If you wonder whether prenatal vitamins should become a part of your daily routine, the answer is a strong yes. Generally, a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals is a great way to ensure that your health is intact, but during pregnancy, you need to put extra effort into the crucial nutrient intake.  

Prenatal vitamins are special multivitamins recommended for future mothers to ensure good health for both themselves and their future children. The mentioned vitamins are in charge of supplementing any potential deficiencies in nutrition during pregnancy. Aside from a variety of vitamins in the prenatal pills, there are also iron, calcium, and folic acid, which are particularly important. 

To be able to answer the questions such as when to start taking prenatal vitamins, which ones to take, and similar, you need to choose an experienced specialist who will be able to guide you in the right direction. To be able to pick an Obstetrics Specialist in Sarasota, Fl, you need to explore all your options and make an informed decision because this might immensely affect the success of your pregnancy and the health of both you and your child. 

How Important Are Prenatal Vitamins?

Expectant Mother Taking Vitamin Pills

The body of pregnant women needs more iron and folic acid than usual because folic acid aids in preventing abnormalities of the brain of the fetus and its spinal cord. In contrast, iron acts as a support mechanism for the growth of the fetus and the placenta. 

Additionally, to illustrate how important prenatal vitamins are, here are a few interesting facts:

  • Folic acid helps prevent the development of spina bifida, i.e., a spine that is not fully developed in infants. The nerves are damaged, and the child can have different forms of incontinence, paralysis, learning issues, and other neural tube defects. Because women sometimes do not plan pregnancies, all women in their childbearing ages are advised to take 400 mg of folic acid daily. 

Folic acid can be found in foods such as beans, nuts, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, cereal, and different supplements. 

  • Calcium is another crucial supplement for new mothers because it significantly impacts their bone density as the baby takes the minerals for its own bone development. 
  • Iron, as mentioned, carries oxygen to both the mother’s and baby’s bloodstream, and it is pretty clear why this is crucial for the child’s development and the mother’s health. 

From everything mentioned, we can see how important prenatal vitamins are, and all experts in prenatal care advise starting some of these prenatal multivitamins a few months prior to the beginning of the pregnancy. 

Vitamins to Take While Pregnant 

Regarding which prenatal multivitamins are the best and when to start taking prenatal vitamins, below we have created a list of recommendations and advice which might be helpful for all new mothers and women who are planning to become mothers at a certain point in their lives.

  • Prenatal multivitamins can be bought in nearly all pharmacies. 
  • Consult your chosen doctor on which vitamins best suit your specific needs.
  • Make an informed choice regarding the type of vitamins to take while pregnant because not all contain everything you might need. Aside from folic acid and iron, it is essential to include calcium, vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as iodine and zinc. 
  • There is a possibility your doctor will also advise taking larger dosages of some nutrients, which depends on your specific needs and the baby’s current health. Sometimes, women are advised to take more folic acid, or more iron and calcium, depending on their current state. 
  • Do not take too many prenatal vitamins because sometimes higher dosages can be very harmful to the infant, but also the mother, as is the case with vitamin A. In case there is a high dosage of vitamin A in a child, they can start suffering from headaches, nausea, muscle aches, blurred vision, and the like. 
  • Some other nutrients also need to be taken into consideration, such as omega-3 acids, because they help support the development of the baby’s brain. This can be consumed through different types of fish, nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, etc. 

If you are wondering when to start taking prenatal vitamins, experts say the ideal time is a few months before conception. As mentioned, you should start taking these supplements when you reach your reproductive age to be on the safe side, regardless of whether you are planning to have a baby at a certain point or not. 

This is recommended because the infant’s neural tube starts developing during the first month of the pregnancy, and sometimes women are not even aware that they are pregnant at that time. 

Side Effects of Prenatal Vitamins 

Gynecologist Giving Pills To Smiling Pregnant Woman During Appointment at Hospital.

As with any supplementation, there is a risk of causing side effects in some individuals, so here are some common ones that might appear:

  • Constipation is the most common side effect of prenatal vitamins. To prevent it, you should drink a lot of fluids, eat more fiber, consult your chosen doctor on stool softeners, and become more physically active (with your doctor’s approval).
  • Nausea might be caused by the size of the pills or their smell.
  • The excess of vitamin A mostly causes dry skin or itchiness, so be mindful of how much of this vitamin you take through food. 
  • Bruising is said to be caused by vitamins E and K, which are connected to the blood clot response of the body, so you might be getting more bruises than usual. 
  • Bloating is a side effect that occurs either due to the pregnancy or the vitamins, so sometimes pregnant women are sensitive to fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important part of prenatal care.

When it comes to managing side effects, experts advise changing the brand of the vitamins you are taking, as well as the dosage or the way you take them. Many different brands are high in quality and have been recognized as excellent solutions for prenatal care.

In case you start experiencing serious, long-lasting symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, skin changes, and others, especially if you have already changed the brand, you should contact your doctor and schedule a consultation. Your chosen medical provider has to offer additional supplement options that suit your specific situation and needs. 

Call Us!

Prenatal care, including prenatal vitamins, is vital for the healthy development of your baby and successful pregnancy. Feel free to contact our clinic for anything you might be concerned about. Our expert teams are trained and educated to help pregnant women with the whole process, advise them on any topic they might struggle with, and help answer any questions and concerns.