Either you just found out you're pregnant or you’re down the road in your pregnancy, and you need some advice on your healthcare!
Staying healthy during pregnancy goes beyond just your eating and exercising habits. It comes down to the extra vitamins and supplements that you and your baby would benefit from as well.
Carrying your child is an amazing experience. However, pregnancy can be scary for many women as many questions come up about safety and good health. But don’t worry, we’ve got your covered with everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins.
What Are Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are made for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. We all hear talk about the miraculous prenatal vitamin, but what exactly is it?
Prenatal vitamins are supplements that contain daily vitamins and minerals your body needs while pregnant. Folic acid is the most important vitamin to take when planning to get pregnant. It is a B vitamin that cells in your body need for growth and development.
Taking 400mcg of folic acid every day for at least one month before and during pregnancy will help lower the risk of any complications or problems with your baby’s brain.
When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
As mentioned, some women take prenatal vitamins well before they are actually pregnant. Folic acid should be consumed at least one month prior to conception. This is because it’s a good idea to be starting this healthy intake while trying to get pregnant.
Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects that normally happen within the first few weeks of pregnancy -- which is before you find out you’re pregnant. However, many women haven’t taken prenatal vitamins while pregnant and still have healthy babies. So don’t worry if you haven’t taken them well before you got pregnant. Just take them as soon as you know you’re expecting.
Benefits of Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Before you get into vitamin intake, it’s extremely important to understand what they do and why they matter. Even if you’re consistently watching your diet during your pregnancy, sometimes your meals can fall short of the key nutrients you need.
You need folic acid during pregnancy more than ever, and here’s why:
As a mother, you want to ensure the safety and health of your baby and taking these vitamins will help. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious abnormalities or severe birth defects of the brain and spine. If you’ve had a pregnancy affected by neural tube defect, it is especially important for you to consume 400 mg of folic acid everyday.
Iron also helps with the development of the placenta and fetus. It helps the generation of blood in your body and also supplies oxygen to the fetus. Also as many women know, iron helps to prevent anemia, which is a condition in which your blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.
What are the Side Effects of Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
Though taking prenatal vitamins will help the overall health of you and your baby, you may feel some discomfort because of them.
Taking prenatal vitamins may make you experience some nausea or queasiness, which is also an early sign of pregnancy. To help ease this, avoid taking the vitamins on an empty stomach -- try taking it with food or before you go to sleep. If the nausea continues, consider speaking to your doctor about switching to another kind of vitamin.
The iron content in the prenatal vitamins may also make you feel constipated. To relieve this, eat more fruits and vegetables that will give you the fiber you need. Also try drinking water to help wahs down the extra fiber and help you digest it more quickly. You may also want to talk to your doctor about using a stool softener.
Watching what you put into your body while pregnant or trying to get pregnant is extremely crucial. Make sure you’re doing everything in your power to eliminate any birth risks or health risks for you and your child.
Consult a doctor for more information about which prenatal vitamin is best for you and make sure you are taking good care of yourself.