Do you keep hearing about prenatal vitamins and want to know if they’re necessary for your pregnancy?
One of the fundamental pillars for you to have a healthy pregnancy is undoubtedly a balanced diet. However, as far as the development of your baby’s brain is concerned, it has been shown that the composition of the membranes of nerve cells varies depending on your diet, particularly if you have included certain essential fatty acids.
Each pregnancy is unique. Be sure to consult your doctor to see if you should take prenatal vitamins. Generally for the healthy development of your unborn baby doctors recommend that your diet includes some nutritional supplements, commonly known as prenatal vitamins.
If you are eating a well-rounded diet, you may not need to take extra prenatal pills, except for maybe folic acid which helps to prevent problems in your baby’s brain and spine. However sometimes it is really hard for us to follow a strict diet, and to know if we’re ingesting the right nutrients. So taking daily a prenatal multivitamin can help ensure that pregnant moms are getting enough nutrients.
Other vitamins, like calcium, can prevent you from losing your own bone density, as the baby uses the mineral for bone growth. Iron helps you and your baby’s blood carry oxygen.
When do I have to start taking prenatal vitamins?
Some health providers suggest taking supplements, particularly folic acid, during the time that you are trying to get pregnant, preferably three months before conceiving. Similarly it is suggested to continue taking multivitamins at least during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Although these vitamins are available at any pharmacy without a prescription, always consult your doctor before buying any brand of multivitamin. Your doctor may have specific recommendations.
How much is enough?
It is a fact for most pregnant moms that some without supplements like folic acid and iron, your diet will not provide the enough nutrients for your pregnancy. Therefore, many times it is necessary to add extra amount of these nutrients to your diet.
However there are other supplements that are not recommended to take in high doses. For example, high doses of vitamin A may cause birth defects in your baby.
What are the right pregnancy vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are not all alike. Unfortunately the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate what goes into vitamin and mineral supplements, not even the amount of each supplement.
My doctor recommended me any brand of vitamins but with the following amounts approximately:
- 200 to 300 mg of calcium
- 1.5 mg of thiamine
- 2.6 mg of pyridoxine
- 1.6 mg of riboflavin
- 17 mg of niacinamide
- 15 mg of zinc
- 10 mg of vitamin E
- 30 mg of iron
- 70 mg of vitamin C
- 4,000 and 5,000 IU vitamin A
- 400 IU of vitamin D
- 800 and 1,000 mcg (1 mg) of folic acid
- 2.2 to 12 mcg of vitamin B-12
IU = international units
mg = milligrams
mcg = micrograms
Consult your doctor for your personalized recommendations.
Why do prenatal vitamins cause nausea?
There is a primary reason why these supplements can cause nausea; they may contain a lot of iron. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the right amount of iron is 30 mg, so be very careful when you read the label of these vitamins.
However, even taking the right amount of iron, you may continue feeling nausea. Here are some recommendations that can help. I tried them and had good results:
- Take your daily dose before bed, so any nausea can happen when you are sleeping.
- Eat a meal before taking them.
- The size of the pill may make you gag, so you can break the tablet in half and take it in divided doses.
- Try chewable supplements, liquid supplements, or a smaller pill without calcium.
You should take into consideration that prenatal vitamins do not replace any food. You should follow a balanced diet during pregnancy.
Remember, your baby will be as strong as your pregnancy healthy diet. Watch your nutrition during pregnancy.
Ask your doctor for their recommendation for prenatal multivitamins.