When you find out that you’re expecting a baby, and could be a very exciting time. You definitely want to give your baby the best start that you possibly can, and often women turned to prenatal vitamins the question remains, if you actually do need to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Often, if you’re eating a normal, healthy well-rounded diet, then you don’t really need to take prenatal vitamins however, there are some nutrients that even the most well-rounded diet cannot give you enough of during your pregnancy. Two of those nutrients are iron and folic acid. Particularly for women who don’t like to eat green vegetables, or don’t eat enough, prenatal vitamins offer their bodies the nutrients that they may be missing. You need more iron in your body while you’re pregnant and nourish your baby as well as yourself. Your blood volume expands during your pregnancy, and iron is an essential nutrient that helps to create hemoglobin, which is the substance that carries oxygen in your blood. If your body does not have enough iron rich foods, your body will pull it out from reserves in your bone marrow. Chances are, you do not have enough stories on hand to supply both you and your baby, so a lack of iron can be very detrimental.
This leads to anemia, which is very detrimental particularly in the last trimester of pregnancy when the baby’s needs are at their highest. Folic acid is another mineral that is critical during pregnancy for cell division, and helps in preventing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. To give yourself and your baby the maximum benefit that you can from folic acid, you should start taking at least one month before you get pregnant, as well as for the duration of your pregnancy. Most doctors recommend that women of childbearing age take a vitamin that has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day because pregnancies are not always planned. Even if you just take a multivitamin each day, your body will thank you for it. In addition, it can help get your body in shape and prepared for pregnancy when it does finally happen.
When you are pregnant, you can just take an ordinary over-the-counter multivitamin, but chances are you will be missing some of the vital nutrients that you need in higher amounts while you are pregnant. Most multivitamins do not have minerals such as DHA and choline, which are essential for fetal brain development. You can purchase your prenatal vitamins at your local pharmacy or you can opt to get a prescription from your doctor. If you decide to get your prenatal vitamins over-the-counter, you’ll want to make sure that they have at least 1000 micrograms of folate acid, higher levels of iron, as well as added nutrients such as choline, copper, iodine and magnesium. The prescription prenatal vitamins you’ll get from your doctor, will supply your body with this extra vitamin and mineral support that your body needs at this time. Also, prescription prenatal vitamins often have higher levels of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs versus the over-the-counter brands. Often times, another difference between over-the-counter and prescription prenatal vitamins is psychosomatic. For a pregnant woman, you’re going to want to listen to everything your doctor has day and follow it to the letter. If they prescribe you a prenatal vitamin and recommended over the over-the-counter prenatal vitamin, chances are you’re going to choose the prescription over the over-the-counter vitamin regardless of cost.
Most of the prenatal vitamins you can find over-the-counter are standard formulas so there won’t be much difference in them other than cost. Prenatal vitamins are extremely safe, and most of them are water soluble which means that your body will get rid of any extra vitamins that it doesn’t need. Despite the fact that prenatal vitamins are very safe, you can get too much of a good thing. It shouldn’t take more than the recommended number of vitamins or supplements each day, because you can actually overdose on certain nutrients. This can be detrimental to both your and your baby’s health. For the most part, prenatal vitamins cause some minor side effects in some women, such as nausea and constipation. However, just because you’re taking a prenatal vitamin every day does not mean that you no longer have to watch your diet. You should still eat a wide variety of fruits, whole grains, dairy, protein and vegetables to make sure that you and your baby are both getting all of the vitamins and minerals that you both need.