Prenatal vitamins: do you really need to take them? – Choice Clinic Life Resource Center

You might have wondered if you really need to take prenatal vitamins. The answer is YES! Prenatal vitamins have so many benefits and taking them is an easy way to help your baby develop and grow in a healthy manner.

Why should you take a prenatal vitamin?

  • Even if you eat a healthy diet, which is the best way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, you might be low on some of the specific nutrients your baby needs during pregnancy. If you’re nauseous and having trouble eating, this is especially important.
  • Iron, which is found in prenatal vitamins, helps the body make blood, which supplies oxygen to your baby. If you’re not taking a prenatal vitamin with iron, your body will grow deficient in iron and might cause you to become anemic. Taking iron can help reduce the risk of your baby from being born too early or too small.
  • Folic Acid is incredibly important in the development of your baby’s organs and body systems. Folic acid, a B vitamin, helps create the neural tube, which will eventually form your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Taking folic acid can reduce the risk of birth defects.
  • Prenatal vitamins contain other essential vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need. Calcium aids in the development of teeth and bones. Other important vitamins and minerals include Vitamins D, C, A, F, the B vitamins, Zinc, and Iodine.

When should you begin taking a prenatal vitamin?

  • If you’re trying to become pregnant, you should begin taking prenatal vitamins about 3 months before getting pregnant. Your baby’s brain and spinal cord develop in the first month of pregnancy, maybe before you even know you’re pregnant. To gain the most benefit, it’s best to start early.
  • If you find out your pregnant and you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins, start taking them today. It’s never too late to gain many of the benefits of prenatals.

Are there any side effects to taking prenatal vitamins?

  • Some women experience nausea when taking prenatal vitamins, especially if they’re already having morning sickness. You can reduce the chances of nausea by taking your vitamin with food and drinking lots of water both before and after taking your pill. If the nausea continues, try another brand or type of prenatal vitamin. Sometimes just trying a different brand can help or try a chewable vitamin instead of a tablet or capsule. Gummy prenatal vitamins can sometimes be better tolerated.
  • Constipation can be a side effect of taking prenatal vitamins. Ways to help include drinking lots of water, keeping physically active, and eating more food with fiber, like fruits and veggies.
  • If you continue to experience side effects, contact your doctor to discuss other options.

As you can see, it’s very important to take prenatal vitamins. If you’re considering getting pregnant, start taking your vitamins now. If you think you might be pregnant, give us a call at Choices for a free pregnancy test and ultrasound. We also provide our clients with free prenatal vitamins.

**As with all matters related to your health or the health of your baby, you should seek the professional opinion of your physician.