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As soon as you find out you are pregnant (or even when you are trying to get pregnant), it is recommended that you start taking a good quality prenatal vitamin. So what is a prenatal vitamin and why is it so important?
A prenatal vitamin is a supplement with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to help your baby develop successfully and keep you and your baby as healthy as possible throughout pregnancy. While you will get most of your nutrients from the food you eat, taking prenatal vitamins is a great way to supplement your diet and ensure you’re getting the right amount of everything your body needs.
The two most important things you should get from a prenatal vitamin are folic acid (or folate) and iron. Folic acid is needed to help prevent what are called “neural tube defects,” or abnormalities with the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Iron helps with the baby’s overall development, as well as the development of your placenta. Iron also helps your blood carry oxygen for you and your baby.
Many prenatal vitamins contain other helpful vitamins and minerals, like calcium, zinc, and vitamins D, C, A, E, and B. These additional nutrients provide many other benefits for you and your baby, such as help with bone growth.
While it is recommended that you start taking prenatal vitamins early in pregnancy (or when you are trying to get pregnant), you should also talk with your healthcare provider as soon as you can about which prenatal vitamin to take. Certain prenatal vitamins contain different amounts of each vitamin and mineral, and you may need more or less of the different nutrients based off of your body and health needs. Your healthcare provider can help you choose the best prenatal vitamin to lead to the most healthy pregnancy and baby.
Note: You do not need a prescription for most prenatal vitamins. You can purchase them at drugstores, pharmacies, or other stores where vitamins are sold.
If you are pregnant and do not have a doctor for prenatal care yet, give Birth Choice a call to learn more about how we can help get you started.
At Birth Choice, we believe that starting your pregnancy off on the right foot is important. When you schedule an appointment with us to confirm your pregnancy and discuss your options, we will talk more about prenatal vitamins and the keys to a healthy pregnancy to make sure you are getting the best start. Call us to schedule your FREE appointment at 214-631-2402.