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Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins Early?
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Joel Bernstien, MD posted:
Yes! I recommend all women start taking prenatal vitamins well before they start trying to conceive, and certainly once they stop using contraception. You never know how long it will take to get pregnant. So start the prenatal vitamin of your choice today!

The benefit of starting early is that some very important nutrients, particularly folic acid, will be up to par during the first few weeks of your pregnancy, and even before you get the positive pregnancy test. If you wait until you find out that you're pregnant, you may miss the window of time where the extra nutrients are the most beneficial!

Some people maintain a diet that contains all the vitamins and minerals they need, and more. However, many of us don't, and thus supplementing is necessary. Prenatal vitamins by no means guarantee that you will have a healthy baby. But they certainly do help set you on the right track.

Let's break down the most important components in your prenatal vitamins and how they can help you and your developing baby.

Folic Acid:
Some very important physical development occurs in a fetus within the first few weeks of a pregnancy. In fact, by about week 4 after conception, the neural tube -- which develops into the spinal cord and brain -- has already formed! This means that, if you wait to start prenatal vitamins, you may miss the window of time where they are of the most benefit.

Folic acid supplementation decreases the risk of neural tube defects. The minimum recommended amount is 400 mcg daily. However, most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid.

As your pregnancy progresses, the benefits of getting enough folic acid continue, as it is important for maintaining the proper growth rate of your baby. Research has shown a 50% decreased chance of preterm delivery for women who take folic acid daily for at least 1 year before conceiving.

Iron:
Iron helps your body maintain its oxygen-carrying blood cells, thereby helping to prevent anemia. As you can imagine, with a baby on board, your body will require even more blood cells than normal. Prenatal vitamins can provide you with the amount of iron that is sufficient for what most women need during pregnancy. Also, by preventing anemia, iron supplementation decreases the risk that you will have a preterm or low birth-weight infant.

Calcium and Vitamin D:
Again, many women do not get enough calcium and vitamin D from their diets. Thus the supplementation found in prenatal vitamins is helpful. These nutrients play an important role in the formation of the baby's bones and teeth. And they can benefit you before conceiving in their ability to help improve your bone health.

Have you been taking prenatal vitamins during the days and months you've been trying to conceive? What has been your experience in getting prepared prior to your first few weeks of pregnancy?
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Mrs62610 responded:
I have been taking a multivitamin for the last year and a half and have been taking Folic Acid for a year. We have been TTC for 11 months.
Me-24 DH-37 TTC 1 for 9 months. 1st round of Clomid 12/29. Start 2nd round Feb 1st.
 
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Joel Bernstien, MD replied to Mrs62610's response:
Excellent. Keep taking the vitamins and folic acid. Good luck with the clomid!
 
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Mrs62610 replied to Joel Bernstien, MD's response:
Thanks!
Me-24 DH-37 TTC 1 for 11 months. Start 3rd round of Clomid 3/8/12.
 
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Anon_130687 responded:
Do you think there is a difference between name brand, generic and prescription vitamins?
 
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FrenchBulldogMom replied to Anon_130687's response:
My RE said that I could take the OTC vitamins with DHA, but one brand made me really sick. The other brand (Nature Made) was really expensive, so I switched to a prescription one that my drug plan covered. I had a lot of constipation with the Prefera OB DHA. I enrolled in another drug plan and had to change again. Now, I take the Triveen DHA and I haven't had any problems with constipation.

You might find that you prefer one brand to another. I know that some women have to take gummy vitamins or flintstones because the prenatals make them sick.
 
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Northern_Girl replied to FrenchBulldogMom's response:
My mom had to take Flintstones with me and my brother, because of the same reason.
 
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Joel Bernstien, MD replied to Anon_130687's response:
I agree with many of the responses below. Eat healthy and whatever supplement you can tolerate is great. I do not routinely prescribe prenatals as I find generic over-the-counter ones are generally less expensive and equivalent. If my patient asks me for a branded prescription, I do give one.
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Mrs62610's response:
Great information Dr. Bernstein!

Here is a link to additional information:

Pregnancy and prenatal vitamins

My vitamin made me nauseous and there's information about other options if that is happening to you too,

Haylen
 
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KeithActon responded:
Potassium is usually a natural mineral that assists people truly feel and also be healthy each day. Although almost all of the potassium inside our body is in the cells, small volume, around 2 to 3 % of the overall potassium contents inside the human body, of it can be found outside of the cells. Potassium is necessary by our own bodies to get smooth muscle and also cell operation, heart performance, muscular contraction, neurological transmission, regarding the conversion process of glucose right into glycogen and also muscle development, and so forth.



It is referred to as 'natural diuretic' since it is very easily assimilated by our own bodies and practically up to 90 % of it is released from bowels and also filtering system. Mainly because of its actual alkaline attribute, it really is a crucial mineral which assists our own bodies system sustain ph levels, vitamins and minerals and to sustain appropriate levels of water inside of the body system. The most essential features of potassium inside the body system are going to preserve blood pressure levels controlled and also aid in intra-cellular nutritious transport. It can also help in order to keep zits, different allergy symptoms, tiredness, kidney stones, and so forth., from increasing.
 
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Babyc1438484 responded:
Hi Dr Joel I been taking prenatal pills for half a year now and I jus found out I'm pregnant. But I have a concern in 9/26/12 they did blood work in the emergency room since I went there because I been waking up with blood clots in my mouth so the blood pregnancy test came back negative so they went ahead and did a chest X-ray. I took a home pregnancy test on 9/29/12 and it came out positive and I took another one this morning 10/01/12 and its still positive will this affect the baby ????

Thank u
 
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Joel Bernstien, MD replied to Babyc1438484's response:
A single chest x-ray should not have enough radiation to affect an early pregnancy. I would not worry about it. Best of luck with the pregnancy.


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