Medically Reviewed

At What Point in My Pregnancy Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?

If you are actively trying to conceive, it would be smart to start taking a good, solid prenatal vitamin now.

New research suggests that the earlier you start taking a prenatal, the better. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, it is advisable to start taking prenatal vitamins even before conception. Their recommendation goes so far as to suggest prenatal vitamins should be taken by any woman who is of child-bearing age.

Why should someone take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy?

There are many reasons to begin taking a prenatal vitamin before you’ve even picked out a name for your little angel. Along with maintaining a healthy diet, it is recommended that folic acid be taken at least 1 month prior to attempting to conceive a child. This is because those first several weeks of pregnancy are incredibly important for the overall development of the fetus. Moreover, given the nature of conception, many women do not even know they are pregnant until those crucial first weeks have already passed.

Prenatal vitamins usually include more iron and folic acid than traditional multivitamins. That is because folic acid can help prevent fetal abnormalities that impact the spinal cord and brain. In addition, iron aids in the baby’s overall development and growth. Iron contributes to healthy fetal growth by preventing anemia, which is a condition where the blood has too few healthy red blood cells.

However, those are not the only nutrients that are important in fetal development. Vitamin D and calcium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids can be critical in the baby’s development. Omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, are important for expecting mothers who do not consume fish. In addition, Vitamin D and calcium are most critical during the third trimester. This is typically when the baby’s bones are growing the most and when they need the most calcium.

What are the best prenatal vitamins?

Not all prenatal vitamins are created equal. Some do not contain everything you need or want in your vitamin and it can be hard to tell the difference between all of the vitamins currently on the market. Many even come with the recommendation that they be taken at night, since they can make soon-to-be moms queasy and nauseous. That’s why we formulated the Care/of prenatal vitamin. What we figured out is that by fermenting the vitamins with foods, the vitamins are a lot easier to digest than some alternatives.

In addition, these prenatal vitamins include 22 active ingredients, some of which are not included in other prenatal vitamins. Nearly 90% - 95% of pregnant women do not get sufficient choline, which is a nutrient that performs various functions in the human body, including cell structure and metabolism. The Care/of prenatal vitamins offer 100mg of Choline, which is considered the adequate daily intake amount.

Finally Care/of follows trends in research when creating products. That means that only the best ingredients are included in our prenatal vitamins. That means only those ingredients which are a benefit to both mom and baby, from conception to cradle. Our formula is unique, making Care/of the best prenatal vitamins you can find. And as a matter of convenience, our prenatal come in daily packs, so you don’t have to separate them out yourself.

Other common questions

What will happen to a man if he takes prenatal vitamins?

There have actually been studies recently performed that looked at whether or not men should take prenatal vitamins as a precursor to their partner’s pregnancy. While the studies are inconclusive, there is still some discussion around determining whether or not an increase in folate for men can help decrease the chance of birth defects. We know it works for women, so we need more research into whether men should be consuming folate before conception as well.

However, what these studies do show is that men should not take prenatal vitamins long term. There are too many negative consequences to men taking these particular vitamins in these particular quantities. Some of the negative effects are due to the iron included in prenatal vitamins. The problem is that these vitamin packs are created to satisfy the needs of pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women, not men. The daily adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is just not the same for men as it is for women. For example, men need about 18 mg of iron per day, whereas prenatal vitamins include nearly two times that amount. An iron overdose can be lethal. So, for men who are already eating iron-dense foods, taking a prenatal vitamin is not advised.

Why do I sleep so well when I take prenatals?

It is no surprise that you might find you sleep better when taking prenatal vitamins. That is because they often contain many of the vitamins and minerals that are intended to help you sleep better. You are getting the recommended doses of vitamins and nutrients that you might’ve been deficient in before getting pregnant.

Take iron for example. It’s a key ingredient in prenatal vitamins and oxygenates the cells and tissues of the body. Without enough of it, we tend to feel sluggish and rundown. If you are getting your recommended daily dose of iron through your prenatal vitamin, you are better able to combat that fatigue. Vitamin D is another key ingredient in prenatal vitamins. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to overall disrupted sleep and can affect your sleep schedule and pattern.

Why is folic acid important in pregnancy?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended that all women who are of child-bearing age have an intake of 400 mcg of folic acid per day. The consumption of folic acid can help prevent major birth defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly.

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