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When Do You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

What If Im Breastfeeding

When should I start taking a prenatal vitamin?

For nursing mothers, itsbest to take your prenatal until your baby has fully weaned and youve finished pumping and/or breastfeeding, if longer than four to six weeks.

We know that breastfeeding is extremely demanding on the body. Regularly taking your prenatal vitamin can help ensure both you and your little one receive the essential nutrients needed in this delicate and transitional time.

When Should I Start Taking A Prenatal

Most doctors recommend starting a prenatal at least 3 months before getting pregnant. This is a minimum. It takes 3 months for your egg to mature, so making sure you have all the nutrients you need to boost fertility and provide for a healthy, new baby is one of the best things you can do .

I recommend starting at least 6 months prior to trying to start a family for most women. If you are coming off birth control or have been tested for nutrient deficiencies, like iron, iodine, zinc, magnesium, folate, B12 or vitamin D, a prenatal can help restore your levels before you become pregnant.

Are There Any Side Effects To Taking Prenatal Vitamins

“For the most part, prenatals are well tolerated,” says Dr. Nwankwobut you may experience slight side effects, like constipation, if you’re consuming too much iron. In some women, prenatal vitamins can also worsen nausea in the beginning of pregnancy.

If this is a concern, Dr. Nwankwo suggests taking gummy vitamins instead, which can be a little easier to get down than large pills when you’re feeling nauseous.

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Prenatal Vitamins With Choline

Choline is an important nutrient thats not always found in prenatal vitamins, according to Dr. Wallace. American Medical Association recommends prenatal supplementation with choline, however this can be a bulky nutrient and most prenatal vitamins do not contain sufficient amounts so taking a separate choline supplement can help meet the recommendation. The same can be said for calcium, magnesium, and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Do I Really Need Prenatal Vitamins

Yep, You Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins WAY Before ...

A good prenatal can go a long way in helping you build your nutrient stores before baby. Yes, we want to load up on the good stuff way BEFORE we get pregnant. In fact, we need to do this at minimum 3 months before baby . And you want to focus on your diet too!

You’re going to need a prenatal that’s the real talks. Our food isn’t as nutrient dense as it once was and we go into pregnancy way more nutrient depleted than ever before. That said, diet is the foundation and the supplement is just that, a supplement to your diet. More on diet soon!

With that in mind, you can easily see why a prenatal vitamin is so essential if you are pregnant, or want to become pregnant.

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When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

If youre planning on getting pregnant, King says you should start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you begin trying. When an Ob/Gyn looks at dating a pregnancy, they typically start from the patients last menstrual period. That means when you find out youre pregnant, you could be four to six weeks along in your pregnancy already, she says.

Not all pregnancies are planned, of course, and King says that if youre not taking prenatal vitamins at the time you discover youre pregnant, you should start as soon as possible. Major development happens in the first trimester, those first 12 weeks, she says. The spinal cord and brain are developing so those vitamins help with that.

Additionally, mothers who are breastfeeding are encouraged to continue taking prenatal vitamins to keep providing those nutrients via breast milk.

Prenatal Vitamins For Pregnancy

If youre wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to prenatal vitaminsor whats actually in them that makes them so importantyoure in good company. When it comes to pregnancy, many moms are instructed to follow certain rules without questioning a thing. Its totally normal to want to understand everything there is to know about, well, everything. Here, were offering you a refresher course on prenatal vitamins, because we think its important that youre in the know.

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Its Easier On Your Stomach

Many women find prenatal supplements hard on their stomachs, which is why Modern Fertility picked the most digestible form of each nutrient to include in their prenatal.

On top of that, theres an added hint of citrus to encourage a calmer, more balanced tummy. Its thought that lemon and orange can help curb morning sickness and ease nausea, making it the ideal addition to your prenatal supplement.

Vitamins And Prenatal Vitamins

How long should I be taking a prenatal vitamin?

The odds are that your diet is not giving you enough of the vitamins that you need to create a healthy and thriving human being.

Prenatal vitamins are there to assist with that.

Reaching a healthy nutritional status requires consistent intake, which means a healthy mix of a good diet and prenatal vitamin supplementation. Its important to reach and maintain these optimal nutrient levels before youre pregnant, which takes months. Starting your prenatal early can have a long-term positive impact. For example, research shows that having sufficient Vitamin D levels before pregnancy can support a healthy birth weight.

For some additional ways to naturally add nutrients to your diet, check out this blog post by Leigh Ann Dutton.

I recently had an appointment with my own OBGYN, and she told me to get on prenatal immediately since we are trying to conceive. I have low stores of most vitamins and minerals anyway, and all of my pregnancies have taken a huge toll on my body.

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Should Women Take Prenatal Vitamins While Breastfeeding

Dr Wallace says YES! Often the body strips a womans body to nourish the infant, so again, its good to have a nutrition insurance plan. And if a breastfeeding woman is pregnant again, he still says yesabsolutely the rules dont change. She should take the prenatals while breastfeeding and throughout.

The Most Important Vitamins And Nutrients For Pregnancy

Taking a prenatal is not an excuse to not eat a well-rounded and varied diet, but the right supplement can help fill in the gaps in your daily intake of food. Heres some information about the most important nutrients during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Folic acid can help prevent fetal abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Iron helps make blood which supplies oxygen to your developing fetus and placenta.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D both help the development of a babys teeth and bones.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA help promote the healthy development of your babys brain.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins

Most women who take prenatal vitamins as directed by their doctor or midwife experience little or no side effects from prenatal vitamins. The iron in prenatal vitamins may cause constipation, and some women complain of nausea. You also may have diarrhea, dark stools, low appetite, and stomach upset or cramps. Talk with your OB/GYN or midwife about any side effects you have from taking prenatal vitamins.

Should I Take A Prenatal If I Am Not Planning On Pregnancy

Yep, You Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins WAY Before ...

I definitely believe there are certain instances where taking a prenatal can be beneficial even if you arent trying to get pregnant.

  • Post-birth control birth control can deplete various nutrients, like B vitamins, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and zinc . These are essential for fertility and a healthy pregnancy. In order to restore your body with the necessary nutrients, its a good idea to take a prenatal. The prenatal has a greater amount of these nutrients than a multivitamin. Many women also come off birth control because they want to start trying to get pregnant. Taking a fermented prenatal vitamin after stopping birth control can help restore your nutrients. It can also ensure your baby has all the support in case you do become pregnant.
  • Vegetarians and vegans a prenatal is higher in many of the nutrients vegetarians and vegans need to pay more attention to in order to make sure they are getting enough on a daily basis. These include iron, iodine, zinc, calcium, B12 and vitamin D3 . Taking a prenatal will give you an extra boost of these nutrients.
  • Sexually Active we all know there is risk of getting pregnant if youre not having protected sex. Most women dont realize theyre pregnant for a few weeks, meaning your baby has already started to grow. This is why its important to ensure your baby is getting all the necessary nutrients from the very beginning of his or her life.
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    Can I Take An Over

    There’s nothing wrong with taking over-the-counter vitamins as long as they have a USP seal or NSF International certification these organizations monitor supplement quality. “We do have concerns about pills that contain certain herbs and those that may contain too much of a certain nutrient, like vitamin A, which can adversely affect the fetus’ development,” says Ashlesha Dayal, M.D., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. “Take the bottle to your obstetrician to make sure that all the ingredients are safe,” Kukreja adds.

    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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    Do You Really Need A Prenatal

    Some of you reading this might be wondering, do I really need a prenatal? Like, is it actually worth it or necessary?. While your care provider can best answer this question, know that a prenatal multivitamin contains critical nutrients essential for a healthy babymore on those below.

    Essentially, theres no harm in taking a high-quality, well-researched prenatal vitamin , but theres a lot of potential harm in not taking one.

    Remember Prenatal Vitamins Are A Complement To A Healthy Diet Not A Substitute For Good Nutrition


    Prenatal vitamins wont necessarily meet 100 per cent of your vitamin and mineral needs.

    Also, your health care provider might suggest higher doses of certain nutrients depending on the circumstances. For example, if youve given birth to a baby who has a neural tube defect, your health care provider might recommend a separate supplement containing a higher dose of folic acids such as 4 milligrams before and during any subsequent pregnancies.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, midwife, certified nutritionist or naturopath. I am not qualified to give medical advice, and the following should not be viewed as such. You should always discuss medical questions and concerns with your doctor!

    You can find more post by TRACI HOUSTONand

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    When To Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin

    If youre thinking about getting pregnant within the next year, it’s a great idea to do your research and find a high-quality prenatal vitamin to start as soon as possible.

    “Take them right now,” says Felice Gersh, MD, an OB/GYN specializing in womens health and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, Calif. “I recommend prenatal vitamins to all my reproductive-aged women, whether or not making a baby is a current goal.”

    Not only does taking a prenatal vitamin before you start trying to conceive help optimize your health, but it also gets you in the habit of taking the pill daily.

    “The idea is to be optimally healthy prior to conception,” says Dr. Gersh. “From the moment of ovulation and fertilization, you want everything perfect. That requires getting an optimal array of nutrients into the body, in order to optimize hormones, control inflammation, nurture the gut microbiome, and promote and support the ability of cells to perform essential functions.”

    Some healthcare providers recommend starting a prenatal vitamin three to six months prior to trying to conceive. Organizations like ACOG and the CDC stress that it’s important to start taking folic acid, specifically, at least one month prior to becoming pregnant. Be sure to speak to your OB/GYN or primary care provider early and often so that they can recommend the best course of action for you.

    The Ideal Time To Start A Prenatal Is One To Three Months Before Trying To Conceive

    The main reason for this is due to the large number of unintended pregnancies. A study published in 2016 revealed that a staggering 45% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. The window during which folate supplementation is most important is in the first 21 to 28 days after conception, which is way before many of these pregnancies are unrecognized. Its no wonder this recommendation was made as a precaution of sorts.

    I will pause a moment here to say that if you are a reproductive age woman who is not trying to get pregnant and is on reliable birth control , then this recommendation isnt necessarily applicable.

    Shop the Natalist Prenatal

    Why are those first three to four weeks of pregnancy so important? The neural tube is the precursor structure that will eventually become the brain, spine, and spinal cord in the fetus later on in the pregnancy. Neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly occur when the neural tube doesnt close when it is supposed to. Neural tube closure is usually complete by the 28th day after conceptionwhich, if the pregnancy wasnt planned, is likely well before a woman knows that shes pregnant. As the most common major malformation of the central nervous system, this is an important risk to consider and try to prevent.

    The other nutrients in prenatal vitamins arent quite as time-sensitive, so I wont delve into them here, but you can check out this article to learn more.

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    When Should You Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins

    King says if youre not breastfeeding your child, its okay to switch back to a daily multivitamin after birth.

    If youre breastfeeding, its encouraged to continue taking prenatal vitamins until you stop breastfeeding to keep taking in nutrients that provide benefits for both you and your baby.

    But, King adds, if you choose to switch back to your daily multivitamin while breastfeeding, thats okay, too. You want to make sure youre optimizing your nutrition since youre providing those nutrients to the baby. As long as youre getting the appropriate amount of those vitamins and nutrients, thats whats most important.

    How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins

    Yep, You Need To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins WAY Before ...

    Congrats! Youre expecting a bundle of joy in a few months. Now that youre pregnant, do you have to take prenatal vitamins the whole nine months? Because your baby continues to grow and develop throughout the entire nine months in utero, its important to continue to take a prenatal multivitamin during your entire pregnancy.

    Remember, your baby relies on you for all its nutrients. As the saying goes, youre eating for two! If you dont maintain an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, your baby may not be able to get the nutrients it needs to grow. And research shows that taking a vitamin supplement before and during pregnancy reduces the risk of having severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.3

    A good prenatal multivitamin includes just the right combination of nutrients to meet the increased nutritional demands of a pregnant woman and her developing baby. For example, a prenatal should include adequate amounts of the following:

    • Iron, vital for red blood cell formation and to deliver oxygen to cells throughout the body
    • DHA , which may help support fetal brain and eye development
    • Calcium and vitamin D, which help build and support strong bones
    • Iodine, an important mineral for fetal brain development

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    Figure Out If You Can Stomach It

    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 .

    When To Start Taking Prenatal Multivitamins

    Pregnancy can be hard to predict. Its impossible to know whether it will take a month or a year to get pregnantand, oftentimes, someone may not know they’re actually pregnant until a few weeks later.

    Because so much of a babys development happens during the early weeks of pregnancy, its important to start taking prenatal multivitamins before trying to get pregnantthree months is a good rule of thumb.

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