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What You Really Need to Know About Your Prenatal Vitamin

It’s that big moment! You’ve made the decision that you’re ready to get pregnant and start a family. First things first, you’ve gone to see your OBGYN, who recommended that you start taking prenatal vitamins. So now what? But with so many prenatals out there — and so much advice from friends, family and social media — how do you know which prenatal to choose? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for a simple guide to how to choose the best prenatals for you, four key ingredients to look for, plus answers to the most common questions future parents ask about prenatal vitamins

WHAT EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRENATAL VITAMINS

If you take a daily multivitamin, you might be wondering whether it’s really necessary to switch to prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant. First, it’s important to know what prenatal vitamins are.

Prenatal vitamins contain the nutrients that help support your baby’s fetal development, including folic acid, iodine, DHA and vitamin D.

Ashwagandha is pronounced like it looks: ash-wah-GAHN-duh. Now you know.


THE BEST PRENATAL VITAMINS HAVE THESE KEY NUTRIENTS

1. Folic Acid & Folate

Folate is a B vitamin found naturally in leafy, green vegetables. Folate or its synthetic equivalent, folic acid, helps support healthy fetal development.1 Folic acid is so important, that experts actually recommend taking it at least 4 weeks before getting pregnant until at least 12 weeks after conception.2 That means if there’s any possibility that you could get pregnant, it’s best to get plenty of folate in your diet or ask your doctor about taking a prenatal vitamin like vitafusion with folic acid.

Most people aren’t eating two cups of folate-rich spinach every day (but if you are, kudos to you!). So, taking a daily prenatal vitamin can help you to get an adequate amount of folic acid in your diet.

2. Iodine

Like folic acid, iodine is critical for fetal development in early pregnancy. Major medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Thyroid Association recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women should get about 150 mcg of iodine a day.3

Iodine was added to most everyday table salt in the U.S. starting back in the 1920s. But in the last few years, gourmet food trends have been moving more and more to using artisanal sea salts or kosher salt, which usually don’t have added iodine.

So if you’re a foodie, you might not be getting as much iodine in your diet as you were. Ask your doctor about taking iodine supplements or if you can eat more iodized salt during your pregnancy. (Of course, be careful about sodium intake and possible effects on blood pressure. Consult your doc!) vitafusion PreNatal gummies contain 220 mcg iodine per serving plus many other nutrients that pregnant women need.

3. DHA

DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid commonly found in fish. But if you’re cutting down on eating fish right now — like many women do during pregnancy — you’ll want to be sure you’re getting enough DHA in your diet. Or try vitafusion PreNatal supplement, which contains Omega 3 fatty acids including DHA.

4. Calcium & Vitamin D

These strengthening nutrients help support strong bones for both you and your baby. Vitamin D also improves absorption of calcium in the body.4 It basically gives the vitamins you take a little extra punch.

Shot of a pregnant woman working out with a sand bag on the patio at home

FAQ: COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PRENATAL VITAMINS

Q: When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?

A: Believe it or not, doctors recommend that women start taking prenatal vitamins before conception. Many important fetal developments occur during the first month of pregnancy, before you might even know you’re pregnant! So if you’re trying to conceive, ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins.

Let your doctor know about any other supplements or medications (prescription or over-the-counter) you might be taking.

Q: How long should I take prenatal vitamins?

A: You should take prenatal vitamins throughout the entirety of your pregnancy. Your doctor might also recommend that you continue to take prenatal vitamins after the baby’s birth, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Q: What if prenatal vitamins make me feel sick?

A: Some women report that prenatal vitamins make them feel nauseous. If this is the case, you can take your prenatal vitamin with a meal or before bed.

Ask your doctor if you can take a prenatal vitamin that doesn’t include iron. Vitamins with iron can often make people feel queasy. Vitafusion prenatal vitamins are formulated without iron. This means that they are gentle on the stomach. That’s particularly helpful when you’re experiencing morning sickness! Plus, lots of women find that vitafusion gummies are easier and more convenient to take because they taste good (of course!) and you don’t need water like you do with tablets.

Q: Do I need a prescription for prenatal vitamins?

A: Some doctors may recommend you take a prescription prenatal, but others simply recommend that you get a certain amount of specific vitamins or minerals in your diet. Over-the-counter prenatals like vitafusion PreNatal may have just what you need. Check the labels, and when in doubt, ask your doctor for advice.

Sure, prenatal vitamins aren’t a substitute for eating a healthy diet. But they can help to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet before and during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, talk to your doctor about taking prenatal vitamin.

We love sharing our insights about vitamins and health. But that doesn’t mean they should be a substitute for professional medical advice. For that, you should talk to your doctor!

1 Scott, JM et al; Ciba Found Symp. 1994.
2 Roth, C. et al; Mol Nutr Food Res, 2013.
3 CRN Recommended Guidelines for Iodine Quantity in Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements for Pregnancy and Lactation. www.crnusa.org
4 Vitamin D, Fact Sheet for Consumers. O?ce of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Published by Colleen Welsch

Colleen Welsch has been writing about women's nutrition, health, fitness, and the clean beauty industry for many years. Born and raised in Ohio, Colleen recently returned to the U.S. after spending a year in Spain. In her spare time, Colleen loves traveling and petting dogs.