Even when you have the “perfect” diet- it’s nearly impossible to get vital nutrients such as folic acid or iron. On the other hand, for those women who don’t have a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins provide the necessary nutrients that they are lacking.
When you’re pregnant, you will need much more iron due to the fact that the amount of blood in your body has increased. If you don’t have enough iron, you could end up becoming anemic. Folic acid is also essential for cell division, as well as prevention of neural tube defects in the baby. Experts in the field of health recommend that all women of childbearing age should be taking a vitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid.
Why Not Just Take a Multivitamin?
Prenatal vitamins are much better for women who are pregnant or could become pregnant due to the nutrients they contain. They also may contain vitamins and minerals that are not included in a regular multivitamin such as DHA and choline- essential for the development of the fetus.
Safety of Prenatal Vitamins
Basically, prenatal vitamins are safe. The vitamins and minerals they contain are water soluble, meaning that if your body doesn’t use it, it will be flushed out. The only thing you must watch for is that the one you choose doesn’t contain too much of the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Since your body stores these away, it is possible to get too much of them.
Always remember that though vitamin supplements are good for you, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. You don’t want to be popping handfuls of supplements and eating lots of nutrition bars- you could end up overdosing on some nutrients.
Vitamin Supplements Are Not Enough
Keep in mind that even though you’re taking prenatal vitamins- that doesn’t excuse you from eating a healthy diet. They are not to be used to take the place of three healthy meals- but to supplement. These don’t contain the protein, nutrients, or calories that a growing baby needs.
Be sure to include a variety of dairy, fruits, whole grains, veggies, and protein in your diet, as well as taking prenatal vitamins to ensure you’ll have a happy, healthy baby.