Vitamin supplementation, both prescription and the best over the counter prenatal vitamins, ensure the pregnant woman’s body has everything it needs to stay fit while nourishing the baby within. Even if you eat a very healthy diet, which you should, vitamins can help fill in any nutritional gaps you may not be aware of.
Of course, not all prenatal vitamins have the same value. If you had to narrow it down to the most essential supplements, what would you need to take? Here are the 5 best prenatal vitamins for moms-to-be, based on the latest research available:
1. Vitamin B/Folic Acid
Researchers believe the family of B vitamins have a protective effect against a variety of problems in early fetal brain development. Folate in particular is critical; Taking folic acid supplements can dramatically reduce the odds of deformities of the spine and brain.
Getting enough folic acid is probably the best thing you can do to ward off birth defects, especially when taken early in the pregnancy. Aim for 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
Consumers should be aware that certain B vitamins, like thiamin and niacine, are vulnerable to exclusion from some gummy prenatal vitamins and chewable prenatal vitamins. These products are meant to appeal to women who dislike the taste or texture of traditional adult pills.
Yet gummies and chewables may not necessarily provide all the ingredients of a standard maternal multivitamin. They may be missing key nutrients like thiamine or magnesium, removed because the tablet tastes better without them. Although gummy prenatal vitamins sometimes do not have thiamine or magnesium pregnant women, many pregnant women already get the missing nutrients from their diet, but others may need the supplementation.
New Chapter prenatal vitamins are highly recommended and loved by many pregnant women due to that brand’s removal of certain ‘filler’ ingredients. New Chapter is also preferred by some moms in the market for organic prenatal vitamins. You can find out more about New Chapter prenatal vitamins and read other user reviews here.
The most common nutritional deficiency in the world, iron, is conspicuous for its absence in many infants that are born too little. Low birth weight is linked to insufficient iron in the blood, and so is prebirth anemia and premature birth. Iron helps the blood carry oxygen, which is awfully important.
Stay on top of your iron intake to avoid the related disturbances. Twice-weekly iron supplementation appears to be an optimum level for many women. Look for a supplement with approximately 17 milligrams – Potent Organic’s complete multi-vitamin contains 28 milligrams of Iron per serving and comes highly recommended. You can order it on sale here.
Check with your doctor if you are unsure how much you need. Too much iron in the blood is not something you want to experience.
Iodine is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and greater amounts are needed when one becomes pregnant. Without enough iodine, there is a danger of congenital hypothyroidism, neurocognitive defects, and stunting – not to mention miscarriage and stillbirth.
The growing infant gets the iodine it needs from mom, so she will need some extra for sharing. According to the American Thyroid Association, pregnant ladies need about 150 micrograms of iodine daily for fetal thyroidal development to stay on track which can be met by taking New Chapter perfect prenatal or Potent Organic’s multivitamin – both currently available on sale.
Calcium is absolutely fundamental. It is the most important ingredient that goes in to making the fetal skeleton, and as much as 330 milligrams a day may be needed for that purpose. It also helps pregnant women keep their own bones strong. Calcium supplementation is particularly vital during the third trimester, when fetal uptake is highest.
Keep in mind that you will never be able to meet all your calcium needs with a multivitamin alone. So eat plenty of calcium-rich items while pregnant, such as yogurt and kale. At least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day total is a common standard. Eat what you can, and get the rest – probably around 200 or 300 milligrams – from your supplement.
Future moms should note that the absorption of calcium is significantly enhanced by a nutrient chemical called DHA. DHA has many other health benefits as well, so it may be worth it to identify prenatal vitamins with DHA to ensure you make the most of the calcium you consume. Examples of prenatal vitamins with DHA include Vitafusion prenatal gummy vitamins and New Chapter prenatal vitamins.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to be an important building block of bone health for both moms and babies. It can also help prevent preterm births and very painful labor during childbirth. Like calcium, vitamin D becomes especially important during the third trimester. Experts say the full range of D’s benefits have yet to be fully realized. Nevertheless, about 7 in 10 women in the United States have excessively low levels of vitamin D, according to obstetric researchers – hence the need for supplementation.
For many pregnant women, somewhere around 400 International Units (IU) of supplement is needed. But before you start popping extra-strength vitamin D, note that too much is hazardous. There is evidence, for instance, that excessive prenatal D can make a baby more prone to food allergies.
It’s important to learn how much you as an individual really need. Any one can do this by getting a simple blood test and determining the appropriate level of supplementation in consultation with a doctor.
The More, the Merrier?
A common myth about prenatal vitamin supplementation is that the more you have, the healthier you and your baby will be. This is not true, however. Most people know that too little of a nutritional element can be harmful, but fewer folks realize that too much can be problematic, too. Some vitamins, taken in excess, can cause birth defects.
When it comes to multivitamins, there is an optimum range within which levels must stay in order to work their magic. Each nutrient has its own range. Moreover, every individual is different. A personalized approach is the best way to ensure you get exactly what you need, no more and no less.
Each pregnant woman should plan her supplementation in close consultation with a doctor and remain conscientious of the actual effects of supplements on her day-to-day well-being.