How do you choose the best prenatal vitamins before pregnancy? Why should you? Read on to find out!
Here on MississippiMom, I haven’t written much about pregnancy, but believe me, I could. I’ve had three c-sections, one miscarriage and a set of twins. Oh, and bedrest repeatedly. I haven’t written much about all of it because, to be honest, the emotions were a bit too raw, too personal for such public sharing.
(Don’t worry – I will not start oversharing all at once.)
I have just been thinking that my “babies” are 4 and a half now so I might be able to look back and share some of the things having babies taught me. Things like “How Having a C-Section Doesn’t Make You Less of a Mom.” That sounds absurd, I know, but I can tell you from experience that even friends or family who love you might inadvertently imply otherwise. And it hurts.
I can give you a list of ways to help a woman on bedrest. Been there. Done that. Three times.
I have grieved for a lost baby while holding a newborn.
And I’ve had twins. Enough said.
So, I’d like to share some of it with you because when God makes babies, he makes mothers, too. And we learn so much in those moments. Beautiful things, hard things, deep things.
But I’m not going to write about those things right now. I’m just dipping my toes into the waters of writing about pregnancy here today. I thought I’d share with you some things I wish I had known about how to choose the best prenatal vitamins before pregnancy, you know, when I could still swallow them.
FYI: I’m not a doctor so always check with yours before you do or take anything!!
That being said, here are….
10 Things You Should Know About Prenatal Vitamins
1. Mommy Guilt Meets Morning Sickness
It’s amazing how quickly we moms get mommy guilt. I think my first wave of it came when I first realized that many women take prenatal vitamins before they even get pregnant. Oops. I did my required pregnancy reading and learned that “Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects,” and the neural tube forms during the first month of pregnancy. I immediately started worrying about what could go wrong because I hadn’t been taking them at first, and I learned my first lesson about overcoming mommy guilt: Do your best and move on. Especially when you know you need to swallow that horse pill of a prenatal vitamin, but the only things you can manage to get (and keep) down are saltine crackers. Which leads me to….
2. You Don’t Have to Take the Horse Pills
There are other options like gummies, drink mixes, chocolates, nutrition bars and more. Just be sure and check them against your doctor’s recommendations and, if in doubt, just ask your doctor.
3. Prenatal Vitamins are Not the Same as Multi-Vitamins.
From the moment you conceive, your body is changing, and so are its needs. Prenatal Vitamins are formulated with these needs in mind in ways that regular multi-vitamins are not.
4. You Don’t Necessarily Have To Take Your Prenatal Vitamins First Thing in The Morning
Often, the tendency is to take supplements in the morning, but many pregnant women don’t feel like eating in the morning, which means that morning might not be the best time for you to take prenatal vitamins because they can cause or aggravate nausea. Work with your doctor to find the prenatal vitamins that work best for you and, while always following the instructions provided with your supplement, what time of day is best for you to take them. This article has some good tips for dealing with nausea when you take your prenatal vitamins.
5. Water, Water and More Water
So, we all know we need to drink enough water, but because prenatal vitamins can increase the likelihood of constipation during pregnancy, you need to be sure you are well-hydrated.
6. Your Insurance May Cover the Cost of Prenatal Vitamins.
It’s possible that your health insurance will cover the cost of prenatal vitamins so check with your doctor then weigh the pros and cons of choosing a prescription prenatal rather than an over-the-counter one.
7. Your Prenatal Might Not Provide Everything You Need
I love things that are easy, but the truth is that the one-pill-a-day method might not meet your needs so you need to be sure to discuss with your doctor the vitamins your prenatal provides, and their quantities, to be sure you do not need other supplements as well and to be sure you’re not getting too much of any one thing.
8. Prenatal Vitamins are supposed to complement your diet, not complete it.
Taking the best prenatal vitamin EVER does not mean you can eat nothing but Cheetos for 9 months and expect your body (or your baby) to be getting all of the nutrients you need. (See “Supplement…Not Substitute“)
9. Just Because Your Baby is Born Doesn’t Mean It’s Time to Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, you might need to continue taking your prenatal vitamins after you give birth. Talk to your doctor about the best options for supplementing your diet while breastfeeding so that you and your baby both get all the nutrients you need.
10. The Lord is More Powerful than Prenatal Vitamins.
This should have been #1, I guess, because it’s really the most important thing to know about prenatal vitamins, about pregnancy, about life. As expecting mothers, we want to do everything in our power to provide the best health for our babies. So we do our best and then we hope. That’s the hard part. Because no matter how well we do with diet and exercise and everything, even if we never miss a dose of our daily supplements, we cannot control every detail of our babies’ births or of their lives. So we put our hope in the one who can.
Please remember that you should always check with your doctor when you have questions about taking prenatal vitamins.
The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. This post is a partnership with Nakturnal. For more information, please read my Disclosure Policy.