How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy?

How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy
Why are prenatal vitamins important? – During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than usual. Here’s why:

  • Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Ideally, you’ll begin taking extra folic acid at least 3 months before you become pregnant.
  • Iron supports the development of the placenta and fetus. Iron helps your body make blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

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Can I take prenatal vitamins 6 months before pregnancy?

When to Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin – If you’re thinking about getting pregnant within the next year, it’s a great idea to do your research and find a high-quality prenatal vitamin to start as soon as possible. “Take them right now,” says Felice Gersh, MD, an OB/GYN specializing in women’s health and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, Calif.

  1. I recommend prenatal vitamins to all my reproductive-aged women, whether or not making a baby is a current goal.” Not only does taking a prenatal vitamin before you start trying to conceive help optimize your health, but it also gets you in the habit of taking the pill daily.
  2. The idea is to be optimally healthy prior to conception,” says Dr.

Gersh. “From the moment of ovulation and fertilization, you want everything perfect. That requires getting an optimal array of nutrients into the body, in order to optimize hormones, control inflammation, nurture the gut microbiome, and promote and support the ability of cells to perform essential functions.” Some healthcare providers recommend starting a prenatal vitamin three to six months prior to trying to conceive.

  • Organizations like ACOG and the CDC stress that it’s important to start taking folic acid, specifically, at least one month prior to becoming pregnant.
  • Be sure to speak to your OB/GYN or primary care provider early and often so that they can recommend the best course of action for you.
  • If you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins prior to learning you were pregnant, don’t panic.

The vitamins that are typical in prenatal vitamins are also found in foods, so as long as your diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and beans, your nutritional needs are likely at an adequate level. But do start a prenatal vitamin regimen as soon as possible.

“Many women only find out they are pregnant after they miss their period, which can be around four to six weeks of pregnancy,” says Santos. “Once you find out you are pregnant, you should begin taking prenatal vitamins daily thereafter.” “Remember, prenatal vitamins are supplements—they are to provide extra nutrients,” says Dr.

Gersh. “No matter if you’re on or off of prenatal vitamins, eat lots of plants and some fatty fish, and hydrate well. Avoid added sugars and ultra-processed foods.”
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Should you start prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant?

If you’re planning to become pregnant, a healthcare professional will recommend that you begin taking a prenatal vitamin. You should start taking one with folic acid 3 months before trying to conceive. Prenatal vitamins contain extra amounts of folic acid, iron, and calcium needed during pregnancy.
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What happens if you take prenatal vitamins if you are not pregnant?

– Prenatal vitamins are specific to the needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. They’re geared to make up the common nutritional deficiencies a pregnant woman could have. But they aren’t really intended for women (or men) who aren’t expecting or lactating.

Taking too much folic acid each day can have the adverse side effect of masking a vitamin B-12 deficiency, Excess iron can be a problem, too. Getting too much iron is associated with health problems like constipation, nausea, and diarrhea, Excess amounts of nutrients like vitamin A taken from synthetic vitamins could be toxic to a person’s liver.

Again, it’s better if you get these nutrients through your diet instead of a pill. For these reasons, most women should skip prenatal vitamins unless their doctors tell them otherwise.
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How long should you take prenatal vitamins after?

Iron Is Important – Another reason to continue with a prenatal vitamin postpartum? Increased iron. Due to the natural loss of blood that goes along with childbirth, it’s particularly important to replenish iron supplies in the fourth trimester. It can be beneficial for all mamas to continue to take a pre or postnatal vitamin for three months after delivery to ensure their iron levels are steady, particularly for those who have a history of anemia.
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How often should I take prenatal vitamins to get pregnant?

When you decide to try to conceive, it’s a good idea to begin taking a daily prenatal vitamin right away. Ideally you should start prenatal vitamins at least one month before pregnancy—and CERTAINLY during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy when baby’s development is at its most critical point.
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How long after taking folic acid will I get pregnant?

The bottom line – This study found that women taking folic acid were more likely to become pregnant within 12 months. Folic acid had a particular benefit for women with irregular cycles. This was particularly true for women with short, long, or irregular cycles.
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What should I take before getting pregnant?

Take a folic acid supplement – It’s recommended that you should take a daily supplement of folic acid when you’re pregnant, or there’s a chance you might get pregnant. You should take a 400 microgram supplement of folic acid every day before you get pregnant, and every day afterwards, up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.

  1. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg).
  2. The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg).
  3. Folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida,
  4. A neural tube defect is when the foetus’s spinal cord (part of the body’s nervous system) does not form normally.

You might be advised to take a higher dose supplement of 5 milligram (5mg) every day. You may need to take a 5mg supplement of folic acid if:

you or the baby’s other biological parent have a neural tube defectyou previously had a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defectyou or the baby’s other biological parent have a family history of neural tube defectsyou have diabetesyou take anti-epilepsy medicine

Talk to a GP if you think you need a 5mg dose of folic acid, as they can prescribe a higher dose. You can get folic acid tablets at pharmacies, or talk to a GP about getting a prescription. Do not worry if you get pregnant unexpectedly and were not taking a folic acid supplement at the time. Start taking them as soon as you find out, until you’re past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
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Do prenatal vitamins affect menstrual cycle?

Association between FA supplementation and duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding – Among the 4,041 regularly-cycling women, 367 (9.1%) reported a menstrual flow of 6 days ( Table 4 ). Among these women, 993 (24.6%) reported ‘light’ menstrual bleeding (≤10 pads or tampons/menstrual cycle), 2,386 (59.0%) reported ‘moderate’ menstrual bleeding (11–20 pads or tampons/menstrual cycle), 589 (14.6%) reported ‘heavy’ bleeding (21–30 pads or tampons/menstrual cycle), and 73 (1.8%) reported ‘very heavy’ bleeding (>30 pads or tampons/menstrual cycle) ( Table 5 ). Overall, there was no clear association between FA supplementation and duration and intensity of menstrual flow and the estimates were imprecise. For light intensity of flow (≤10 pads or tampons/menstrual cycle), the adjusted OR was 0.82 (95% CI: 0.66–1.02).
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Do prenatal vitamins cause weight gain?

Do prenatal vitamins make you gain weight? – There is no evidence that prenatal vitamins make you gain weight. However, a healthy weight gain of about 25-35 pounds is a normal part of pregnancy. This is especially prevalent as you increase your caloric intake in the second and third trimester.
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Do prenatal vitamins affect your hormones?

How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy What are prenatal vitamins and why are they so important? Get the answers to your most important questions about prenatal vitamins from an OBGYN. By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton So you’ve gotten your positive pregnancy test, and now wondering what next! What should I eat or not eat for that matter? You’re not alone.

Prenatal nutrition and vitamins are one of the most common topics discussed during prenatal visits — here’s why. Prenatal nutrition has a significant impact on your overall pregnancy and health outcomes for both you and your baby. A prenatal vitamin is a dietary supplement that includes all the key ingredients you need to enhance your health.

While multivitamins (MVI) and dietary supplements have many benefits, prenatal supplements include specific vitamins and minerals needed for your baby’s development. These special elements are not routinely found in all multivitamins. Choosing a good prenatal vitamin (PNV), provides you with the nutrition found in a multivitamin plus some.To get the most out of your vitamins, you should take prenatals ideally three months before actively trying to get pregnant, during all 40 weeks of pregnancy, as well as when you’re breastfeeding.

It is possible to have a surplus of vitamins and minerals, so just stick with your prenatal vitamins to ensure you and your baby are getting the appropriate amount of nutrition. Basically, multivitamins are great to take on a regular basis, but if you’re trying or already expecting, a prenatal vitamin is the way to go.

What to look for in a prenatal vitamin Natalist’s Prenatal Multi contains 23 ingredients, all vital for healthy development during preconception and pregnancy. There are several standout ingredients that are especially important:

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Folate, the natural form of folic acid, is vital for fetal brain development and preventing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The risk of neural tube defects is increased by 25-30% with folate deficiency, Calcium is a key building block of bones, teeth, muscle function, and more. When you’re pregnant, your growing baby is prioritized and uses lots of calcium, putting stress on your body, teeth, and bone mineral homeostasis, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Whether it is included in your prenatal vitamin or taken separately, DHA is essential for making up the neural tissue in the brain and eyes and is recommended by the ACOG and APA. Iron helps blood carry oxygen to mother and baby. Over 40% of pregnant women are anemic and up to 25% are iron deficient, which can be dangerous if left untreated.

Various medical groups differ slightly on what they recommend in a prenatal routine. This table breaks down the recommendations from the largest, most trusted sources: How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy The bottom line is to stick with a prenatal that’s been researched and doctor approved to ensure you’re getting the appropriate amount. Prenatal dosage There are various prenatal vitamins available and the dosage will depend on the brand. Natalist’s Prenatal Duo which includes a prenatal vitamin and an omega DHA, comes with 120 pills total, two of each per day.

Although all prenatal vitamins are at least daily dosing, we’re human and most pregnant women will miss a few here and there. If you happen to miss a day, don’t panic! Forgetting to take your prenatal on occasion isn’t a big reason to worry, especially if you typically eat a balanced diet including foods such as dairy, green leafy vegetables, and healthy proteins.

Just make sure you start taking them again right away. Because prenatals contain a mixture of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, they are absorbed differently. You will definitely have broken down most of your vitamins within 24 hours, which is why it’s recommended to take them daily, starting about three months before trying to conceive.

If it turns out you aren’t a big fan of the brand of prenatal you chose, you can always switch! We recommend talking with your healthcare provider before making the switch, but the most important thing is that you consistently receive the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals. Why are prenatals so BIG? People tend to have the same reaction to seeing a prenatal vitamin: “that pill is huge!”.

Prenatals can seem daunting, but they have to be fairly large to fit in all the proper nutrients! Not only do prenatals contain all the ingredients found in a typical multivitamin, but they often have higher concentrations and added ingredients to cover all the bases.

Think about it this way: Natalist’s Prenatal Multi contains 23 ingredients, all vital for healthy development during preconception and pregnancy. With that many ingredients, the size of the prenatal vitamin is much more justifiable! Prenatal vitamins and hormones Many of the vitamins found in prenatals can have an impact on hormones, and the effects are overwhelmingly positive.

Vitamin D, for example, plays an important role in hormone balance, and hormone communication. Likewise, vitamin C is a vital part of liver health, the primary organ for breaking down hormones like estrogen. Other ingredients found in a prenatal multi such as omega-3 fatty acids also have an effect on hormones.

While most ingredients in prenatal vitamins benefit both mom and baby. Additional supplementation beyond your prental vitamin is not recommended unless advised by your doctor or healthcare provider. Research on both Vitamin A and Vitamin E are conflicting but suggest excessive amounts may be harmful. Prenatal vitamins and medications Again, it’s important to discontinue the use of any other multivitamins while on a prenatal vitamin, as well as other supplements already found in your prenatal vitamin.

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Other drugs can also affect prenatal vitamins including: diuretics, certain blood pressure medication, tretinoin or isotretinoin, and e anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, most of these are contraindicated in pregnancy and should be stopped with a positive urine pregnancy test.

  • It’s important to ask your doctor before mixing any drugs with your prenatal vitamins.
  • And of course all recreational drugs—marijuana, cocaine, etc.—should be stopped while trying to conceive and pregnant.
  • Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of a pregnancy routine that combine all the vitamins and minerals you need into one supplement.

Taking a prenatal everyday ensures the healthy development of your baby and can grant peace of mind when pregnancy cravings sabotage your well-intended diet. If you want to ensure you’re getting the right amount of the right ingredients, check out Natalist’s Prenatal Duo,
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Do you take prenatals at night or morning?

Best time to take a prenatal vitamin Prenatal vitamins contain both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, so it’s best to take them either in the morning with breakfast, which helps support absorption, or at night with dinner.
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How long do you take prenatals?

When should you stop taking prenatal vitamins? – Most healthcare professionals recommend keeping your prenatal vitamins up postpartum, but How long should you take prenatal vitamins? Well, it shouldn’t end as soon you give birth to your new bundle of joy.

Let’s talk about postnatal vitamins. After giving birth, you still need to top up your body’s nutrient stores, and postnatal vitamins are one of the easiest ways to do so. Like prenatal vitamins, postnatals also give mum more folic acid, omega three fatty acids, calcium, and other nutrients to ensure she compensates for what is lost in pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Kin’s Postnatal Vitamins are a gentle daily supplement designed to support new mums and ensure you get all the nutrients you need. We recommend taking these for at least six months postpartum. In short, you should start prenatal vitamins at least three to six months before conception and continue taking prenatal vitamins for your entire pregnancy.
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Is it too late to take prenatals at 6 months?

Can it ever be too late to start prenatal vitamins? – King adds that it’s never too late to start taking prenatal vitamins, either. “While it’s certainly best to start taking them as soon as possible, the baby is developing and growing during the entire pregnancy,” she says.
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Does taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy help prevent miscarriage?

What the Evidence Shows – A 2011 review of studies with more than 96,000 pregnant women, found that “taking any vitamin supplements prior to pregnancy or in early pregnancy does not prevent women from experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth.” In 2016, a follow-up to the 2011 review looked at studies of 276,820 pregnant women.

Data showed that supplementation with various combinations of vitamins and minerals did not have any effect on the risk of miscarriage, However, supplementation with a multivitamin containing folate and iron did appear to decrease the risk of stillbirth (pregnancy loss after 20 weeks) compared to supplementation with folate and iron alone.

Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that people who begin taking folate supplements before pregnancy experience fewer spontaneous abortions (another term for miscarriage). There is evidence from another 2016 study that women who took daily prenatal vitamins experienced a 55% overall lower rate of miscarriage compared to the participants who did not.

Additionally, fewer women in the study who consistently took vitamins throughout early pregnancy experienced pregnancy loss than the people who did not take vitamins during the same gestational period. The study did point out that it did not track specific multivitamins consumed by participants. Therefore, researchers would need more information about particular vitamin contents to better understand their potential connection to miscarriage prevention.

A contradictory 2014 study found an increased risk of miscarriage in women who took multivitamins, although the authors cautioned that more research was needed before making any recommendations. While research throughout the past decade has produced conflicting results, folate may be one vitamin that shows promise in reducing the risk of miscarriage.
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