Prenatal Vitamins – Surviving Pregnancy

Taking prenatal vitamins is so important for expectant mothers, and their babies as well. When you first learn that you are indeed pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a good prenatal vitamin for you to take. Sometimes your doctor will give you several different samples of various brands for you to take in order to find the one that is right for you.

You will often hear at times of people who assert that the vitamins are beneficial for women who are planning to conceive. Using the supplements before getting pregnant helps prevent certain birth defects. Some mothers choose to continue taking prenatal vitamins throughout their pregnancies and while they are breastfeeding.

It is important to remember that the prenatal vitamins are supplements. They do not replace a balanced diet. It is not good practice to rely on vitamins for all of your nutritional needs. It is more important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet than it is to take pills, no matter how beneficial they are. The vitamins also work better when they are taken with a healthy diet. Some of the nutrients in the foods help to absorb the vitamins.

Calcium is an extremely important element in a pregnant woman’s diet. Prenatal vitamins do not have the recommended daily allowance of calcium for an expecting mother. Prenatal vitamins have about 250 milligrams of calcium but an expectant mother requires between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day to assure that the baby will develop properly. This is a significant difference.

Not every prenatal vitamin is the same; in fact some may not benefit the expectant mother as much as they claim. Recent studies show that a pregnant woman’s body does not necessarily absorb all of the nutrients provided by the vitamins, especially folate. Folate is extremely important in the baby’s prenatal development. The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina-bifida. Only three out of nine vitamins on average actually provide the amount of folate labeled on the bottle. This is not to suggest that the supplements do not have the vitamin, it just is not absorbed by the woman’s body.

Some argue that it is better to take a prenatal vitamin prescribed by a doctor. However, this is not necessarily the case. While prescribed vitamins are ideal, many of the very same vitamins are available in stores and without a prescription. The most important thing to consider is the ingredients in the vitamins. Another important factor to consider is whether the prenatal vitamins are easily absorbed or not.

There is an easy test you can use to determine if the vitamins will be absorbed into your system. Put one of the prenatal vitamins into a cup of water. Wait ten minutes. If the vitamin is dissolved, or is very soft, it will be absorbed into your system. If the vitamin remains hard, it will probably pass through your system without depositing many of the nutrients it carries.

It is a good idea to talk to your doctor when deciding which prenatal vitamin is best for you. I found that the vitamin my doctor prescribed made me very nauseous. I told my doctor about the trouble I was having and she recommended a supplement that I could buy over the counter. This vitamin was not a potent as the one she originally prescribed, but I was getting more nutrients because I was able to tolerate them much better.

Finding the right prenatal vitamin may take a little trial and error, but the benefits are great. Just continue to keep in mind that you still need to maintain a healthy diet. The benefits of prenatal vitamins are enormous and highly recommended, but good nutrition is still better than any supplement.