What’s the difference between prenatal vitamins and regular vitamins? When should you start taking prenatals, and what time of day is best for getting your daily dose? These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer in this complete guide to prenatal vitamins.
What are prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are a lot like multivitamins, with a variety of vitamins and minerals designed to support your health and that of your growing baby. Prenatals include some added nutrients such as iron and folic acid, which tend to be lacking in most diets.
When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?
If you’re trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive. If you’re already pregnant, start taking them as recommended by your health care provider.
What’s the best time of day to take my prenatal vitamin?
Since prenatal vitamins can sometimes lead to nausea, which is among the worst pregnancy symptoms suffered before and after week 10, it’s a good idea to take them when you’re least likely to feel sick. Choose a time when you’ll remember to take your vitamins. Once you’ve established the habit, it’ll be easier to stick to.
Should I get OTC prenatal vitamins or is it better to get a prescription?
Ask your doctor for advice. Over the counter prenatal vitamins may be fine, and they often cost less than the prescription version. If your doctor feels that you need more folic acid and/or iron than the average over the counter prenatal contains, then he or she might recommend a prescription containing a higher dose.
What is the difference between prenatal vitamins and regular vitamins?There are a few differences between prenatal vitamins vs. multivitamins, mainly in the number of nutrients included and in the amount or dosage of certain essential nutrients needed for fetal development. Not all prenatal vitamins are the same, so have a chat with your healthcare provider when deciding which type is best for your unique situation.
I’m planning to breastfeed my baby: Should I keep taking prenatal vitamins?
While you’ll want to double-check with your doctor, it’s normally a good idea to keep taking prenatal vitamins throughout breastfeeding. Not only will your body benefit from the added vitamins and minerals, so will your baby. Double-check to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding, since it is sometimes provided as a separate supplement.
Should I supplement with nutrients other than calcium while taking prenatal vitamins?
The answer depends on whether your prenatal vitamins contain vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Most brands omit these nutrients, so be sure that you’re getting enough, either from dietary sources or from added supplements. If you tend to get a few minutes of sun each day, it’s likely that you won’t need a vitamin D supplement. If you do need one, check your calcium – it might include vitamin D to aid in absorption.
Is it OK to take prenatal vitamins if I’m not pregnant and don’t plan on becoming pregnant?
Although this might seem like a good idea, it’s possible that the added nutrients might do more harm than good. Have a chat with your doctor. He or she will be able to provide you with the insight needed to make a well-informed decision.