Even before conceiving the health of women becomes important. Sometimes the stress of trying to get pregnant and after that, the expectation of your baby’s arrival often undermines the importance of health. Nutrition is one of the most important things for a healthy pregnancy.
If you have started going to prenatal appointments even before conceiving then your doctor would probably have asked you to start taking prenatal vitamins while you’re trying.
What are prenatal vitamins?
- Vitamins are specifically formulated supplements that are designed to provide pregnant women with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Prenatal vitamins promote fetal development and support the health of the expectant mother.
- There are various brands and types with different lists of ingredients of prenatal vitamins.
- Your doctor will prescribe you the right type of prenatal vitamins and supplements on the basis of your needs.
Misconceptions and myths about prenatal vitamins
- Only pregnant women require prenatal vitamins.
Doctors suggest taking prenatal vitamins not only during pregnancy and throughout the pregnancy but also before getting pregnant. Women are suggested to start taking the vitamins while they decide to start trying.
Important developmental milestones start taking place right from the first week of pregnancy when many women don’t even realize they are pregnant. Not taking prenatal vitamins from a few months earlier will mean that the fetus and the mother’s body miss out on various essential vitamins in the first week of pregnancy.
- Every prenatal vitamin is similar.
There are various different brands of prenatal vitamins and they all have different dosages of various kinds of vitamins. Doctors suggest that daily prenatal vitamins should include around 400 to800 micrograms of Folic acid, 27 milligrams of Iron, between 150 and 220 micrograms of Iodine and Vitamin D.
Around 1000 milligrams of calcium is required during pregnancy and prenatal vitamins provide around 25 mg of calcium. Vitamin C, A, and E, copper and Zinc are also important. While choosing the right supplement, you should read the ingredients list to choose correctly.
- Prenatal vitamins give all the nutrients required during pregnancy.
Vitamin cannot replace eating healthy and living a balanced life. Prenatal vitamins are supposed to supplement your dietary needs and not to replace it. A nutritious diet will help you to maintain a proper weight and will help you to observe the multivitamins easily.
Prenatal vitamins and supplements don’t fulfill all the nutritious requirements of pregnancy.
- Prenatal vitamins will contain all the vitamins required during pregnancy.
Often pregnant women require different vitamin supplements throughout the period of pregnancy. Generally, vegetarians required more B12. If you have Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency, then the supplement of it is DHA or EPA and they are generally not included in a multivitamin. If you suffer from anemia then you will require more iron supplement.
During breastfeeding, babies require more vitamin D3 and you will require a different supplement for that.
- It is a mandate to consume vitamins.
Even though doctors generally suggest prenatal vitamins for pregnant patients, there are also various good multiple vitamins that are safe to consume during pregnancy. If you are opting for multivitamins then you have to make sure that the list of ingredients fulfills all your needs. Remember that too much of anything is never good.
High doses of some vitamins acid vitamin A rich to birth defects so you should only consume it within 10000 International units.
- Prenatal vitamins don’t have any side effects.
Most pregnant women reported that prenatal vitamins made them feel worse. Some of the common side effects of prenatal vitamins are nausea and indigestion. The iron supplements or prenatal vitamins with a high dose of Iron can also lead to constipation.
- You don’t need to start taking prenatal vitamins if you didn’t take them before pregnancy.
Even though it is ideal to start taking prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant, it should not stop you from starting to take prenatal vitamins during your pregnancy and continuing it even while you are breastfeeding.
If you start taking prenatal vitamins from the day you get to know that you are pregnant then also it is going to be beneficial for you and fetal development.
Frequently Asked Questions on Myths Related to Prenatal Vitamins
1. How can prenatal vitamins benefit me?
During pregnancy prenatal vitamins help to supplement your diet by providing you with nutrients that will help to support you and your baby. Folic acid helps in fetal brain development and prevents spina bifida and other birth defects. Calcium helps to strengthen the bones of your baby. If you suffer from anemia, prenatal vitamins which include higher doses of iron will be beneficial for you.
2. Will taking prenatal vitamins help me get pregnant?
Prenatal vitamins generally do not boost fertility and don’t increase the probability of conceiving. However, prenatal vitamins can help you to become healthier by replenishing Folic acid, vitamin D, Iron, and Calcium in your body. This will help you and your baby during the first week of pregnancy or in case of an unexpected pregnancy. It will also help you to have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
3. What can I do if I cannot stomach prenatal vitamins?
It is not uncommon for pregnant women to you have difficulty in tolerating prenatal vitamins. Try taking the vitamins along with a meal or try them later along the day. If you are suffering from morning sickness it would be better to not have any vitamins during the period when you feel the sickest.
Try talking to your doctor about your problems and try experimenting with different brands to find the one that suits you best. If you have trouble tolerating prenatal vitamins you can even try taking Folic acid alone. Drink lots of water and stay physically active to ward off the few side effects of prenatal vitamins.
4. Will taking prenatal vitamins make me gain weight?
There is no correlation between weight gain and prenatal vitamins. Most prenatal vitamins contain zero calories and therefore it is very unlikely for you to gain weight from the vitamins. However, if you are experiencing weight then it is most probably because you are pregnant and you will be gaining almost 30 pounds during your pregnancy to support your baby.
Prenatal vitamins are crucial for ensuring a healthy pregnancy. It will help to support the health of the expectant mother and will also promote fetal development. You should talk to your doctor to learn about the prenatal vitamins that will suit you the best.
You don’t always have to opt for prescription prenatal vitamins. There are also multiple over the counter prenatal vitamins available. Choose the one that will cater to your supplementary and dietary needs.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.