There are so many prenatal vitamins on the market these days, it can be overwhelming trying to pick out which one is best. Prenatal vitamin formulations can vary, but there are some key vitamins and minerals that should be present no matter what. Here's a breakdown of the basics you definitely need when choosing your prenatal:
This nutrient is one of the most important ones to take even before you become pregnant. Having adequate folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida. It is important to have folic acid in your system because neural tube defects can develop in the first 28 days after conception. Recommended Dose: The minimum is 400mcg in a prenatal, but 800mcg will cover all nutrient needs.
Supports healthy oxygenated blood cells to both the mother and baby and supports growth and development. Recommended Dose: 30 mg
Necessary for the thyroid function of the mother and supports the physical growth and development of the baby. Recommended Dose: 150 mcg
Calcium is important for the bone development of the baby as well as protecting the bone density of the mother. Recommended Dose: 200-300 mg
Omega 3 fatty acids DHA
These will help with the baby’s brain, eye, and nerve development. If you do not eat fish this is a good supplement to add. If you do, avoid large fish such as swordfish and tuna which have high mercury content. Recommended Dose: Take as directed on the bottle , these may be sourced differently.
This essential nutrient is for fetal brain development. Recommended Dose: 175 mg
If you experience nausea and constipation with your prenatal vitamin there are some things you can do.
- Extra B6 and help reduce nausea.
- Drinking more water and getting more fiber in your diet can alleviate constipation. Talk to your health care provider about adding a stool softener.
- If a regular prenatal vitamin is really disruptive to your system, you can take a chewable form. Just make sure there is enough folic acid.
- A healthy diet supplemented with a good prenatal will assure the health of you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.