I often hear the question, which prenatal vitamin should I take. Some women even wonder if they should be taking a prenatal vitamin. Many physicians recommend that every woman during her childbearing years take a prenatal vitamin daily. Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients that we may not be getting in our diet.
- Iron: 80% of a baby iron stores are accumulated in the third trimester of pregnancy. Iron deficiency may affect an infant's long-term neurodevelopment and behavior. (www.pediatrics.org)
- Recent research suggests that women deficient in calcium and vitamin D are at increased risk for preterm birth. (www.webmd.com)
- Vitamin D and pregnancy are important together. Expecting mothers need to make sure they get the recommended amounts of vitamin D during pregnancy for both their own well being and the healthy development of their baby. A recent study found women taking higher doses of vitamin D daily had the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor/births and infections, (ask your physician). Another recent study also shows that Vitamin D supplementing may reduce the risk of common pregnancy complications, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. *
- Prenatal vitamins are particularly important for smokers, adolescent mothers, vegetarians, vegans, women older than age 35, women with lactose intolerance, and women carrying multiple gestation (twin, triplets, etc.)
- Babies of women who received prenatal vitamins during pregnancy had up to 30 percent reduction in risk of low birth weight compared to infants of women who received no vitamin supplementation.
- Approximately 50% of pregnancies are unplanned (www.MarchofDimes.org) So all women of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal vitamin daily.
ARE YOU NUTRITIONALLY READY FOR A PREGNANCY?
Prenatal vitamins provide nutritional support and should be taken prior to conception, during pregnancy and while nursing. Taking a prenatal vitamin is somewhat like having insurance that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need. The question is always asked, which prenatal vitamin should I take? Do you need additional iron? Ask your physician.
* Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.