Are you planning on getting pregnant or have you recently found out you are pregnant? Well, Congratulations! It is vital that you start taking good care of yourself and the baby in the womb. In doing so, you must begin by taking antenatal vitamins. These are prescribed to expecting mothers.
What Are Prenatal Vitamins?
These multivitamins are essentially a range of vital vitamins and minerals that have been especially formulated for pregnant women. These contain all the additional nutritional constituents that an expecting mother requires to deal with the added stress of pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins come in varied formulations and are recommended based on your specific needs. A woman’s need for nutrients during pregnancy, increases greatly. Hence, these will ensure good health for both the mother and the developing fetus.
Dr. DiCampli Suggest When Should A Woman Start Taking These?
What Happens When You Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Taking these prior to conceiving and during pregnancy, will help prevent several birth defects. You can get various benefits by continuing to take these even after you have delivered your baby and while you are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor for additional information and what’s best for your specific situation. Taking the below listed type of nutrients is vital for the following reasons:
1. Additional Iron Supplements To Prevent Anemic Conditions
Several women tend to suffer from iron deficiency during pregnancy since they are supplying blood to their baby. Hence, most antenatal vitamins contain additional iron supplements to prevent anemic conditions in the pregnant woman.
2. Additional Calcium For Proper Growth Of The Skeletal System For Your Developing Fetus
Also, a woman requires additional calcium for the developing fetus in the womb. A baby’s developing skeletal system depletes calcium from the mother. A calcium supplement will reduce the chances of a stress fracture. Most nutrition boosting supplements will provide the extra calcium that is required. Hence, it is advised that you take proper dosage of calcium.
3. Additional Folic Acid For Proper Growth Of The Spinal Cord For Your Developing Fetus
Most multivitamins also include additional folic acid. This is an essential supplement that needs to be taken in the first stage of your pregnancy. This is when the baby’s spinal cord and skeletal system is getting developed. Folic acid prevents spinal bifida and various other birth defects.
4. Lower Levels Of Vitamin A, D and K
Some vitamins must increase during pregnancy while others should decrease. Thus, the levels of vitamin A, D and K during pregnancy, should be maintained lower than pre-pregnancy levels.
Do not take an antenatal vitamin with other multivitamin supplements as this can result in a vitamin excess. This can be risky for both the mother and the new baby to be. Inform your doctor about the supplements and vitamins that you are already taking. They will advise you the correct dosage required by your system.
What Should We Be Looking For?
Ask your doctor to prescribe a multivitamin that is best for your health. Keep in mind, that these are meant to supplement and not substitute for a balanced diet. Do not rely on them for all your nutritional requirements. Always check with your doctor about which foods to eat. These will work best when taken along with a nutritional diet.
1. Keep an eye on your calcium intake – Expectant mothers typically require 1,200mg to 1,500mg of daily calcium intake. Most of the vitamins will not contain this quantity so you require an additional calcium supplement. Several will contain only about 250-500mg. Remember, calcium is extremely vital for you and the development of your baby.
2. Every vitamin is unique – No two brands are the same and will provide varied benefits. Recent studies have shown that a pregnant lady’s body may not necessarily absorb every nutrient provided by these vitamins, especially folate.
3. Significance of folate – This vitamin is extremely vital for your baby’s prenatal development. It will help prevent birth defects such
as spina-bifida. Keep in mind, out of the total quantity of folate labeled on any bottle, only one third of folate is absorbed by a pregnant woman’s body.
4. Take a vitamin prescribed by your doctor – Some feel that it is a good idea to only take nutritional capsules prescribed by a doctor. Others believe, this is not necessarily true. While a prescribed one is ideal, several of these are also available in stores and are being sold without a prescription. You should ask your doctor about these especially if they aren’t covered under your insurance. You will be able to save considerable money with a prescription bought brand. The key thing to consider is the ingredients in these vitamins and whether it is absorbed quickly or not.
5. Vitamin absorption into your system – You can undertake an easy test to determine if a specific brand will be properly absorbed by your system. Drop one of these capsules into a glass of water and wait for ten minutes. If it is very soft or gets dissolved, it will get absorbed into your system. On the other hand, if these continues to remains hard, it will most probably pass through your body without depositing several of the nutrients that it carries. This test is crucial so ensure that you undertake this with any new multivitamin.
When first starting out with any new health dietary supplement, you may experience some nausea. If so, inform your doctor about it and start taking a different brand.
What To Look For In Prenatal Vitamins?
These are being manufactured by several different companies. You can get several of these over the counter. A few of these are available with a prescription. So then how does one ensure that they are receiving a dietary supplement that is truly the best for you as well as your baby? Here’s a list of the few things to consider when choosing a good antenatal formula.
1. Quality – Calcium citrate is considered to be the ideal form of calcium. Few of the formulas contain lower quality or
inferior synthetic forms of minerals and vitamins that may not be as bio-available for your system. For instance, calcium carbonate is often a preferred form of calcium since it is less expensive. However, your tissues cannot absorb calcium carbonate to build the your baby’s skeleton as it is merely chalk.
2. Iron Overload – 30mg of iron is the ideal recommended dosage for pregnant women. However, since iron is an oxidant and a metal, if you take too much iron, you could experience nausea, constipation, headaches, free-radical damage and fatigue. This in turn could cause cardiovascular system compromise, infections and a slightly compromised immune system. You are therefore advised to take any additional iron in a natural iron-rich form of foods.
3. Additives – Few of the dietary supplement s could contain risky additives such as chemical preservatives and dyes. Use a brand that has been tested to exclude the presence of lead and any other heavy metals.
4. Third-party Testing – A reputable brand will usually distribute their products through physicians and will voluntarily comply with
every FDA standard. They will also provide you with an array of tests and study results that have been undertaken by independent labs. They will also be able to support these studies and verify supplement claims for test of nutrient quality, purity and amounts.
5. Eat fresh, whole and real food – Avoid fried, refined and processed foods during pregnancy and take a dietary supplement on a daily basis. Also, certified organic food is the best option during pregnancy as it will limit the pesticide quantity you and your developing baby are exposed to.
So how do you eat organic and ensure that you are getting your required servings of vegetables and fruits daily? Just eat a balanced diet and use good quality multivitamins that can help you to fill any nutritional gap.
When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
For majority of women, it is a good idea to include dietary supplements as part of their daily diet as soon as they start planning for a baby or realize that they are pregnant. In case you are planning on getting pregnant, start taking these right away. In today’s day and age, many women do not receive all the nutrition that they require. This is caused by poor diet, processed food, rushed lifestyle and stress that we all experience. As a result, it is vital that you should be taking additional supplements and nutrients.
Unlike the usual formulas, a natural blend will provide a unique balance of essential nutrients. The formula included in these brands are strategically built in order to promote the growth of an unborn child while keeping the mother healthy.
Women often experience common digestive troubles when they are pregnant. A health supplement could aggravate it further. A formula with helpful amounts of Zinc and natural ginger will help in balancing a pregnant woman’s digestive tract. This in turn will help in facilitating a healthy and natural digestive system with no risky additives.
One of the most vital aspects of any expecting mother’s health, is her blood. A mother’s blood is a significant aspect of her child’s
development. Dietary supplements contain beneficial amounts of vitamins C, E and iron. These will help stimulate the blood levels and also boost the overall health of the mother and her unborn child.
Top 5 Prenatal Vitamins Brands!
Finding the perfect blend could take a bit of trial and error. However, the benefits are many. Just continue to remind
yourself that you will still need to eat a healthy diet. Although there are several benefits of taking the correct dosage, it is recommended that it should never be substituted for a good nutritional diet. Check with your doctor before starting any supplements. Here’s a list of the most popular prenatal vitamins brands:
1. New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamin:
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal is a whole-food multivitamin. It includes targeted levels of essential folate and is especially formulated to nourish both the mother and baby. It is a cultured and organic product to promote a healthy pregnancy. It will also support overall health and wellness. These will cover for the nutritional gaps created by a less than perfect diet.
2. Garden of Life – Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal
As an expectant mom, the Garden of Life offers an incredible and unique blend of vitamins and nutrients that have been specially designed with the key goal of promoting pregnant women’s health. It protects the immune system of the mother and her baby both during and after pregnancy. It also helps ease the common digestive discomforts that are typically related with pregnancy
3. Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
This multi-vitamin formula is easy on the stomach and provides expectant mothers with an excellent source of DHA and folic acid. Each gummy contains DHA, folic acid and multiple vitamins. These are easy to take and delicious too. It contains natural flavors and colors. They do not contain iron. Thus, they will help eliminate any iron related constipation problems. It is available in delicious fruit flavors such as berry, cherry and lemon flavor.
4. One A Day Women’s Prenatal With DHA Vitamin 90 Day Supply
This includes 90 capsules in each container. It is a complete formula with DHA. This supplement also includes vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Additionally, it includes minerals such as copper, iron and calcium. Research shows that DHA helps in brain and fetal eye development. It is ideal for use prior to, during and after pregnancy
5. Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA – Unflavored – 180 – Softgel
This DHA formula provides an effective and convenient way to ensure that a pregnant mother and her growing baby gets adequate vital nutrients each day. It provides a strong foundation for a balanced and healthy pregnancy. Nordic Naturals provides added benefits of the omega-3 fats. It is known to have surpassed every international standard for freshness, concentration and purity. These are an ideal supplement for pregnant and nursing women. It includes soft unflavored gels which are half the size of a standard soft gel. These are ideal for even a highly sensitive palate.
In the past few years, the nutrient value of our food has dropped greatly. This has caused depletion of nutrition in our body due to the unfavorable growing methods, use of fungicides, chemical fertilizers and herbicides. It is therefore vital that you start taking dietary supplement as soon as you plan on becoming pregnant.