Eating a healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins you need during pregnancy. But you may be deficient in important nutrients; prenatal vitamins help fill any gaps in your diet. Prenatal vitamins include the recommended daily vitamins that you need before and during pregnancy, ensuring that the baby gets the necessary vitamins they need. Some minerals and vitamins in prenatal vitamins can also help reduce birth defect risk. For some women before pregnancy, taking prenatal vitamins can also help reduce the vomiting and nausea linked with morning sickness, which is a major reason to take prenatal vitamins.
You need more iron and folic acid during pregnancy than usual. Folic acid protects the baby from neural tube defects. These defects are severe abnormalities in the spinal cord and fetal brain. You should consider taking extra folic acid at least three months before pregnancy. Iron helps in fetus and placenta development. It helps your body make blood to provide oxygen to the fetus. Also, it helps prevent anemia, a condition in which the number of healthy red blood cells in the blood decreases.
When to start taking prenatal vitamins?
It is best to start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant. Folic acid is more important because it helps to prevent birth defects. You should start taking folic acid supplements at least one month before trying to conceive. Some doctors recommend that all women of childbearing age should take prenatal vitamins.
Which prenatal vitamin is best to consume?
Look for folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and calcium in prenatal vitamins. They help in the teeth and bones development of the baby. Finding a prenatal vitamin including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, iodine, and zinc can also be beneficial. Your doctor may prescribe higher doses of certain nutrients considering the requirement of your body.
Suppose you have a baby with neural tube defects in a previous pregnancy. In that case, your doctor may recommend a supplement containing a high dose of folic acid before and after pregnancy. Also, before taking extra prenatal vitamins, talk to your doctor about your need for prenatal vitamins. Taking excessive vitamin A during pregnancy can harm your baby. Too many doses of certain vitamins can be harmful to your baby.
Side Effects of Prenatal Vitamins
Some prenatal vitamins can cause nausea in some pregnant women. Talk to your doctor if it happens to you. They may prescribe other prenatal vitamins you do not need to swallow whole like chewable and liquids. Iron in prenatal vitamins can cause constipation. If you have constipation, drink plenty of water, eat a diet high in fiber. Include exercise in your daily routine; ask your doctor if it is safe for you and ask about using a stool softener. Ask your doctor about other options if you don’t find these helpful.
It is recommended to start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant. Folic acid is more important because it helps to prevent birth defects. Some doctors recommend that all women of childbearing age should take prenatal vitamins.