Finding A Quality Prenatal Vitamin
As soon as a woman gets a positive pregnancy test, nutrition for the developing baby becomes a priority. Although some women may need to make changes to diet, the most important purchase is a prenatal vitamin. Knowing which type to buy can be overwhelming with so many on the market. Here’s what to look for to find a high-quality prenatal supplement.
Folic acid is key
Any woman who could become pregnant should be getting some folic acid, but this requirement increases once pregnancy is confirmed. Folic acid prevents a class of birth defects called neural tube defects. This is one of the first parts of the baby to form, so it’s important to get this B vitamin early in pregnancy. Folic acid is also essential for healthy cell growth and plays a role in the formation of red blood cells. Although the natural form, folate, can be obtained from the diet, a supplement is often recommended to ensure enough is consumed.
Pump that iron
Iron is another essential ingredient in any prenatal vitamin. This mineral helps make extra blood during pregnancy to support the placenta and growing baby. Iron can also help prevent anemia, a condition without healthy red blood cells in the body. The prenatal vitamin should contain close to 100% of the daily value (DV) for this mineral. Women who are deficient may need more and should talk to a healthcare provider about the correct dose.
Not too much
Some supplements like to pack in vitamins and minerals. This means the pill may have more than the recommended amounts for pregnancy. Higher doses of vitamins are not well studied in pregnancy, and some may actually cause problems for the developing baby. Most doctors advise steering clear of mega doses to be cautious. Discuss with OB/GYN prior to purchasing or consuming any prental supplements.
Are herbals OK?
Although herbal products may benefit pregnancy, most are not well studied. Some herbal supplements could cause problems like miscarriage or preterm birth. This is why it’s critical to check the label to see if there are any contained in the supplement. Ask the doctor if an ingredient like ashwagandha, rosemary, or echinacea pops up. Checking on herbal products before consuming can reduce unnecessary anxiety during pregnancy.
Down the hatch
Try not to be overwhelmed by the many prenatal vitamin options available. Folic acid and iron are essential ingredients during pregnancy. For the other vitamins and minerals, ensure not to get too much. Be cautious with any added herbals. Most important of all, remember to take this pill every day to keep the baby as healthy as possible.
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