What Are The Most Important Prenatal Vitamins
Some very important physical development occurs in a fetus within the first few weeks of a pregnancy.
In fact, by about week 4 after conception, the neural tube which develops into the spinal cord and brain has already formed! This means that, if you wait to start prenatal vitamins, you may miss the window of time where they are of the most benefit.
Folic acid supplementation decreases the risk of neural tube defects. The minimum recommended amount is 400 mcg daily. However, most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid.
As your pregnancy progresses, the benefits of getting enough folic acid continue, as it is important for maintaining the proper growth rate of your baby. Research has shown a 50% decreased chance of preterm delivery for women who take folic acid daily for at least 1 year before conceiving.Iron
Iron helps your body maintain its oxygen-carrying blood cells, thereby helping to prevent anemia. As you can imagine, with a baby on board, your body will require even more blood cells than normal.
Prenatal vitamins can provide you with the amount of iron that is sufficient for what most women need during pregnancy. Also, by preventing anemia, iron supplementation decreases the risk that you will have a preterm or low birth-weight infant.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Again, many women do not get enough calcium and vitamin D from their diets. Thus the supplementation found in prenatal vitamins is helpful.
How Do I Choose A Prenatal Vitamin
First, look at whats in it. Ideally, choose a prenatal vitamin that contains micronutrients that are important to promote fetal development and maternal health, says Dr. Samuel. The most famously important of these is folic acid, which reduces the risk of neural tube defects . A 2018 meta-analysis in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that taking folate or folic acid supplements during pregnancy might also lower the risk of preeclampsia, a condition of abnormally high blood pressure which can be risky for the parent and fetus.
The food-based version of folic acid is folate, but supplementation is key during pregnancy because it can be difficult to get enough folate through food. Luckily, youd be hard-pressed to find a prenatal that isnt rich in this nutrient.
Prenatal vitamins with iron are also super important, as iron promotes the health and development of the placenta. You also want ones that are easy on the GI system and affordable, says Dr. Samuel, since youll be taking these every day for at least nine months.
Beyond that? I look specifically for prenatals that contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E, zinc, and iodine, says Dr. Samuel. Get one that contains those, folate, and DHA , and youll be in great shape for your reproductive life.
Cmo Tomar Prenatal Multivitamins Para Amamantar A Su Beb
Antes de tomar prenatal multivitamins, dígale a su médico acerca de todas sus condiciones médicas y todas las medicinas que usted esté usando. Pregúntele un médico antes de usar un suplemento vitamínico o mineral si usted está siguiendo una dieta baja en sal. Usted tal vez seguir tomando prenatal multivitamins si está dando de amamantar a su bebé.
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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:
Prenatals: Slicing The Risk Of Anovulation In Half
Infertility due to anovulation is one of the biggest reasons for not getting pregnant. Its probably one of the first things your doctor will investigate when you go to your WTF, why am I not pregnant yet-appointment after a year of trying.
Because when youre not ovulating, you cant get pregnant. Its as simple as that. So making sure you ovulate is *crucial* when you want to have a baby.
Researchers found that women who took a prenatal every day had a 41% lower risk of anovulation, a.k.a. not ovulating.2 Thats close to 50%! In other words, taking a multivitamin seems to severely reduce the risk of having menstrual cycle problems. And when your cycle is nice and steady, the odds of conceiving are higher too.
In another recent study from Denmark,3 women who were trying to get pregnant were asked if they took a prenatal vitamin. Turns out that for each cycle of trying to get pregnant, women taking a prenatal had about a 15% higher chance of getting pregnant.
Thats quite a nice boost for just 1 simple pill! And guess what women with irregular, long, or short cycles benefited the most!
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What Are The Most Important Nutrients In Prenatals Especially For The First Month Of Pregnancy
While its important to have a well-rounded balance of vitamins and nutrients during pregnancy, some are truly MVPs because they actually help your baby form vital organs and body systems, many of which begin developing in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , these are the most important nutrients you need:
What About Other Nutrients
There are other nutrients that may improve the health of your pregnancy. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to take supplements that include:Omega-3 fatty acids: These fats, which include DHA and EPA , come only from food sources such as fatty fish and nuts. Studies show omega-3s can lower your risk of preterm birth and of having a baby with low birth weight. If you dont eat much food thats rich in omega-3s, ask your health care provider if a supplement is right for you.
Choline: Although your body can make some choline on its own, you get most of it from food. Rich sources include beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs. Many pregnant women dont get enough choline, which the baby needs for healthy brain growth.
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What Are The Benefits Of Folic Acid During Pregnancy
Your baby may have problems with their neural tubes if there is not enough folic acid. These include:
- Spina Bifida: incomplete development of the spine cord or vertebrae
- Anencephaly incomplete development of major brain parts
Babies born with anencephaly are less likely to live long. Spina bifida can cause permanent disability. These are serious problems. The good news is that your baby may be protected by at least 50% if they get enough folic acid.
The CDC states that folic acid can reduce the risk of your child having a neural tube defect if you have had a previous baby. It is recommended to increase your daily intake of folic acid if you have ever had a child with a neural tube defect. Talk to your doctor about the amount you should be taking. Folic acid can also be taken during and before pregnancy to protect your baby from:
- Cleft lip & palate
- Alzheimers Disease
Prenatals: Decreasing Miscarriage Rates And Other Benefits
Lets talk about the risk of miscarriage. Because unfortunately, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss. Many happen in those early weeks when some dont even realize theyre pregnant yet.
And its these early days that are perhaps the most crucial. Well, not only do prenatals have a great safety record, they have actually been shown to significantly decrease the risk of both miscarriage as well as stillbirth.
A recent study from Michigan and Texas found that a really important thing you can do to avoid a pregnancy loss is taking a multivitamin before even getting pregnant. In fact, this cut the risk of miscarriage in half!9
And other studies agree too. Take for example this one enormous study from 2016 looking at 40 separate trials involving almost 300,000 women. Yes 300,000 women! They found that the risk of both stillbirth and miscarriage is lower in women taking prenatal multivitamins.10
There are other benefits too. Another study found that multivitamin use during pregnancy is very much recommended because it substantially lowers the risk of many birth defects, mostly thanks to folate. That includes a lower risk of having a baby with low birth weight, neural tube defects, urine tract defects, heart defects, and the risk of limb defects is much lower too. Theres even a lower risk of autism!11
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The Best Supplements To Take If Youre Trying To Get Pregnant
If youre the type of person whos proactive about your healthand youre strongly considering a babythen youve probably spent some time Googling supplements that will help enhance fertility or that will ensure youre stocked up on the nutrients your baby needs to thrive. But often, these searches result in ultra-long lists of somewhat obscure-sounding nutrients, leaving you wondering: Do I really need all of these? The answer: Everyones different, but you probably dont need to start popping 10 different pills if youre planning to get pregnant.
Here, we consulted fertility and womens health experts about the supplements that are appropriate for most women looking to conceive in the near future, plus tips on the most fertility-friendly diet.
Is It Safe To Take A Prenatal When Youre Not Pregnant Yet
The very first thing you might ask yourself when youre planning to have a baby is: what can I do to make sure that me and my future bubs are as healthy as possible?
While this article lists all the benefits of taking a prenatal when youre not pregnant yet, you also need to know if its even safe to do so. After all, prenatals are mostly developed for women who are already pregnant.
Well, the CDC recommends that all women of reproductive age take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, not just women who are already pregnant!
Also, the Mayo clinic states that its generally a good idea for women of reproductive age to regularly take a prenatal vitamin.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also thinks starting early with prenatals is a great idea. They recommend taking a prenatal vitamin at least 1 month before becoming pregnant, but since you cant predict whats going to happen in the future, its a good bet to start when you start trying for a baby. Besides, you want to start early as Ill show you what the science says about how a good prenatal vitamin can actually improve your chances of becoming pregnant faster!
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Are There Any Downsides To Taking A Prenatal Vitamin Early
Let’s say you want to get an extra early start on prenatals because you’re really into planning ahead. Are there any risks or side effects associated with that? Nope as long as the nutrient levels in the prenatal, in addition to what you’re already getting from what you eat, are beneath the recommended upper limits for nonpregnant people.*
An important nutrient to look out for when you’re starting prenatals early is iron. High levels of iron, which are often found in prenatals, can cause gastrointestinal side effects like constipation, heartburn, and nausea, as well as inhibit absorption of other nutrients. For many people, balanced levels of a different form of iron can help. Research shows that ferrous fumarate and ferrous sulfate lead to the most GI symptoms, while ferrousbisglycinate leads to the fewest.*
Prenatals will list the exact forms they use of each nutrient on the label, so look for ferrous bisglycinate to be extra easy on your tummy. If you’re meeting the recommended pre-pregnancy daily iron intake of 18 mg through food alone , you can also opt for a prenatal without iron.
Modern Fertility’s Prenatal Multi has ferrous bisglycinate and the iron level set by the FDA for pre-pregnancy to minimize uncomfortable side effects and start taking it early.* The Prenatal Multi also includes vitamin C, a nutrient shown to improve the absorption of any iron you’re already getting.*
Best Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy
Congratulations, you are thinking about getting pregnant! Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life, and you may be wonder, do prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant? However, the short answer is no they help prevent pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight and premature birth. Ultimately helping you experience a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
Prenatal multivitamins may not help your chances of getting pregnant, but they reduce your chances of birth defects. Their use significantly helps reduce the likelihood of neural tube defects, spina bifida and is associates with a lower risk of miscarriage. Think of them as an extra insurance policy with essential nutrients that help fill the nutritional gap of your daily food intake.
We recommend you add a prenatal multivitamin before getting pregnant. While doing this may not make you pregnant, it may help prepare your body to nourish your eggs and aid your uterus to be in optimal condition for implantation. Here are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy.
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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.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
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
- 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.
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Is It Bad If You Dont Take Your Prenatal Vitamins During Your Pregnancy
The best way to stay healthy during your pregnancy is to eat right and maintain a healthy weight gain. Yes prenatal vitamins are an important part of your pregnancy nutrition, but they are never a subtitute for a healty well balanced diet. If you forget your vitamins once in a while do not panicand do not double up because they may make you feel sick or increase constipation. I usually recommend that my patients put any daily medicine in a place they go every daysuch as next to their toothbrushes, hairdryers, car keys, etc. Sometimes you can even set a daily reminder or alarm on your cell phone so you can remember to take your vitamins.
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Talk To A Doctor If You Have A Long
If you have a long-term condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it could affect the decisions you make about your pregnancy for example, where you might want to give birth.
Before you get pregnant, have a discussion with your specialist or a GP about getting pregnant.
If youre taking medicine for a condition, do not stop taking it without talking to a doctor.
Do Prenatal Vitamins Have Side Effects
A lot of people wonder about about prenatal vitamins side effects. Some people get nauseated or constipated from taking prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you, talk with your doctor about changing brands or the types of vitamins youre taking.
Prenatal vitamins come in tablets or capsules, so finding the kind that works best with your body can help ease side effects. Your doctor or midwife can help you find a prenatal vitamin that will work best for your body.
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