Prenatal vitamins and supplements

My best friend and I were talking the other day about taking prenatal vitamins, as she wants to start a family straight after marrying her long term partner we were discussing how she should get ready for starting a family. The first thing to do is to take a prenatal supplement to aid you to get the best nutrients and vitamins you need for your body to support a growing baby. With so many prenatal vitamins to choose from where do you start?

Choosing a prenatal vitamin?
The first thing you should do is visit your doctor because if you have a family history of certain medical conditions you may be able to get medicines on a prescription that is not available over the counter. This is also helpful if you have had a miscarriage as you will need a higher dose of folic acid that is essential for the development of the baby’s’ spinal cord and brain development. If none of this applies to you, you will have the hard task of picking a prenatal supplement. There are too many to choose from, some more expensive than others and some that are own brand from your local pharmacy or supermarket.

Should you go for a cheap vitamin or a more expensive vitamin?
There is no right or wrong answer as even the cheapest tablets have had to pass thorough testing to be allowed on the market. What is important is to decide what is best for you and baby. Make sure that the antenatal supplement you are buying contains the following:  folic acid, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, vitamin K, Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iodine, Biotin and Copper. There are more that can be part of your antenatal supplement but the above are the most commonly found in antenatal supplements. You should take one a day with your main meal and on a full stomach. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.

As most of these vitamins are found in the food we eat anyway the supplement is take ‘just in case’ you’re not getting your daily average for a women that is pregnant or trying to conceive. Your GP will advise you to start taking supplements 3 months before trying to conceive, this is advisable as your body will be in tip top shape when you do conceive. The first 3 months are the most important as the baby is developing organs and neural tube so to prevent any defects or disabilities antenatal supplements are advised.