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What You Should Know About Prenatal Vitamins

Ideally, you should be getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need for your daily diet. However, when you’re pregnant, your body changes and you may not be getting enough essential nutrients to support you and your baby.

At Raveco Medical, our experienced OB/GYN team offers comprehensive pregnancy care to support your body’s changing needs as your baby develops. We can recommend prenatal vitamins to take in the early days of your pregnancy or when you’re starting to plan for a pregnancy.

An overview of prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins provide you with many essential vitamins and minerals that you need for good health. They also help your baby develop properly and reduce risk factors for birth defects.

Some of the common vitamins and minerals found in prenatal vitamins are also contained in a regular multivitamin. However, they’re specially formulated for the needs of an expectant mom and contain higher levels of certain vitamins, like:

Prenatal vitamins can also increase your intake of specific vitamins that you need during pregnancy.

Other essentials found in prenatal vitamins

You need several nutrients during pregnancy that are vital for keeping you healthy and to support the growth and development of your baby.

In prenatal vitamins, you’ll find specific amounts of:

Iron

Iron helps to support the growth of the baby and your placenta. Your body needs iron to make blood that supplies oxygen to your fetus.

Supplemental iron can also prevent anemia, which depletes the health of your red blood cells, making them inadequate at getting necessary oxygen to the tissues in your body.

Folic acid

Folic acid supports the prevention of defects in your fetus’ brain and the spinal cord, which both form around week five of pregnancy.

When you begin planning a pregnancy, taking folic acid for at least three months before you conceive can support healthy brain and spinal cord development.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in fish. If you don’t eat fish, you might need to take supplemental omega-3 along with your prenatal vitamin.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

DHA is a good fat that assists in the development of your baby’s eyes and brain during your third trimester.

What to expect while taking prenatal vitamins

Our team can recommend which prenatal vitamins are right for you based on your medical history and existing health. You can take over-the-counter prenatal vitamins, or we might prescribe them to you, depending on your needs.

If you’re planning to conceive, schedule a consultation at our office to talk about which prenatal vitamins can help prepare your body for a pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, schedule a pregnancy test appointment with our team. If you’re pregnant, we’ll get you started on prenatal vitamins right away.

Many women tolerate prenatal vitamins well and without side effects. Some find that taking the vitamins before getting pregnant helps reduce the severity of nausea and morning sickness. However, extra iron in the vitamins can increase your risk for constipation.

To prevent constipation or other gastrointestinal discomfort while taking vitamins, be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. Adding more fiber to your diet can also help keep you regular.

To learn more about the benefits of prenatal vitamins, call the Raveco Medical office nearest you to schedule an appointment or book your visit online today. 

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