by Melissa Chichester
During pregnancy, your nutritional needs change to support the healthy growth and development of your baby. And while it’s always important to get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, when you are pregnant or trying to conceive, it’s even more important. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “a woman’s daily intake requirements for certain nutrients, such as folic acid (folate), calcium, and iron will increase.”
To make sure women are getting the nutrients they need during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins are an option. With all of the options available, it can be tricky to choose one that is right for you. And if you’re brand-new to prenatal vitamins altogether, you may have basic questions about why they are important. Here are five common questions about prenatal vitamins and what to look for in a prenatal vitamin.
It is generally recommended that women take prenatal vitamins when they start trying to conceive. This is to support health needs early on in pregnancy, shortly after conception. Always speak to a physician when starting a new supplement to figure out if it is the right fit for your health and your baby.
Why should pregnant women take prenatal vitamins?
Most doctors will recommend that women take a prenatal supplement. Some doctors may even recommend a prescription prenatal vitamin depending on patient needs. The primary reason prenatals are recommended is to fill in the gaps between the nutrition you receive in your diet.
Folic acid is considered the most important nutrient in prenatal vitamins. Folic acid is important for pregnant women because healthy diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect.
Other nutrients you will find in prenatal vitamins include:
Vitamin D is needed to support the development of bones and teeth in the baby.** In addition, iodine is essential for the normal prenatal development of the baby.** These are only a few examples of how prenatal vitamins are specially designed for pregnant women.
Many people are skeptical about gummy vitamins because they usually taste good. According to the American Pregnancy Association, gummy vitamins make taking prenatal vitamins easier. However, some gummy vitamins may not contain two key nutrients: calcium and iron. If you are concerned about these nutrients, read the label to find out what your gummy vitamin contains.
Puritan’s Pride® Prenatal Vitamins are an excellent source of some of the nutrients you may need during pregnancy and lactation.** Specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of prenatal and postnatal women, this daily multivitamin contains 800 mcg of folic acid. This formula is also a good source of calcium, one of the most important minerals in your body. Furthermore, it is a good source of Vitamin D, which helps calcium absorb.** These prenatal vitamins are further enhanced with iron, a vital component of hemoglobin that plays a key role in energy metabolism.**
Pregnancy is one of the most joyful times of life. Speaking to your doctor about your prenatal supplement can take some of the stress out of getting the right nutrition for your growing baby.