Best Prenatal Vitamins
Choosing the best prenatal vitamins for your baby is absolutely crucial when trying to start a family. Keeping up with a regular exercise ritual and a balanced diet are great places to start, but all women of childbearing age will benefit from one more very important step—taking prenatal vitamins. Unless you have a perfect, organic, vitamin filled diet, you are not getting the vitamins and minerals you need to support you, let alone your baby, so you need a secondary source of nutrition. We’ve taken the time to outline what prenatal vitamins are, why you should take them, and where you can get them.
Why Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins When I Already Eat a Healthy Diet?
Many of us forget to take the daily vitamins that our own parents recommended when we were children. Our health doesn’t appear to suffer when we skip our vitamin. A typical modern diet takes care of our nutritional needs. The daily prenatal vitamin however, is much more important.
Doctors have known for years that prenatal vitamins help to prepare a woman’s body for the challenges of pregnancy. Think about it: your body is going to be homebase for a growing child. That child needs to grow a healthy heart, brain and bones. In order to do this, that baby is going to need to be able to pull from a large supply of consistent nutrients for 9 months. The best prenatal vitamins provide a simple way to maintain healthy levels of nutrients for yourself and your baby.
Taking Vitamins Before You Are Pregant
It might seem strange to hear that experts say you should take prenatal vitamins before you become pregnant. Why should you go to all of that trouble if you aren’t pregnant yet, or you don’t even plan to be pregnant for a while? According to the Women’s Health Office of the US Department of Health and Human Services, a number of nutrition related birth defects affecting the brain and spine can develop during the first trimester. This is often before a woman realizes that she is pregnant.
Taking a natural prenatal vitamin before pregnancy is the best way to prepare and protect your health, and the health of your future baby. When pregnancy occurs, your body will be in the best shape to support this magical experience. Think of it as kind of “stocking up” on nutrients in preparation for your baby. As soon as you are pregnant, that baby will immediately start pulling nutrients from your supply. If that supply hasn’t already been stocked, it will start drawing from your personal nutrients, which creates a lack for both of you. Needless to say, start stocking up!
Benefits of Taking Folic Acid Before Pregnancy
The March of Dimes suggests that a multivitamin with folic acid is one of the most important steps you can take to encourage a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid helps to prevent anemia in the mother and it also prevents brain and spine related birth defects in the baby. Folic acid is found naturally in beans, citrus fruits and green vegetables, but it is difficult to get enough folic acid from the foods you eat and your body is not able to store it. Fortunately, the right amount of Folic Acid is easy to add into your diet with a prenatal vitamin.
It is recommended to take 400 micrograms of Folic Acid before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Regular Folic Acid intake will help reduce the risk of birth defects in babies such as spina bifida and anencephaly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that women who take the recommended daily dose of folic acid starting at least one month before they conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy reduce their baby’s rise of neural tube defects by 50 to 70 percent.
What Prenatal Vitamin Should I Purchase?
The best prenatal vitamins are the ones that give you every nutrient you need. All prenatal vitamins provide healthy levels of more than a dozen important nutrients. If you do not like to swallow tablets, chewable prenatal vitamins are available. You may also want to stay away from artificial colors and sweeteners.
You will want to compare the many brands of prenatal vitamins before you can decide which brands are the best for you. If you have allergies to certain ingredients that are used in the common vitamin brands, you will you need to choose your brand carefully. Natural prenatal vitamins are a great choice in this case.
Some everyday brands, like One a Day prenatal vitamins have the same nutritional levels as the prenatal vitamins prescribed by a doctor. One a day is a great choice to start out if you don’t have much experience and are looking for a good solid starter. You should be able to purchase them at your basic general store. When you are shopping for prenatal vitamins, check with your doctor and make sure that your vitamins have the following:
- Iron-this supplement is key to your body in producing enough blood for your baby, and yourself. If you lack iron you can find yourself very fatigued as well.
- Calcium- a pregnant mother needs calcium to maintain healthy bones and provide the child with the nutrients to grow theirs.
- Thiamin- Thiamin allows you to convert carbohydrates into energy. It’s vital to your baby’s development in the brain and helps with the functioning of your heart, muscles, and nervous systems. Take about 1.4 milligrams daily.
- Riboflavin- Your body doesn’t store Riboflavin, so you have to supplement for it. It is good for muscle, nerve, and baby bone development and is also great for vision, skin, and growth.
- Niacin- with a recommended intake of 18mg per day, Niacin is critical in pregnancy because your body uses it to turn food into energy, as well as to help DNA structure, cell signally, and cell differentiation.
- Vitamins B12- According to the National Institutes of Health, Trinity College Dublin, and the Health Research Board of Ireland, women with low levels of Vitamin B12 just before or after conception are more likely to give birth to children with neural tub defects.
- Vitamin D- It is critical to have this to promote healthy bones and teeth. Also, a deficiency can cause growth retardation and skeletal deformities. It is also said to have an impact on birth weight.
- Zinc- You need zinc for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA. This makes it especially important to have in pregnancy.
- Vitamin C- helps your body fight infection. Helps with healthy skin, bone growth, wound healing, and tissue repair.
- Folic Acid- Prenatalgyn.com says Propery folic acid consumption during pregnancy can help reduce the chance of neural tube defects by 70% and the occurrence of pre-eclampsia by over 60%
Do Prenatal Vitamins Offer More Than Good Nutrition?
One rumored perk about prenatal vitamins is that they can give you bright healthy skin, strong nails and shiny hair. Some people say
that this is just an old wives’ tale. Their claims have not been proven by any study, but many women insist that the boost of nutrition from their daily prenatal vitamin also brought a boost of beauty! Shiny hair and stronger nails aside, the most important benefits of prenatal vitamins are the health benefits they provide for your baby. Those benefits have been widely proven. Taking your prenatal vitamins everyday will give your baby the gift of a nutritious start in the world.
A Comparison f the Best Prenatal Vitamins on the Market
We understand that it can be intimidating when you first start looking for prenatal vitamins for you, that’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to line out the best ones available on the market today.
- New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamin—the great part about this and why we’ve put it at number one is for two reasons, all natural, and 23 vitamins and minerals. It’s always great to hear all natural, because you never want to put anything artificial inside of you, especially when you have a baby. The 23 vitamins and minerals in this prenatal are designed specifically for proper nutrition for your baby, and then the right supplements to ensure that you have proper levels of energy, which impressed us enough to put it at number one.
- One A Day Women’s Prenatal—One a day is a very notorious brand, and lands in our second spot because of the quality. It has all the vitamins and minerals that you need while maintaining a high quality. We don’t see anything that they leave out in their supplement facts, and from pure experience, we’ve never had a bad one.
- Prenatalgyn- Prenatalgyn is a great product because it is 100% natural with no artificial coloring. Also, these 35 vitamins and minerals are very easy to digest which in turn maximizes nutrient absorption. Also, Prenatalgyn offers a 90 day money back guarantee which is always nice.
- Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins—This vitamin contains everything you’d expect in a multi-vitamin, plus specific vitamins needed for carrying a child. There is no artificial ingredients, everything is all natural, and there are 90 tables per bottle. These vitamins are lactose intolerant and gluten friendly, as well as being free of animal products and by products, so Vegans can use it also..
- Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamin— these vitamins are great to take because not only are they great quality, but they taste delicious while still maintain natural flavors and colors. They have plenty Omega 3 DHA, Vitamins A, C, and D, as well as Folic Acid. They have everything you need to ensure proper nutrition during your pregnancy
Prenatal Vitamins Comparison
New Chapter Prenatal's
One a Day woman's prenatal
Vita Fusion Gummy Prenatals
|Serving Size||3 Tablets Daily (can be taken on empty stomach)||1 Tablet (daily with food)||6 V-Caps Daily||1 Tablet||2 Gummy Vitamins Daily|
|Servings Per Container||48||30||30||150||45|
|Price||US $33.35||US $15.50||US $44.95||US $16.29||US $10.45|
We hope this comparison chart was helped you choose the best prenatal vitamins for you and your baby.
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Photo Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk