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What Should A Prenatal Vitamin Contain

Why Are Vitamins Named

What should you look for in a prenatal vitamin?

The term vitamin is derived from the word vitamine, which was coined in 1912 by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk, who isolated a complex of micronutrients essential to life, all of which he presumed to be amines. When this presumption was later determined not to be true, the e was dropped from the name.

The Best Foods During Pregnancy

I am a huge advocate for eating loads of vegetables on a daily basis. They contain vitamins, minerals, and fiberall so important for pregnancy. Aim for six to nine servings of veggies a day. Sound impossible? Start small. Add one serving of vegetables to your diet daily for a week. The next week, add an additional serving, until you hit six to nine daily servings of veg.

Fruits are vitamin powerhouses with the added benefit of containing antioxidants, which reduce inflammation in the body.

Protein is hugely important during pregnancy, and meat, poultry, and beans are great sources. They also contain B vitamins and iron, both necessary to support a healthy pregnancy.

Eat leafy greens, high quality proteins, seafood, kelp, organ meats , and other nutrient dense foods to help support your overall health. Feeling lost about food? Grab my hormone balancing nutrient dense meal plan!

These foods contain nutrients that are also found in prenatal vitamins.

  • Avocados supply you with vitamin A, B6, and magnesium.
  • Eggs are rich in choline, vitamin A, biotin and are a complete protein.
  • Salmon that is wild caught can provide you with a healthy does of both selenium and iodine.
  • Cabbage is a source of B6, vitamin C, and copper.
  • Spinach contains folate, calcium, magnesium, and an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid.
  • Organic, grass-fed red meat is an ample source of bioavailable iron. That means you can absorb it much easier, especially compared to plant based iron.
  • 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

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    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.

    The Best Prenatal Vitamins Include:

    Take Prenatal Vitamins Even If Your Not Pregnant To ...
  • Folate is necessary to protect the rapidly dividing cells of the baby. Deficiency = damage to your reproductive cells. You want folate, not folic acid. Folic acid can be problematic for women with methylation issues. It is also not the highest quality version of this vitamin. Folate is well recognized for its role in preventing neural tube defects. While most multivitamins include 400 micrograms, many experts recommend 800 micrograms during pregnancy.
  • B12 low levels have been associated with miscarriage & infertility.
  • B6 is necessary for supporting your luteal phase, which is when your body gets primed for implantation.
  • Vitamin C helps your body make progesterone, which is necessary for maintaining a pregnancy .
  • Vitamin E protects your eggs from free radical attacks that would damage them.
  • Zinc necessary for making superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that keeps your eggs healthy.
  • Copper is also important for supporting antioxidant production and needs to be in balance with zinc.
  • Magnesium is necessary for fertility, but also the health of the baby. Plus, it can help prevent those pregnancy calf cramps. If you’ve had them then you know what I’m talking about.
  • Selenium is associated with increased risk of miscarriage. This may be tied to thyroid function.
  • Iodine is necessary for making thyroid hormone.
  • Iron is needed for babys development and your ability to build healthy blood cells, which deliver oxygen to you and baby.
  • Calcium for healthy bones.
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    Why Its Important To Take Prenatal Vitamins

    The big reason why people who are pregnant should take prenatal vitamins is pretty simple: you need to keep both you and your baby healthy. All of the nutrients and vitamins a pregnant woman takes in will go to the baby first, says King. The baby needs that nutrition to grow.

    But the mother also needs those vitamins. While the vitamins and nutrients are essential for the babys development, the mother also needs key vitamins for both her and the baby, King notes.

    Some of those include:

    • Folic acid for your babys neurological development.
    • Iron because your blood volume will double and to provide oxygen for your baby.
    • Calcium and vitamin D for your babys bone development.
    • Vitamin A helps your babys eye development.

    Most prenatal vitamins should contain these, particularly iron and folic acid, both of which are essential. Check with your healthcare provider just in case, though, because if your prenatal vitamins dont contain certain nutrients, they might recommend a stand-alone dose.

    How Long Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins For

    You should start prenatal vitamins six to twenty-four months before you want to start baby-making, to give your body the support it needs to prepare for pregnancy. Your prenatal vitamin should then also be taken for the duration of your pregnancy and for as long as youre breastfeeding.

    If youre looking for more postpartum support, check out my first book,Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth.

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    Herbal Supplements Can Help With Ailments With Caution

    In addition to micronutrients, herbal supplements are popular.

    One 2019 study found that 15.4 percent of pregnant women in the United States use herbal supplements. However not all disclose to their physicians theyre taking them.

    While some herbal supplements may be safe to take during pregnancy, there are far more that might not be.

    Although some herbs can help with common pregnancy ailments like nausea and upset stomach, some may be harmful to both you and baby.

    Unfortunately, there isnt much research regarding the use of herbal supplements by pregnant people, and much is unknown about how the supplements can affect you.

    The safest bet? Keep your doctor in the know about any and all changes to your eating plan and supplements.

    Figure Out If You Can Stomach It

    Are there ingredients in prenatal vitamins I should avoid?

    Once you choose your prenatal vitamin, you might find you have a tough time stomaching it. The most common reasons :

    • If you have trouble swallowing it, look for a pill with a slicker coating. You may want to consider a pill sans calcium, since they tend to be smaller . If you do, be sure to talk to your practitioner to be sure you get enough of this essential mineral in other ways. You might also want to try a chewable or liquid prenatal vitamin .
    • If your prenatal vitamin makes you feel nauseous, try taking your vitamin with a meal or snack or right before you go to bed. Still having trouble? Ask your doctor to recommend a different brand that you may be able to stomach better or one with more B6, which can curb nausea and morning sickness.
    • If youve got constipation, diarrhea or gas, it could be the extra iron in your pill. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, eat fiber-rich foods and include regular physical activity in your daily routine. If this doesnt relieve your stomach woes, talk to your doctor about alternatives .

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    Dont Put All Your Irons In The Fire

    According to Swick, iron is NOT a necessity for every single pregnant person. Each woman should have her practitioner run and review a complete iron panel, she explains, continuing, If she needs iron, look for an iron bisglycinate to better tolerate and absorb it. But if your iron status is OK, youll be fine with an iron-free pre.

    The Abcs Of Prenatal Vitamins

    If you are researching prenatal vitamins, we are guessing that you might be considering a pregnancy, or you just found out that you are pregnant. How exciting! Were also guessing that you have some questions. Pregnancy does that to a woman: it makes us start questioning the safety of everything that we used to take for granted. At MotherToBaby, we answer many types of questions about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But hands down, the most common question Im asked about involves prenatal vitamins.

    Many women ask me what brand of prenatal vitamins they should take or if the brand they are currently using is the right choice. With so many different prenatal vitamins available over-the-counter and by prescription, this is a very good question. We applaud you for doing your research. You are going to be a great Mom.

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    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:

    Important Nutrients During Pregnancy

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    A healthy diet during your pregnancy will benefit you and promote your babys development. Talk to your doctor about supplements to make sure theyre necessary and safe for you and your baby.Folate or Folic Acid

    Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9. Its found in many foods. When its a supplement or added to foods, its known as folic acid.Folate helps prevent neural tube defects. The neural tube develops into your babys brain and spine. These birth defects happen very early in pregnancy, often before you know that youre pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly .Folate is found in different foods, including:

    • Legumes, like peas and dried beans
    • Leafy, dark green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, and broccoli
    • Whole grains
    • Seafood
    • Fortified foods

    If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, you should get 600 micrograms of folate a day. Its hard to get this amount from food, so doctors usually recommend a folic acid supplement.

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    What Vitamin Heals Bruises

    According to Livestrong.com, vitamin C can also help combat bruises. Vitamin C helps the body to synthesize collagen which is important in strengthening capillary walls. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits including citrus and strawberries. Lastly, zinc is an important mineral for repairing damaged tissues.

    Why You Should Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

    Its no secret that a daily vitamin is important for your health. But what about a prenatal vitamin? Prenatal vitamins are even more important, and it is crucial to find a prenatal vitamin that is made specifically for pregnant women. In this article, you will find advices on how to choose the best prenatal vitamin for you and your baby.

    Why should I take a prenatal supplement?

    A prenatal supplement can be beneficial for both you and your baby. Prenatal vitamins contain many of the nutrients that are needed to help your body grow and stay healthy during pregnancy. Nutrients like prebiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D are important for both you and your unborn baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are essential because they provide the recommended daily requirements needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Adequate folic acid intake can help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Vitamins B6 and 12 are important for fetal brain development, while calcium is essential in preventing osteoporosis later in life.

    What is the importance of a prenatal vitamin?

    When should a woman start taking a prenatal supplement?

    What ingredients should I look for in a good prenatal vitamin?

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    Benefits Of Prenatal Vitamins

    Even the healthiest among us rarely get all the nutrients we need from diet alone. This gets even more difficult during pregnancy when you need to consume many vitamins and minerals in larger doses to support your growing baby. Adding prenatal vitamins is an easy way to get these extra nutrients without having to radically alter your diet.

    The most important reason for taking prenatal vitamins is that they can help to prevent birth defects that might result from too little of a certain nutrient during pregnancy. Other studies have suggested that prenatal vitamins can help in preventing preterm births and reduce morning sickness.

    Buying Guide For Best Prenatal Vitamins

    Why should a woman take a prenatal vitamin rather than a multivitamin?

    Whether youre trying to conceive or already pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins is a smart move. The nutrients in prenatal vitamins help encourage fetal development and health.

    There are dozens of prenatal vitamins on the market today, all professing to be the best. It can be difficult to determine which brands are telling the truth.

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    When Do You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

    If youre thinking of conceiving, youll want to start supplementing with folic acid a few months before you start trying and using a prenatal vitamin is a good way to do that, Hawk says.

    If youre not going to take a prenatal ahead of time, then you should probably be supplementing with folic acid by itself, she adds.

    What Are The Different Types Of Prenatal Supplements

    If you take a walk down the supplement aisle in any supermarket, you will see a large variety of prenatal vitamins in display. Each jar of pills contains essential vitamins and minerals for you and your baby, but how do they differ?

    Apart from price, vitamins may also come in different presentations: gel capsules, medium to large standard pills, and gummies. Those with strict dietary guidelines, such as vegans, can also opt for 100% natural vitamin and mineral sources or specially formulated vegan pills.

    More expensive does not always mean better but you should get helpful tips from your doctor to ensure proper nutritional balance.

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    When Should I Take My Iron Free Prenatal Vitamins

    A set rule for when you should take your non constipating prenatal vitamins does not exist. Be mindful that it is best to take the vitamins along with food to avoid upsetting your stomach, unless directions or your doctor state otherwise.

    It is also recommended that you take the supplements at the same time each day, so be mindful of your chosen time. The best time to take your prenatal vitamins depends on your schedule and the amount of pills you have to take in a day.

    If it is only one pill a day, choose the appropriate time when you will not forget and after eating. If the dosage is two pills, taking one in the morning and at night can be an option. Three pill dosages can be taken after your three meals as well. At the end, there is no set time to take prenatal vitamins the ideal time is when it best suits your needs and lifestyle.

    What Are Prenatal Vitamins And When Should I Start Taking Them

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    Prenatal vitamins are specifically designed to support the increased nutritional demands of pregnancy on a persons body, and to make sure that theres an adequate supply of key nutrients available during fetal development to optimize the babys health as well.

    One example of this is folate. Folate needs increase during pregnancy, and the babies born from people who dont get enough are at increased risk of debilitating spinal cord abnormalities like spina bifida.

    You can start taking prenatals as soon as you decide that youre ready to start trying to have a baby. In fact, lots of people choose to take prenatals as their multivitamins all throughout their child-bearing years, just because they provide a good balance of nutrients to support fertility, pregnancy, postpartum needs, and optimal health.

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    Why Is Folic Acid Important During Pregnancy

    Folic acid is a B vitamin found in many supplements and fortified foods. Its the synthetic form of folate. Folic acid is used by your body to make new cells and produce DNA. Its required for normal growth and development throughout your life.

    Taking folic acid is particularly vital before and during pregnancy. Its important for the proper organ development of a developing baby.

    Research shows that taking folic acid before you get pregnant may help prevent birth defects including serious neural tube defects such as spina bifida, encephalocele , and anencephaly.


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