Pregnancy is hard work. You have to take care of yourself, and that piece of your heart growing in your womb. To make sure you and your baby get the right form and amount of vitamins and minerals, it’s essential to take a prenatal vitamin throughout your pregnancy.
Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary During Pregnancy?
The short answer is yes. You most definitely need to take a prenatal vitamin during your pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, your body needs higher doses of specific vitamins and minerals to keep up with the demands of your growing baby.
Whether you follow a healthy diet or not, your body is housing another human and you’ll need the support of a prenatal vitamin to make sure both you and your baby are getting the necessary nutrients. Through diet alone, it can be hard to get in all the nutrients you need, and being pregnant can make it that much harder. Prenatal vitamins take care of what’s lacking from the foods you eat.
In fact, it’s recommended that a prenatal vitamin be taken through the entire duration of the pregnancy. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s also recommended to continue on with your prenatal vitamins.
It’s even recommended to take prenatals before getting pregnant or continuing on through to your next pregnancy if you’re having babies closer together.
In other words, from the moment you begin to think about conceiving, start taking prenatal vitamins until you’re done having children.
What Are The Side Effects of Prenatal Vitamins?
The most common complaint about prenatal vitamins is nausea. If that’s the case for you, do not discontinue taking your vitamin until you speak with your doctor. You may be given an alternative, such as a gummy or a liquid which are easier to swallow and digest, without all the uncomfortable side effects.
If you’re feeling sick from your prenatal vitamin, try:
- Taking your vitamin with food.
- Taking your vitamin with applesauce.
- Taking in split doses.
- Taking your vitamin before bed.
- Switch to a different brand or type.
- Always discuss your options with your doctor.
Another uncomfortable side effect of many prenatal vitamins is constipation. If that’s happening to you, add more fiber and water to your diet. Fruits and vegetables can help with bowel regularity and ease. Also, you could talk to your doctor about a stool softener, as well.
There are lesser side effects such as dark stool, diarrhea, a smaller appetite, and an upset stomach. If any of these side effects are causing health issues such as dehydration, speak with your doctor immediately.
Can I Take Prenatals Before Getting Pregnant?
If you know that you’re going to start trying to get pregnant, then start taking a prenatal. It will prepare your body for the tremendous physical changes it will go through during pregnancy.
Getting that folic acid into your system, even before you know you’ve conceived, can protect the fetus from some birth defects that could happen in the first few weeks after conception. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a head start on the vitamins, many women don’t find out about their pregnancy until after that first missed period!
Read: The Truth About Vitamins
Who Should Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Believe it or not, prenatal vitamins are not always for pregnant women. They are perfect for people who are at higher risk for malnutrition.
- Bariatric patients
- Someone with Crohns’ Disease
- Drug users
- Heavy drinkers
- Pregnant with multiple babies
Any of those scenarios can cause you to have a nutrient deficiency, which could conceivably lead to severe medical conditions. Taking a prenatal will give you the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain your health.
If you do not meet one of the mentioned conditions, consider taking a multivitamin instead of a prenatal. The dosing of the vitamins and minerals in prenatals over a prolonged period could potentially have a negative effect on your health.
Vitamins That Are Best During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your doctor is going to recommend a prenatal vitamin. It’s crucial to add appropriate doses of the following vitamins into your diet, it will help you and your baby go through the stages of pregnancy in optimal health.
- Folic acid: Helps to support the growth of your baby’s spinal cord and brain. This is considered to be the most important vitamin during pregnancy.
- Calcium: Works to help you lose bone density while building your baby’s bones.
- Iron: Iron will help support your baby’s growth and development
- Vitamin D: Working in conjunction with calcium, Vitamin D helps develop your baby’s skeleton.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: If you don’t eat fish, you should consider choosing a prenatal vitamin that includes Omega-3. It has been shown to promote brain development in unborn babies.
- Iodine: Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can potentially lead to thyroid diseases for you. In the fetus, too little iodine can lead to health emergencies or even miscarriage.
- Zinc: Aids in healthy development, and may help increase birth weight.
- Vitamin A: Proper eye development requires the help of vitamin A. It’s possible to have too much of this vitamin, so stick to a supplement with no more than 100 percent of the daily allowance.*
*The recommended daily allowances for pregnant and lactating women are different than the general adult daily values.
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We Got You, Momma
Pregnancy can be hard. Taking your prenatal should be easy. Taken in liquid form, it cuts down on side effects like nausea. Liquid prenatals are also easier to digest and absorb, and you don’t need to worry about swallowing down a horse pill. We’re not telling you to try Tespo, but we’ll bet you and your baby will be happy if you do.
Congratulations! Everyone at Tespo wishes you a healthy and uneventful pregnancy and delivery!