Are prenatal vitamins really worth it?

It doesn’t matter if you are pregnant or you are trying to get pregnant, a prenatal vitamin is the best way to go for your diet. There are certain vitamins and minerals like iron and folic acid that are very important for the healthy development of your baby. Taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive and during your first week of pregnancy can actually help to stop morning sickness. So, what happens if you continue to take prenatal vitamins through your pregnancy, while breastfeeding? What if it is recommended by your doctor? Even though you should always talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin or medication, a prenatal vitamin can be purchased over the counter.

Why are prenatal vitamins important?

It is hard to get all the nutrients that you and your baby need from just food alone. This article might be able to help you select the best over-the-counter prenatal vitamins for your needs.  If you have trouble trying to find a good prenatal vitamin, you can always ask a doctor or local pharmacist for help. A pregnant woman may not be able to get certain vitamins or minerals in their diet, and so taking a prenatal vitamin helps, as well as if you are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, a smoker, or if you are expecting multiples, as well as having certain blood or chronic diseases. A prenatal vitamin is vital to get the right type of nutrients that you and your baby need.

What is in a prenatal vitamin?

Prenatal vitamins often contain a lot of folic acid and iron because most pregnant women will not get enough of those nutrients from their diet. Folic Acid is part of the B vitamin group and without it you are putting your baby at risk for a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. It can also lower the risks of defects like heart defects or cleft lip/palate. This supplement is highly recommended because your body can absorb a synthetic version better than natural folic acid. The lack of iron can cause anemia, which may lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and even infant death.

Are prenatal vitamins safe?

Yes. Prenatal vitamins are safe to take, as it does not contain more than is recommended by the daily allowance of vitamins and minerals that are needed during pregnancy. For example, Vitamin A for your baby can be quite harmful to your baby if it is taken in high doses, so prenatal vitamin contains this but as a form of beta carotene, a nutrient that is found in fruits and vegetables, so it is easily converted in your body and safe to take in high doses.

Finding the best one

The USDA does not actually regulate what is put into vitamins and minerals, so there is no standard about what it should contain. It is recommended that you select a prenatal vitamin that contains up to 800mcg of Folic Acid, 250mg of calcium, and 30mg of iron. You should talk to your doctor about your options, and take into account your diet and any health issues or pregnancy complications. Before you take a prenatal vitamin speak to your doctor.

To find out more check out the following:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins

Q&A: Are over-the-counter prenatal vitamins okay, or should I get a prescription?

http://www.livestrong.com/article/412328-what-is-the-difference-between-over-the-counter-prenatal-vitamins-prescription-prenatal-vitamins/