment. UV has been shown to degrade folic acid into its less active metabolites and non-bioactive form of folic acid. The bioactive form of folic acid is methyl tetrahydrofolate. This is the compound that is required for the synthesis of DNA. UVA radiation showed that UVR exposure results in the cleavage of folic acid to form p-aminiobenzoyl-L-glutamic acid and 6-forml pterin
To add, these vitamins are protein coated and are not formulated in their free form as derived from dietary sources. For instance, vitamin B 12 in its protein bound form it should first be degraded by proteases in the stomach and the duodenum. Afterwards it will bind to the R-binder in the walls of the duodenum. In the duodenum, it will undergo further degradation. After the second phase in the duodenum, the pancreas then secretes proteases that degrade the R-binders holding the vitamin B 12.
Don’t Forget These Other Sperm
These other fertility foods may also belong on the menu when you’re trying to conceive:
- Oysters. Were not sure if oysters are an aphrodisiac, but we do know that their zinc content pumps up the production of sperm and testosterone. If your partners not a fan, he can get his share of zinc from lean beef, poultry, dairy, nuts or eggs, though oysters have the highest concentration of this nutrient.
- Fruits and veggies. Produce is rich in the vitamins that can help protect sperm from cellular damage. He can get folate from leafy greens men who dont get enough of this B vitamin tend to have sperm with abnormal chromosomes. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and berries provide vitamin C, which can boost sperm quality. Carrots, red peppers and apricots have lots of vitamin A, which keeps sperm from getting sluggish. Sweet potatoes are rich in all three folate, A and C!
- Pomegranate juice may up sperm count and quality, per some animal studies. While it remains to be seen if it has the same effects on humans, you can always try swapping out the usual morning glass of OJ.
You May Like: What Mg Of Vitamin C Should I Take
What The Difference Between Over
To be honest, there isn’t much of a difference between the two, says Dr. Nwankwo. Both can help you meet your nutritional needs, but certain prescriptions may be made with specific blends that help alleviate another issue.
For example, some prescription prenatals are made with a stool softener to help constipation, or they may have additional iron, if your doctor feels you need it.
Vitamins & Other Nutrients During Pregnancy
Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is needed for the proper development of the human body. Getting enough folic acid not only reduces your babys risk of developing spina bifida and anencephaly by 50-70% but taking a folic acid supplement may also reduce the risk of your baby developing other defects, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and certain heart conditions.
Your body absorbs the synthetic version of folic acid found in vitamins more efficiently than the natural form of folic acid found in food, so even if you do eat a well-balanced diet, a supplement is strongly recommended.
Many women do not consume enough meat. Therefore, taking an iron supplement is very important in preventing iron-deficiency anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy can increase your risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality.
Don’t Miss: What Is Fish Oil Vitamins Used For
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
If you have decided to start taking a prenatal vitamin, there are some things you should know. Weve said it before, and well say it again: prenatals are great and super important for your health and the health of your baby. Its been shown that taking prenatal vitamins can significantly reduce infant morbidity and mortality, and all the vitamins and minerals youre taking are creating the brain, spinal cord, bones, and teeth of your mini-me.
So, what could possibly be the bad or the ugly? Its unlikely, but prenatals can also bring negative side such as constipation or nausea. If youre worried about any negative effects, you can learn how to manage them here.
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
Don’t Miss: Is Fish Oil Vitamins Good For You
Do Prenatals Improve Chances Of Pregnancy And Boost Fertility
Will prenatal vitamins make you more likely to get pregnant? Find out by reading our detailed guide and get tips to improve your chances of conception naturally.
Youve likely already heard a lot about prenatals, and thats because taking a daily prenatal vitamin is so important for your already developing baby. So you know that theyre good for youbut what goes in a prenatal vitamin? And can prenatals improve your chances of getting pregnant?
How Are Prenatal Vitamins Different From Traditional Multivitamins
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:
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Vitamin For Skin Repair
Is It A Good Idea To Take Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant
Is it true that prenatal vitamins help hair growth? While prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients for hair strength and regeneration, its not a good idea to take them if youre not pregnant. If your doctor notices any deficiencies, you will be recommended a suitable supplement. And, of course, you can always get your nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet. Thats how you can avoid the side effects of taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant.
Folic Acid Calcium Iodine And Iron
If getting pregnant is a possibility for you, you should take folic acid. It can prevent birth defects that affect the babys brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects develop early in pregnancy, before many women know theyre pregnant half of all pregnancies are unplanned. This is why doctors recommend that any woman who could get pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
If youve had a baby with a neural tube defect you should talk with your health care provider about folic acid. Studies have shown that taking a larger dose at least one month before and during the first trimester may help if youve had a baby with this defect. But talk to your doctor about whats right for you.
Foods that have folic acid include:
Iron helps your body make more blood red cells. These blood cells carry oxygen to the baby that it needs to develop.
You May Like: What Vitamins Do I Need After Gastric Bypass
Why And When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
If youre pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend taking prenatal vitamins, as it can be hard getting the nutrients and vitamins you need during your pregnancy. Prenate pillscan provide support for your body and babys development.
What do prenatal vitamins do? Can you take prenatal vitamins if youre not pregnant? What happens if yourenot taking prenatal vitaminsduring your pregnancy? What happens if you dont take prenatal vitamins? Do prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant?
Learning more about prenatal vitamins side effects, the benefits that these pills offer, and whether they can increase fertility can help ensure that youre getting the right nutrients before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Iron Levels Get A Boost
Iron is a mineral that is needed to build red blood cells that help carry oxygen throughout the body. A lack of iron is called anemia and is a common blood condition for women of childbearing age. Anemia is more common during pregnancy because iron needs increase from 18 mg per day to 27 mg per day. Women need additional iron to help build red blood cells for both themselves and the baby, to support a healthy placenta, and to prepare for blood loss during birth.
Generally, mild anemia during pregnancy just causes slight fatigue and doesn’t cause any major problems. But if anemia is left untreated or becomes severe, it can increase the risk of a preterm labor or a stillbirth.
Most doctors will automatically check iron levels in pregnant women in order to monitor for anemia. If you do have anemia, it can be treated via diet modification and by taking a prenatal vitamin with iron. Most prenatal vitamins contain some iron, but not all do, so be sure to check the label.
You May Like: What Should Be In Your Prenatal Vitamin