What Should You Be Wary Of When Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
Vitamins are essential nutrients that keep the body healthy, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing, cautions Shepherd, who recommends that her patients consult with their doctor and purchase supplements from a reputable sourcenot all supplements are created equal, after all. DuBoises motivation to make a clean prenatal vitamin was driven by the fact that the supplement industry is largely unregulated, and its possible that common vitamins on the market can contain cheap, toxic fillers and are manufactured with chemical solvents. Its terrifying for the average person, but even scarier while pregnant! says DuBoise. The bottom line is: Before you take any prenatal supplements, discuss them with your doctor, and do your research
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.
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.
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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
Other Supplements In Pregnancy
Other than folic acid, vitamin D and iodine and any supplement prescribed for you by your doctor, there is limited evidence to support the use of supplements during pregnancy.
Emerging research has shown that omega-3 supplements during pregnancy might help reduce the risk of premature birth, and that probiotics might help control blood glucose levels in pregnancy. But it’s not clear whether the benefits of taking these supplements outweigh any possible harms. Until there is better evidence available, it’s best to avoid them unless prescribed by your doctor â particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Because nutritional supplements are classed as ‘complementary medicines’, they are not scrutinised or regulated as much as other medicines.
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Should Women Take Supplements While Pregnant
It seems there’s an endless amount of online information related to what supplements a woman should take when pregnant. As a result, searching for reliable information related to supplements during pregnancy can be difficult at best.
Here’s a Q& A with some advice on which supplements you can use and those you should avoid during your pregnancy:
Are dietary supplements OK during pregnancy?
It’s recommended that women should not use dietary and herbal supplements during pregnancy. In addition, dietary and herbal supplements should be used with caution in women of reproductive age due to the risk of taking these supplements before knowledge of pregnancy.
Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness. As a result, they may contain contaminants, like metals, pesticides, chemicals or bacteria, which may pose risks for pregnancy. Also, most supplements are not thoroughly studied, which can lead to issues related to quality standards for ingredients and strength. For example, vinpocetine an ingredient found in a number of dietary supplements, including those marketed for weight loss, enhanced memory, focus, mental acuity or increased energy is not safe during pregnancy. Other commonly used supplements that may cause harm during pregnancy include melatonin and St. John’s wort.
What about meal replacement shakes?
What supplements are OK to take?
What about vitamins during pregnancy?
Prenatal Vitamin Side Effects
Some prenatal vitamins can cause nausea in an already nauseated pregnant woman. If that happens to you, talk to your health care provider. They may be able to prescribe a different kind of prenatal vitamin that you dont have to swallow whole. Options include:
The iron in prenatal vitamins may also make you constipated. If youre constipated it can help to:
- Eat a high-fiber diet
- Exercise if your doctor says its safe for you
- Take a stool softener with your doctors OK
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Prenatal Vitamins After Pregnancy
You can continue to take prenatal vitamins after your pregnancy. After giving birth, your body needs help restoring tissues and cells, and prenatal vitamins help with just that. They also support your weakened immune system, help with the massive blood loss, and help with breastfeeding by providing enough calcium and iron.
Your doctor may recommend a separate iron supplement to boost your levels of iron. If that is the case, you will also want to increase your fiber intake or take a stool softener as iron can cause constipation.
Prenatal Vitamins For Pregnancy
Eating healthy during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for your baby, but how can you ensure that you’re getting all of the important vitamins and minerals you need? By taking a prenatal vitamin, you can be sure that you are getting all of the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.
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Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, others should be avoided.
Certain vitamins, plants, and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
Here Are 10 Reasons To Take Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
1.Pregnant women need a ton of calcium.2. Prenatal vitamins arent enough.3. You need strong bones, during pregnancy more than ever.4. You Can Get Calcium From Food, Sort Of.Learn more about osteoporosis when you check out: National Osteoporosis Month: Resources for Health and Prevention5. When Youre Dairy-Free, Getting Calcium is Even More Important, and Difficult.More on that here: 15 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium6. Calcium is good for your teeth.7.Your heart needs calcium.8. Calcium helps regulate blood pressure.9. You wont need to rely on food for calcium.If youre having trouble tolerating dairy, read this: How To Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy Free or Plant-Based Diet10. You can take calcium supplements anywhere, anytime.If youre not familiar with powdered supplements, you can read up on them here: Supplement Trends: Pills Are So Yesterdaytake advantage of our special limited time offerMore sources on whether its safe to take calcium supplements during pregnancy:Calcium in Your Pregnancy Diet10 Wonderful Benefits of Calcium
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Why Vitamin E During Pregnancy
A woman is pregnant with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman with a woman Red blood cells, healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens your natural immune system can be created and maintained with the help of the vitamins E and C. If youre pregnant, its best to eat the right foods and not take supplements to get a good dose of vitamins E and C.
What Vitamin B9 Aids In Pregnancy
- Prevents NTDs like anencephaly or spina bifida . NTDs can develop at the earliest stage of pregnancy, so it is important to be consuming folic acid from the time you start trying to conceive.
- Reduces the risk of birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, some heart defects
- Reduces the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy
- Important for the growth of the placenta, synthesis of DNA and the development of the baby
- Essential for red blood cell production and helps prevent forms of anemia
The majority of prenatal vitamins supply 800 1,000 mg of vitamin B9. Be sure to not consume any more than 1,000 mg a day, unless you are advised by your doctor.
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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.
When Is It Necessary To Take Prenatal Vitamins
If youre planning to conceive, ingesting iodine and folic acid before pregnancy will guarantee that you have the correct balance of these nutrients. Also, if you have health disorders like anemia or youre malnourished, youll need an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.
If youre already pregnant, its especially important for you to take a daily multivitamin. Of course, this should always be done with your doctors permission.
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Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in your babys development, says Dr. Nwankwo. Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.
A run-of-the-mill multivitamin wont cut it when youre pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed multivitamins that deliver the extra amounts of nutrients needed during various stages of your babys development. For example, they contain folic acid, which is important for babys brain development in the earliest stages. And many have vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Plus, prenatal vitamins help make sure you have enough nutrients such as iron, to not only provide to your baby but so your own body doesnt become depleted.
What Supplements Do I Need In 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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Supplements During Pregnancy: Why Quality Matters
Most supplements and prenatal vitamins available at drug stores contain synthetic nutrients that are isolated, low quality, and poorly absorbed in the body.
Nutrients need co-factors like other vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients to be properly absorbed, and most conventional brands dont take this into consideration. As a result, food-based supplements tend to be more effective because the nutrients are naturally-occurring.
This doesnt mean all food-based supplements are good, or that synthetic vitamins are bad. In fact, some synthetic prenatal vitamins contain highly absorbable forms of nutrients with important co-factors specifically formulated for certain conditions, such as an MTHFR gene mutation. However, with synthetic vitamins, source, processing, and having the proper balance of nutrients is key.
With pregnancy supplements, its also important to evaluate how the nutrients are processed , and the additives. Avoid products that contain additives like sugar, artificial dyes, unnecessary preservatives, and allergens like wheat, corn, or soy.
With that in mind, here are the five most important supplements for pregnancy that will ensure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need.
Pregnancy Vitamins And Nutrients
A balanced nutritious diet is the best way to receive the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need for pregnancy, but vitamin supplements can also be beneficial. Prenatal vitamin supplements are recommended plus any additional vitamins or minerals if your doctor finds any deficiencies. Remember, supplements do not replace a healthy diet, but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients. And its important to note that pregnant women should take vitamin supplements onlywith a health care providers direct recommendation.
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Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins
The side effect from prenatal vitamins that most plagues pregnant women is nausea. Sometimes, the taste or smell of them can make you sick other times the vitamins irritate your stomach. If the vitamins you’re taking bother you, ask if you can switch brands or take a children’s chewable vitamin.
Another side effect from the vitamins is constipation, which is caused by iron. To combat this, drink plenty of water and increase your fiber intake.
Some women may have an allergic reaction to prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you, contact your doctor immediately and refrain from taking the vitamins.
Why Is Vitamin A So Important During Pregnancy
Vitamin A contributes to the development of one of the most intricate and extraordinary parts of your babys body their eyes. Its also important for their immunity and skin cell production1, as well as helping to develop the millions of tiny air sacs, called alveoli, in your babys lungs. These allow oxygen to transfer into the blood, and carbon dioxide to transfer back out2.
A healthy supply of vitamin A during pregnancy builds up your babys natural stores in preparation for the first few months of life3. A low level of vitamin A can affect your babys immune function after birth, leaving them more susceptible to infection and illness3.
Due to its supporting role in the immune system, vitamin A benefits your own health throughout pregnancy too4.
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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.
Vitamins That Help You Get Pregnant Faster
Can the taking of any type of vitamin or supplement actually help you conceive a child faster than those who dont take vitamins? Can vitamins actually increase your fertility? The answer is yes if you ask experts at the Texas Fertility Center. According to fertility specialists, you need a good nutritional status in order to help your body conceive a child. This seems to hold true of both men and women.
For women, it may mean just taking a good prenatal vitamin. Research has indicated that taking a prenatal vitamin can not only decrease your chances of having a preterm birth and decrease your chances of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, but it can maximize your fertility.
In one recent study, women who were trying to get pregnant through fertility treatments got pregnant faster than women who didnt take prenatal vitamins. In fact, the participants who took prenatal vitamins had a doubling of their chances of becoming pregnant when compared to participants who just took folic acid prior to conceiving.
What this means is that it is possible to get pregnant faster if you take a prenatal vitamin, although research hasnt been done on women who arent undergoing fertility treatments and who take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins can be purchased over the counter and cant hurt you, even if you take them while not pregnant.
These particular vitamins have the ability to enhance your fertility. You can take them alone or as a part of the total prenatal pill package:
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