The World of Pregnancy

Do Prenatal Vitamins Help You Get Pregnant?

Do prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant? When planning to remain pregnant, it`s important for your body to benefit of certain vitamins and minerals, which are vital for the normal development and growth of the fetus. The vitamins taken during the preconception period complete the possible deficiencies from the organism and help the baby be born as healthy as possible.

Do Prenatal Vitamins Help You Get Pregnant

For optimal effects, doctors recommend to have a well balanced nutrition from which to remove any unhealthy foods.

What Are Prenatal Vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are supplements of vitamins recommended to women before, during and after pregnancy, especially if the mother decides to breastfeed her newborn. These vitamins are similar to multivitamins, but their formula is specifically made for the increased needs of the expecting mother. For instance, the essential nutrients like folic acid, calcium or iron are found in larger amount in prenatal vitamins, while vitamin A will have a reduced intake or will even be missing, due to the side effects on the developing fetus. Actually, pregnant women need double the dose of folic acid necessary to a healthy adult and around 50% more calcium than before planning a child. Calcium during pregnancy has also an essential role, as it maintains the bones of the mother and baby healthy and strong.

Folic Acid

Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 (folate), is a vitamin required during the preconception period, not only during pregnancy. Specialists say that a planned pregnancy help you prepare in good time and offer you the necessary time to take all the essential vitamins for a good development of the fetus. By comparison, a pregnancy that take you by surprise doesn`t allow to regulate the amount of vitamins and minerals.

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You`ll find the necessary folic acid in green vegetables (salads, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, peas), citrus, banana and tomato juices. Folic acid can also be obtained from supplements. Experts say that this vitamin reduces the risk for the baby to be born with congenital malformations and neural tube defects. It`s recommended to start taking folic acid supplements a few months before deciding to become pregnant.

Iron

Eggs, dried fruits and green vegetables are wonderful sources of iron, a mineral that you`ll need both in preconception and during pregnancy. Other foods with an increased content of iron are: brown rice, tofu, beefs, soy milk, potatoes and pumpkin seeds.

Get in touch with your doctor to find out if you need to take iron supplements. It`s possible for your organism to not need them, if you have a diet rich in this particular mineral.

Calcium

Calcium is a very important mineral for your health and for the normal development of the baby. Before planning a pregnancy, the doctors say that it`s best if you`ll take supplements based on calcium or at least consume foods rich in this particular mineral.

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You`ll be able to find calcium in citrus, avocado, sardines, almonds, beans, dairy and broccoli, if we are to name a few. If you are deciding to take supplements, visit your doctor before. He`ll be able to tell you what is the recommended calcium dose for your needs.

Vitamin B6

Among the fact that it regulates the level of blood sugar, vitamin B6 prevents the occurrence of luteal phase problems (the period between the menstrual cycle and the onset of a new menstruation) and corrects the level of progesterone (if it`s the case), an essential hormone to support a pregnancy. Last but not least, vitamin B6 taking during pregnancy reduces the side effects of a pregnancy.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to the development of the brain and optimal functioning of the central nervous system. During the preconception period, it`s recommended to include in your diet foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. You`ll find them in olive oil, fish oil, nuts, flaxseeds, soy and fish (salmon is recommended because is low on mercury).

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Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that works best with calcium, reason for which supplements based on magnesium and calcium offer the best results. According to most recent studies, a diet rich in magnesium increases the chances of having a girl.

Lots of foods have an increase content of magnesium, and it`s a great idea to include them in your diet. Among them, we remind here: spinach, oysters, celery, wheat germ, eggplant, almonds, cucumber, and broccoli.

Vitamin C

Experts say that vitamin C plays an essential role when it comes to the conception of a child. This nutritional substance rebalances the level of sexual hormones and increases fertility. IT proved to be beneficial in the case of men as it improved the sperm quality and prevents the destruction of DNA.

Vitamin B12

According to experts, vitamin B12 is just as important as folic acid during the preconception period. You find vitamin B12 in meat, fish, oysters, cow`s milk, skimmed yogurt, beef liver or shellfish.

General Benefits Offered by Prenatal Vitamins

Women who want to become pregnant, the expecting mothers and those who already gave birth need prenatal vitamins because:

  • They help transport the oxygen in blood for the mother and baby.
  • They reduce the risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects.
  • They help to the proper formation of DNA for the future baby.
  • They prevent the loss of bone density.
  • They cover the nutritional deficiencies that the pregnant woman may have.

Benefits on the Baby`s Health

Prenatal vitamins help the baby`s health. Studies show that if they are taken regularly, they become essential for the optimal functioning and development of the brain, heart, kidneys and the other organs of the baby. Also, they decrease the risk of cognitive abnormalities, the physical and mental delays, as well as other medical conditions associated with deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. For instance, bone abnormalities are often related to vitamin D deficiencies and attention – they are strongly related to the omega 3 fatty acids deficiencies, and especially DHA.

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How & When They Are Administered?

As we already established, prenatal vitamins need to be taken when you are planning to have a child, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, until weaning the baby. A good idea would be for these vitamins to be taken in the evening before going to bed to avoid nausea. Pregnant women who would experience morning sickness would take prenatal vitamins in the evening to avoid their elimination in case of vomiting. It`s best for the tablet to be taken after finishing the meals, as it would be tolerated more easily on a full stomach.

Each woman who wants a child needs to take prenatal vitamins, but especially:

  • Vegan women.
  • Those who are lactose intolerant.
  • Who smoke or abuse another type of substance.
  • Who experience nausea and vomit during pregnancy.
  • With gastrointestinal issues or with a digestive system that doesn`t absorb nutrients properly.
  • Those who present certain medical condition associated with blood.
  • Those who present certain chronic conditions.
  • Those who suffered gastric bypass surgeries.
  • Those who have a multiple pregnancy.

Although even the most advanced prenatal vitamins cannot replace a healthy diet, most expecting mothers need to take these vitamins on a daily basis to ensure that they benefit of a large variety of nutrients to face all the requirements of a pregnancy. Their constant administration represents an additional assurance that both the mother and baby stay healthy before and after birth.

Precautions

Some pregnant women, especially those who already experience morning sickness, may even feel an accentuated discomfort once they start taking these vitamins. This needs to be told to the doctor who supervises the pregnancy, as it`s possible for you to take other vitamins that you should.

If you take prenatal vitamins, you should stop taking any other vitamins, except those recommended by your gynecologist.

It`s not a big issue if the mother forgets and takes even 2 tablets of prenatal vitamins in a day, but the increase of the dose on a constant basis, without the doctor`s approval, is a dangerous thing for both the mother and child.

Supplements with more than 30 mg of iron may have repercussions on the gastrointestinal tract, which translates by constipation, which is already a real issue during pregnancy. On the other hand, excessive iron may lead to nausea and, more rarely, diarrhea. In case that you don`t experience anemia, it will be prescribed to you prenatal supplements with less iron. From the natural options, you can opt for the consumption of plum juice, 2 or 3 portions of fruits per day or psyllium supplements to help with the constipation.

Image courtesy of mamanatural.com
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