We all know its important exercise and eat a healthy, balanced diet all your life, but it doubly important when you’re eating for two, yourself and your baby. To ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby, it is essential you find the right prenatal vitamins to supplement your healthy lifestyle. Both before and during pregnancy, Vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and iron are essential to a baby’s growth. Following the steps below will hopefully help you choose the right prenatal vitamin for you.
1. Its always important to discuss with your doctor the right mix of nutrients for you in a prenatal vitamin. Be sure to discuss any birth defects in your family history, this may affect the type of vitamin your obstetrician recommends. Take your time, discuss your options with your obstetrician and choose the proper prenatal vitamin for you.
2. Remember, that more isn’t always better. In a study of over 21,000 pregnant women, those who took supplements with more than 10,000 international units a day of pre-formed vitamin A were almost five times more likely to give birth to a baby with a birth defect than women who consumed 5,000 international units or less. Make sure to take the time study vitamins and minerals that are especially important for women during pregnancy and be aware of their benefits and side effects. Most obstetricians recommend iron to aid in oxygen production in the blood of mother and baby, calcium to help prevent bone density loss, increased intake of folic acid, and vitamins A and D.
3. Have a good understanding of the different kinds of prenatal vitamins or supplements available to you and what they contain. Be sure to shop around at your local Pharmacies, drop by the Nutritional store on the corner and don’t forget to check out the health stores.
4. When shopping for prenatal vitamins, look for the mineral and vitamin content that are really important to you and your growing baby. In general, it is recommended that pregnant women take in 30 mg of iron; 4000 IU of vitamin D; 300 mg of calcium; 4,000 IU of vitamin A and between 800 and 1,000 mcg of folic acid every day. Folic acid is well known for minimizing the chances of having a baby with birth defects, namely spina bifida. All of the vitamins and supplements above should be found in over the counter prenatal vitamins these days. If not, you may want to pass on that particular brand.
5. Ask your local pharmacist any questions you have about prenatal supplements or vitamins and any other prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Most pharmacists will be able to provide you with information about potential side effects or interactions that any of these medications may have with supplements you are considering. Your pharmacist can also give you information regarding general medicines that should be avoided during pregnancy. Be sure to consult your obstetrician if your pharmacist tells you of any potential side effects or interactions between medications you are currently taking and ingredients in the prenatal supplement.
6. You should be making sure you are eating plenty of protein, iron-containing leafy greens and vegetables, and calcium-rich dairy products. Prenatal vitamins are only meant to supplement a already healthy diet. Don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamin daily.
7. Never begin a health or diet regimen of any kind without consulting your primary care physician first. Stop taking your prenatal vitamin if you experience complications, side effects, or changes in your health. Consult your obstetrician or physician as soon as possible. Many women have difficulty tolerating prenatal vitamins or experience constipation as a result of the high iron content. Due to tolerance challenges, prenatal vitamin companies have developed many dosage forms to meet the needs and tolerances of expecting mothers