Prenatal vitamins 101

Prenatal vitamins 101

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past 20 years, you’re familiar with the notion that prenatal vitamins are every pregnant woman’s duty to consume in the morning with a balanced breakfast in order to give her unborn baby the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals she may lack in her diet.

You probably know that prenatal vitamins lower the risk of spina bifida via folic acid which prevents neural tube defects during development in the womb.

But did you know that some of the top-selling prenatal vitamins contain stool softeners? That's why you need to read the ingredients!

And you might not have heard that too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects such as cleft palate and heart problems... so if you’re already taking vitamin A, you need to reconsider your vitamin dosing schedule immediately.

Furthermore, many of the solid prenatal vitamins contain compounds which are difficult for your stomach to effectively break down, and instead pass through your intestines never absorbed into your bloodstream, failing to nourish you or your child as they were intended. This is why gel-based prenatal vitamins are recommended over solid powder-based pills, as their ingredients are easier to digest and absorb.

Another basic consideration: over-the-counter prenatals are not regulated and as such cannot be guaranteed for purity or quality. Don't risk it, go with a prescription prenatal.

Talk to your caregiver about finding a prescription gel-based prenatal vitamin with the following approximate dosing of ingredients:

  • 400 mcg of folic acid
  • 400 IU of vitamin D
  • 200 to 300 mg of calcium
  • 70 mg of vitamin C
  • 3 mg of thiamine
  • 2 mg of riboflavin
  • 20 mg of niacine
  • 6 mcg of vitamin B12
  • 10 mg of vitamin E
  • 15 mg of zinc
  • 17 mg of iron
  • DHA (omega-3)


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