When you become pregnant, your top priority becomes doing everything possible to keep you and your baby healthy. The fight for good prenatal health starts with a commitment to prenatal vitamins. If you find yourself pregnant unexpectedly, it’s important to start a prenatal vitamin routine immediately. If you are trying to become pregnant, your OBGYN will recommend that you begin taking prenatal vitamins as you work to conceive. Read on to learn how these tiny tools can make a big difference on the health of your baby.
What are Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins help to fill the nutritional gaps that may be in your diet before and during your pregnancy to help you and your baby maintain optimal health, and to prevent certain health complications. An ideal prenatal vital should contain essential vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need, including the following:
Folic Acid – Folic acid can help to prevent neural tube birth defects, which threaten to develop in the first 28 days after conception, making it essential that women begin their prenatal vitamin routine immediately upon finding out their pregnant, or, more ideally, when they decide they want to become pregnant. It’s recommended that women take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily before conception and throughout the first twelve weeks of their pregnancy.
Calcium – Calcium can help protect women from losing important bone density as baby uses calcium for its own growth.
Iodine – Critical for the healthy functioning of your thyroid, iodine should be supplemented during pregnancy to prevent your baby from suffering from stunted growth, deafness, or severe mental disabilities. A lack of iodine, in the most severe cases, can even result in miscarriage or stillbirth.
Iron – Important for mother and baby, iron is essential for carrying oxygen in the blood.
Other important nutrients and minerals that should be included in your prenatal vitamin include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin E
An Important Note if Your Prenatal Vitamin Makes You Feel Sick to Your Stomach
Some women report that prenatal vitamins make them nauseas, or that their vitamins exacerbate existing nausea symptoms during their pregnancy. If your prenatal vitamin is making you nauseas, do not make the mistake of simply stopping your vitamin routine. Talk to your OBGYN. He or she can prescribe an alternative for you, which may include a chewable, liquid, or pill to swallow whole, depending on your tolerance.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re wondering which prenatal vitamin is right for you, know that you don’t have to decide on your own. Your OBGYN will help you to choose the prenatal vitamin that is right for you and your baby, which will put you in the best position for a healthy, full-term pregnancy. And if you are newly pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and looking for a new doctor, please give our practice a call. We are accepting new patients.