Prenatal vitamins: important to the health of your baby

July 03, 2014 4:37 PM by

As soon as you get to your first OB/GYN appointment, your doctor is going to tell you to get on prenatal vitamins.  

Why do I need prenatal vitamins? 
You'll need to not only eat a healthy diet during your pregnancy, but you'll need these vitamins to ensure that any nutritional gaps are fulfilled. 

Of course, you aren't intentionally leaving healthy food out of your diet but there are some vitamins you need extra of that you may not have always been aware of. 

What makes prenatal vitamins different? 
Prenatal vitamins contain more folic acid and iron than what you'll find in your daily multivitamin. Sometimes, women can become anemic during pregnancy, so the iron will help prevent that from happening. 

The folic acid in prenatal vitamins will help to prevent neural tube defects, or abnormalities that are located in the brain and spinal cord. Iron will not only help prevent anemia but will also help to support the growth and development of your baby.  

What to look for in prenatal vitamins 
There are several different brands of prenatal vitamins that are available. These include different amounts of the vitamins you need, but look for these amounts: 

  • Folic acid: 400 to 800 micrograms 
  • Calcium: 250 milligrams 
  • Iron: 30 milligrams 
  • Vitamin C: 50 milligrams 
  • Zinc: 15 milligrams 
  • Copper: 2 milligrams 
  • Vitamin B6: 2 milligrams 
  • Vitamin D: 400 international units 

Remember, your practitioner will sit down and talk with you if they feel that you should be taking any extra amounts of any vitamins. 

There are prenatal vitamins that can make you feel nauseous. If this occurs, reach out to your doctor to see if there is a different kind of prenatal vitamin they can prescribe you, such as chewable or liquid vitamins, that will help you keep them down. 

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