Prenatal Supplements 101: What prenatal vitamins should I take?
Considering Prenatal Supplements? Here’s your comprehensive guide on where to start
Prenatal supplements have become increasingly common among pregnant women in helping their body support their own health as well as the baby’s. Carrying a child is a time of extreme transformation for women while the body is working overtime to support a healthy pregnancy.
In an ideal world, a pregnant mom (or anyone for that matter) would get all of the nutrients needed to support herself and the baby during pregnancy. That’s not very realistic given the massive demand on the body during this time and that most people can’t eat healthy and perfectly all of the time. Given this reality, supplements are typically needed throughout life and especially during the time leading up to childbirth.
Upwards of 90% of Americans are vitamin deficient.
What are prenatal supplements?
Prenatal supplements typically consist of vitamins and nutrients that can easily get depleted during pregnancy. Since the mom’s body is giving nutrients directly to the baby, her supply can sometimes fall out of balance making supplementation critical to keep her immune system strong and hormones in balance. Vitamins and nutrients can be key to the growth of the baby as well as ensuring the mom stays healthy and strong throughout each stage of pregnancy.
While pregnant, moms should be trying to get the full spectrum of vitamins and nutrients they would normally need, as well as additional nutrients according to specialists in the field. Many of these include things like iron, calcium, vitamin D, and folic acid.
What vitamins should I look for in a prenatal supplement routine?
- Iron - supports the development of the placenta and fetus. Iron helps your body make blood to supply oxygen to the fetus and also helps prevent anemia while pregnant. According to studies, pregnant moms need double the amount they would otherwise normally need. It can be difficult for anyone to get that much just through diet alone so making sure an Iron supplement is part of the prenatal routine is crucial.
- Folic acid - (also called folate) is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects. These are serious defects of the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is something that is great to also incorporate into your supplement routine before becoming pregnant because it’s something that can have the most impact within the first month of pregnancy on the baby’s health and development.
- Calcium - supports strong bone health. Calcium is key in supporting the baby’s development during pregnancy as their bones form. If the mom isn’t getting enough calcium, it will be drawn from her supply putting her own bone strength at risk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids - this is a type of healthy fat that helps promote a baby’s brain development. Many people opt to include this as an addition to their supplement routine since it can be found in foods a lot of people don't consume often, like fish and seeds. This is another key nutrient that adding prior to pregnancy can be a good idea for most moms to be. It also has other added benefits like heart health.
- Vitamin D - like calcium, can help support healthy and strong bones. More than half the population is vitamin D deficient. Our bodies make vitamin D when we get time in the sun, which can be difficult for people living in non-sunny areas or during the winter. When taking additional vitamin D during pregnancy, studies have shown it can reduce the rate of premature birth and low birthweight.
- Choline - also supports brain health and development. Many prenatals don’t contain choline despite its critical role in baby’s developmental wellbeing. It can also be found in food like eggs, broccoli, and peanuts.
When is the best time to start adding prenatals to my supplement routine?
Since organ development can start as early as 4-6 weeks into pregnancy, it’s best to start as soon as possible. All bodies are different so as always, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider to make sure the vitamins you choose are clean, reputable, and the right dosage for you. There is such a thing as taking too much of certain vitamins and supplements so always set your supplement routine to your personalized needs and health goals. Since a lto of these vitamins can be deficient prior to pregnancy, starting prior to conception is a good idea so you go into your pregnancy as strong as possible.
Diet should be your first priority when it comes to giving your body what it needs to have a healthy pregnancy. Supplementing with vitamins is great, but remember that a healthy diet goes the farthest when preparing for pregnancy and through all of its phases. Getting exercise and sleep are equally important to make sure you’re as strong as possible and giving your body everything it needs to be successful.
If you’re looking for a unique blend of vitamins and nutrients based on your female health, we have you covered. We have clean, natural, and organic vitamins and nutrients that also include what you need for prenatal health and wellness. Ask us any questions you have or build your custom kit today!