What Happens If You Dont Take Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can help prevent miscarriages, defects, and preterm labor. If youre not taking prenatal vitamins, neural tube defects can appear:
- Anencephaly: This occurs when the babys skull and brain doesnt form correctly. Babies that are born with anencephaly dont survive.
- Spina bifida: This occurs when the spine does not form correctly and the baby may have physical disabilities.
Now that we have addressed one of the most asked questions, What happens if you dont take prenatal vitamins?, we can move on to the next section: When to take prenatal vitamins.
Gbs Protocol + Supplements
In addition to an oral probiotic throughout pregnancy, my midwife recommends taking 1/4 of a probiotic pill as a suppository every other day for two weeks leading up to the GBS test.
Basically you break one of the pills, pour it on a plate, divide into 4 equal sizes, dip your finger into one portion, and put it in your vagina .
In addition to the probiotic, she recommends taking garlic capsules or eating lots of garlic and probiotic rich foods .
She also recommends taking two additional supplements daily beginning two weeks before the GBS test and until baby is born:
Echinacea is one of the most well-known, researched, and respected immune-supporting herbs. We also keep this one in our supplement cabinet whenever we feel a cold or for flu season.
Pure Synergy is one of my favorite brands for immune boosting supplements. They are generally vegan, gluten free, USDA certified Organic, Non-GMO, and go through a very clean processing.
This has no taste and is VERY easy to take!
Because I had trouble drinking water while pregnant during the first trimester, I inevitably became constipated. Not fun!
My acupuncturist recommended I take this magnesium supplement. I had actually taken it years ago during a very stressful time in my life and it’s worked wonders. It helped me sleep better and relaxed the muscles. And of course, it helps relax the sphincter to make pooping easier while pregnant!
Garden Of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Multivitamin
This prenatal multivitamin is a great all-around dietary supplement, containing all the recommended vitamins and minerals sourced from natural ingredients. It also has the distinction of being gluten-free, non-GMO, Kosher, and vegetarian. But as such, it does not contain DHA. You can get that from the Garden of Life Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA, a fish oil supplement sold separately.
Don’t Miss: What Vitamins Are Good For Acne Prone Skin
Best Prenatal Vitamins To Buy Over The Counter
These vitamins offer the best nutrients to support a healthy pregnancy.
All products and services featured here are selected by Everyday Health’s commerce team and chosen for their potential to inspire and enable your wellness. Everyday Health may earn an affiliate commission on items you purchase.
Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, but it becomes even more important before and during pregnancy, as what you eat is also the source of nutrients for the baby.
Although most of your nutrients should come from the foods you eat, it is a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin supplement to fill in potential gaps. Early in pregnancy, particularly with nausea and food aversions that are common in the first trimester, a woman may not eat a balanced diet, says Cynthia C. Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, ob-gyn at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Prenatal vitamin supplements contain all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals you will need before and during your pregnancy, according to the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians .
Some of the nutrients that are particularly important before and during pregnancy include folic acid, iron, and vitamin D. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects when taken before pregnancy and during pregnancy, according to the ACOG, and they recommend that women consume 400 micrograms of folic acid a day.
When Do I Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitaminsand For How Long
Ideally you should start taking them as soon as you start trying to conceive, Dr. Ruiz says. Your baby will need those extra nutrients from the moment of conception, Dr. Ruiz explains.
Continue to take the vitamins throughout your pregnancy and afterward, for as long as you’re breastfeeding, he advises.
You May Like: When To Use Vitamin C And Retinol
I Have Morning Sickness And Struggle To Take My Prenatal Vitamin What Should I Do
Sometimes morning sickness is a problem with prenatal vitamins. If you find that your stomach is upset when you take the vitamins, try a different time of day or a different prenatal vitamin. You can also cut them in half and take half in the morning and the other half at night. Try taking the vitamin with food to decrease stomach upset.
Prenatal vitamins are essential to ensure you are meeting your nutrition needs and the needs of the growing baby. Morning sickness is typically at its peak in the first trimester when key nutrients are crucial to a baby’s development. Speak with your health care provider to find a solution that will work for you.
What Type Of Prenatal Vitamins Is Best
Vitamins come in multiple forms: pill, soft-gel capsule and gummies. For some, swallowing and holding down a pill can be difficult especially when youre queasy due to morning sickness. If thats your situation, try a soft-gel capsule or a gummy vitamin. Just remember that gummy vitamins do not contain iron, so you may want an extra iron supplement for that.
Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!
Read Also: What’s A Good Prenatal Vitamin To Take
How We Chose The Best Prenatal Vitamins
We started with the ingredients outlined above and found prenatal supplements that contain most of the nutrients you need. From there, we checked which of these options were also tested and recommended by members of our What to Expect community, OB/GYNs or editors.
Here are our top picks.
See registry advice and a custom baby gear checklist
Supplements During Pregnancy: Whats Safe And Whats Not
If youre pregnant, you may think that feeling overwhelmed and confused comes with the territory. But it doesnt have to be so confusing when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
If you did your extra credit work, we bet you already know that high mercury seafood, alcohol, and cigarettes are off-limits during pregnancy. What may surprise you is that some vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements should be avoided as well.
Information on which supplements are safe and which arent varies and can make things feel even more complicated. Weve got you, though.
This article breaks down which supplements are believed to be safe to take during pregnancy and why some supplements should be avoided.
Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but its especially critical during pregnancy, as youll need to nourish both yourself and your growing babe.
Read Also: How Much Is A Megadose Of Vitamin C
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.
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.
You May Like: What Veggies Have Vitamin C
Why Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are like a nutrition safety net that helps you maintain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to grow a healthy baby and sustain your pregnancy. They work best when supported .
The most noted example of the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins is the fact that they help you get more folic acid. When taken before pregnancy, prenatal vitamins with folic acid can help drastically reduce the incidence of neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.
Other vitamins and minerals of importance in pregnancy include iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA, and iodine. Your body needs twice as much iron as usual during pregnancy to build red cells to bring oxygen to the growing baby. You need 1000 milligrams of calcium per day as your baby develops its bones, teeth, and muscles. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Iodine is needed for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
Take Care With Certain Vitamins
Your body only needs a small amount of each nutrient, and higher amounts are not necessarily better. In fact, consuming more than you need can sometimes cause harm.
It’s also best to avoid foods that may be very high in vitamin A, including liver and liver products such as pÃ¢tÃ©.
Just as you need to check with your doctor before you take any medicines while pregnant, it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Read Also: What Vitamins Do I Take
What Are Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are supplements made for pregnant women to give their bodies the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may suggest that you take them when you begin to plan for pregnancy, as well as while youre pregnant.
Eating a healthy diet is always a wise idea — especially during pregnancy. It’s also a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in your diet.
Nature Made Prenatal Multi + Dha
- Ideal for ALL mothers and moms-to-be, including those trying to conceive, those already pregnant, and those breastfeeding
- Includes 200 mg DHA for support of babys tissue, eye, and nerve development
- In soft-gel form for easier swallow and digestion
- Contains a mothers daily doses of Folic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin D, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Take ONE vitamin per day with a meal, preferably at bedtime to perfectly absorb the nutrients while you sleep
Most prenatal vitamins focus on the benefits of a vitamin DURING or AFTER pregnancy, but Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA is one you can take BEFORE you conceive. These vitamins help prepare your body for the possibility of pregnancy, loading your system with the benefits of essentials that you need for your health and the health of your babe-to-be. Essentially, this prenatal is AWESOME for womenperiod.
Some key elements to point out about this vitamin are the 200 mg DHA, the high dose of Zinc and Folic Acid, and the measured dose of Iron. DHA has been proven to help support a healthy immune system for mom, while promoting the healthy growth and development of a babys eyes, skin, and nerves. Zinc and Folic Acid are important for nervous system health and brain growth. Iron is a must for super-healthy blood flow for both moms and their growing cuties.
Also Check: What Vitamin Helps With Memory And Focus
So What About Those Who Choose Not To Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy
Ill admit I didnt regularly take prenatal vitamins with either of my pregnancies. With my first, I had severe morning sickness throughout the first trimester. I could barely hold down food much less a giant vitamin. I did take them throughout the second trimester once I felt better, and took them about once every three days during the third trimester. For my second pregnancy, most of my time was spent chasing my toddler around and, quite frankly, taking a prenatal every day just slipped my mind. Ive never been one for medicines or even vitamins, so it just wasnt much of a priority.
My main focus was on eating a healthy, clean diet full of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Both of my girls were born healthy and thriving and still are.
My doctor even said that so long as I was getting the recommended vitamins and minerals through food, then skipping out on prenatal vitamins wasnt that big of a deal .
What Is The Difference Between Prenatals And Daily Vitamins
Men and women often choose to take supplements in one form or another, depending on their personal goals and circumstances.
For example, women who have a family history of osteoporosis or who have been on the injectable birth control, progesterone, for more than two years, might be advised by their physician to take calcium as a daily supplement.
If someone has a vitamin deficiency of any kind will likely be given a prescription vitamin until their levels are normalized.
Vitamins are recommended for specific circumstances and health concerns. Prenatal vitamins are advised for the particular needs of a pregnant body.
Specifically, prenatal vitamins address the increase in the daily recommended allowance for pregnant women.
Several nutrients have a higher RDA during pregnancy. However, some of the most commonly addressed vitamins are calcium, folic acid, and iron because of how consistently they lack in the proper amounts from pregnant womens diets and their crucial role in the health of mother and baby.
Well cover these three vitamins, but women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should discuss diet, nutrition, and supplements with their physicians to get a more holistic, personalized sense of their bodies needs.
Read Also: What Foods Give You Vitamin B
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
Prenatal Vitamins Dont Help You Get Pregnant
A prenatal vitamin is not a magic fertility pill, and it wont make you any more likely to get pregnant. However, starting a prenatal vitamin before conception can reduce the chance of not only neural tube defects but also heart defects, limb deformities and cleft palate, according to research published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.
Also Check: What Is A Good Vitamin D
Possible Prenatal Vitamins Side Effects
The iron in prenatals can cause constipation, and you may also have low appetite, stomach cramps, dark stools, and diarrhea. You can ease your symptoms by:
- Drinking a lot of fluids.
- Eating more food rich in fiber.
- Getting more physical activity.
Other prenatal vitamins side effects that can appear include:
- Back pain.
- Teeth staining.
Let your doctor know if you are taking pain relievers, heart medications, high blood pressure pills, sulfamethoxazole, or diuretics, as these can have negative interactions with prenate pills. Your healthcare provider can advise you on when to start taking prenatal vitamins.
Now, we can move on to the next section: Do prenatals help you get pregnant? where we will address the following question: Do prenatal vitamins make you fertile? and also discuss when to start taking prenatals.
Play Around With The Supplement Doses
In and of themselves, prenatal vitamins can cause some degree of nausea. More often than not, the culprit is iron. If your prenatal vitamin consistently makes you feel nauseated, check the labelthe recommended amount of iron per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Institutes of Health is 27 mg per day. If your prenatal has more than that, try switching to one with a lower dose . If that still doesnt help, ask your provider whether you can switch to a prenatal vitamin without iron during your first trimester and get iron from food sources instead.
As mentioned earlier, increasing vitamin B6 intake is associated with decreased nausea and vomiting. If your prenatal vitamin doesnt have vitamin B6 or has a low dose, try switching to one that has a higher dose.
Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin D Help With Joint Pain
Rainbow Light Prenatal Daily Duo
Rainbow Light’s Prenatal Daily Duo pack consists of two pills, the brand’s Prenatal One multivitamin and Prenatal DHA Smart Essentials capsules. One pack contains a month’s supply of each, though you can also buy the multivitamins and DHA supplement separately. One common complaint is that the vitamin can be hard to swallow due to its size, so it might not be a good fit if you dislike taking pills.