It is always best to maintain a healthy diet in order to get the necessary vitamins and minerals. However, you could still be missing out on some key nutrients even if you are eating healthy.
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, the prenatal vitamins can be helpful in filling any gaps. Prenatal vitamins are vital for you to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, but it can be daunting to know which one to choose and when to take them. If you need help, the following article has tips for choosing the best prenatal vitamin.
Prenatal vitamins usually have more iron and folic acid than the standard multivitamins for adults. There are good reasons for this as the folic acid will help to prevent the baby from neural tube defects, while iron supports development and growth, as well as help to prevent anemia.
Some Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
You can enjoy a number of benefits if you are taking a prenatal vitamin daily before trying to get pregnant. It can help to:
Boost fertility: This vitamin will help to ensure a healthier baby, as well as increase your chances of making that healthy baby a lot faster.
Reduce nausea: Research shows that women experience fewer bouts of vomiting and nausea in the first trimester when they take daily multivitamin prior to getting pregnant and/or throughout the first weeks of pregnancy.
Lower the risk of birth defects: The most important reason to take prenatal vitamins is for the benefits of folic acid. Studies have shown that the neural tube defects risk in developing babies will be reduced significantly if women get enough of this nutrient before the sperm reaches the egg and during the early periods of pregnancy.
In addition to above, some research shows that prenatal vitamins can reduce the risk of you giving birth to a baby who is very small for his/her gestational age.
Tips for Choosing the Best Prenatal Vitamin
There are many prenatal vitamin supplements available on the market, including over-the-counter in almost every pharmacy. Since your individual needs might differ, it would be a good idea to work directly with your medical doctor to determine the best prenatal vitamin plan. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you use a specific brand or leave this decision up to you. In the meantime, the following tips can help you to choose the best prenatal vitamin.
You should carefully examine the label of the prenatal vitamin that you are considering to ensure a few vital vitamins are included. In general, you should look out for a prenatal vitamin with:
Folic acid: The neural tube of a baby develops during the first month of pregnancy, even before many women find out that they are pregnant, so it is ideal to take your prenatal vitamin supplement before trying to conceive. In addition to having a lot of folate-rich foods in your diet, you need a vitamin that contains a minimum of 600 mcg of folic acid during your pregnancy.
If your family history is showing a high risk of babies having neural tube defects, then the recommendation is for you to take four mg or ten times that amount. You can discuss this with your doctor beforehand.
Calcium: This nutrient is especially vital when you are expecting a baby, but every woman between nineteen and fifty needs 1,000 mg daily. You can get a lot of calcium from yogurt, milk, or other calcium-rich items, but some must be in your prenatal vitamin supplement. Your doctor might recommend additional supplement if he or she believes that you are not getting enough.
Iron: This mineral is considered the building block of a baby’s cells, but it is also necessary for your body during pregnancy. Your doctor might recommend higher dosage if you are anemic throughout pregnancy, like many women.
In addition, you could benefit from a prenatal vitamin that has Vitamin A, C, D, E, and B6, copper, and zinc.
Vitamin B6: You need 1.9mg of B vitamin to help lower the potential for nausea and vomiting or morning sickness.
Depending on your circumstances, the healthcare provider may also recommend higher doses of specific nutrients. As an example, a different supplement with a higher dosage of folic acid might be recommended prior to and during subsequent pregnancies if you have already had a baby with a neural tube defect.
Highest Rated or Best Prenatal Vitamins
- New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
- Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal
- Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin
- One-a-Day Prenatal Multivitamin from IntraNaturals
- AVASIA Prenatal Vitamin
- MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamins
- Garden of Life mykind Organics Prenatal Multi
- Premium Prenatal Vitamins By Goddess
When to Start Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
Ideally, you should start taking this vitamin at least 3 months before if you are hoping to conceive. As mentioned above, the folic acid in prenatal vitamins will help to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. These defects usually develop within twenty-eight days after conception.
Remember that the prenatal vitamins should be taken as a complement to your healthy diet and not as a substitute for good nutrition. This is because they are not necessarily made to satisfy all your vitamin and mineral requirements.