Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and delicate phases of a woman’s life. With a new life growing inside the warm confines of the womb, it is extremely important to look after the health of both the mother and the fetus. Besides entertaining those midnight pregnancy cravings that can be as odd as eating fried chicken and cranberry juice together, taking a balanced and nutritious diet is quite imperative. It is here that the importance of the best prenatal vitamins emerges as a premier source of additional nutrition for pregnant women as well the baby.
While gynecologists and the commonfolk broadly agree about the importance of vitamins for a healthy pregnancy, people are often unaware that not all prenatal supplements suit every pregnant woman. Mothers need the kind of nutrition that is best for their health as well as the baby’s. Therefore, it is not necessary that a specific supplement that is being incessantly marketed should be taken as a norm.
It will be useful to understand that not all pregnancy supplements are same. Moreover, ingesting such supplements do not always have to do with the fetus’ development, but also maternal health. It is about time that we recognize- pregnancy, prenatal nutrition and care is not just the right of the fetus but also the woman who has chosen to nurture it.
It is surprising that for the longest time we have been stressing the significance of nutrition of the fetus but we do not find solutions for the woman’s body which undergoes tremendous amount of stress during gestation and delivery. And with the increasing preference for organic pregnancy supplements enriched with iron and DHA, opting for an environmentally ethical option bodes well for all lives, be it human or biodiversity.
Consuming safe prenatal vitamins enriched with essential nutritive compounds is quite significant for fetal health. Therefore, vitamins that are safe and organic should be included in the diet during pregnancy. If you are going to welcome a new life in your family or around you, knowing about the best prenatal vitamins will come in handy.
Make sure to scroll down and read this feature to get a fair idea of how vitamins are supposed to work during pregnancy and how can they supplement normal dietary nutrition. We advise you to consult the gynecologist or obstetrician for a medical expert’s opinion on the same.
Read on to find out everything about prenatal vitamins and which ones you should go for if you want to derive the maximum nutrition in a way that is environmentally safe and medically ethical!
What are Prenatal Vitamins?
The American Pregnancy Association defines prenatal vitamins as supplements abundant in several vitamins and minerals that are essential for the growth of a healthy fetus. For the expectant mother, such supplements can aid her daily nutritive requirement as she is quite literally ‘eating for two’ (or maybe three, if there are twins!) During pregnancy, it is important that mothers are nourished with vitamins and minerals such as folate, calcium et cetera.
Some of the most essential prenatal vitamins are iron, calcium, folic acid, Vitamin D, DHA and Iodine. We have discussed the importance of DHA previously in our update on Omega-3 Rich superfoods and supplements. According to Hansa D. Bhargava, MD at Medscape Education, prenatal vitamins are useful even when you are planning to get pregnant. The reason why medical professionals recommend having these supplements to cover all those nutritional gaps that are left to address even when you are feasting on leafy greens, nuts and citrus fruits.
Prenatal Vitamins- Do’s and Don’ts
It is also wrong to assume that the best prenatal vitamins will stand in completely for a balanced diet and an active routine. Even though the mother is often advised to rest and is also heavily spoiled in many cases (as she should!), it is good to engage in healthy routines such as pregnancy yoga and a bit of exercise.
Another fact that one should remember is that prenatal vitamins are not only beneficial during the pregnancy, but even after the baby is born. Birthing and labour can be an exhausting experience and the requirements to feed and nourish the baby pressurizes the mother mentally and also drains her physically.
Therefore, consuming the best vitamins during pregnancy will also support faster healing, as the body, especially the pelvis and other organs down there are often injured during the process. It is also normal for the mother to bleed for a few days after the birth. To regain the health back and recover, there are several remedies that are still followed by many cultural and ethnic groups as a form of post pregnancy care.
The Chinese tradition often favors that a woman should be fed healing and strengthening edibles like lotus root soup and black sesame congee to make the fetus healthier. There are several studies that investigate the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and its relation to prenatal and maternal health. From the times of the yore, substantiating diet with herbs is a popular trend. This has percolated into the logic behind prenatal vitamins that are available in powder form or as gummies you can chew on.
Besides this, while prenatal vitamins offer a lot of nutrients and minerals essential for proper growth and development of the life inside the womb, not all of them are the one-stop shops they claim to be. This is why depending on a single supplement might not be the best option. But it also doesn’t mean that you ingest soft shell capsules by the spoonful.
Also, ‘eating for two’ might not be the best axiom if you are taking it quite literally- it often happens that people equate it to overeating. What we need to understand is that the phrase should be understood as eating twice as healthy because the body needs to support a new life growing within it.
Why are Prenatal Vitamins Important?
Now that we have walked you through the basics of prenatal vitamins, we must explain why exactly they are important. Even though we have brought out the general viability of such supplements, it is time to go into some specifics backed by research. Of course, figures help get a brief idea of how much might be optimal.
But if you really want something that works best for you and the baby, make sure that you are keeping your physician in the loop. It is good if you take supplements that are suited to your body. Since every pregnancy is unique, it is valid to get a strong medical opinion on which supplements will actually aid your health as well as support the fetus’ proper growth.
Prenatal vitamins are important as they aid all your body functions during pregnancy. It is proven that Folic Acid helps in preventing neutral tube defects. For those who are new to this term, neutral tube defects have everything to do with the abnormalities in the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Minerals like Iron support proper growth of the placenta and aids the smooth supply of oxygen from the blood to the fetus.
Ever heard of the Blue Baby syndrome? When the baby is suffering from a lack of oxygen, their skin turns blue. While this may be something that babies display after they are out of the womb, some display it as a congenital defect which might be the result of lack of nutrition or anything else. Although the way human body works is still a medical enigma, caring for it and trying to prevent the possibility of congenital defects comes down to prenatal nutrition.
Which Prenatal Vitamins Are Best To Have?
Even though all vitamins are essential for proper groth, some vitamins are still the first among equals. Therefore, our answer to ‘which prenatal vitamins are best to have?’ comprises some essential nutritive compounds. Let’s look at how different vitamins and minerals contribute to healthy fetal development and boosting maternal health-
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service recommends that women who wish to get pregnant or are in their first trimester should take 400 micrograms of folic acid. However, it should be remembered that if you are taking folic acid or if it is present in your prenatal vitamin, you should look for the supplements that do not have Vitamin A.
We have already explained how lack of folic acid can lead to neural tube defects in a fetus. You might be advised to take more folic acid if any of the parents has had a history of such defects or if the expectant mother is on medication for epilepsy or diabetes. Besides eating green leafy veggies, it is advisable that pregnant ladies should go for a supplement rich in folic acid.
Vitamin D is a bone builder nutrient. If you want to protect your fetus from congenital rickets or skeletal deformities and support healthy bone growth, you should increase the sources of Vitamin D in your diet. Experts say that consuming about 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day during pregnancy. This power vitamin also helps lactating mothers, as post birth, the baby derives Vitamin D from mother’s milk.
Experts are still researching the significance of Vitamin D in promoting healthy breastfeeding, however, it still remains one of the premier prenatal vitamins as it is responsible for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate, essential for building teeth and bones.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a famous nutritive group comprising of ALA, DHA and EPA. Out of the three sub-groups, DHA is the most important and is a safe and healthy prenatal vitamin. These group of good fats aid the proper development of the fetus’ retina and the brain. A critical source of neurodevelopment, Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential prenatal vitamin that also determines the length of the pregnancy.
Pregnant women should go for eating about 200 micrograms of DHA either from the best prenatal vitamins or from fortified foods. Fish is a great source of dietary DHA.
However, if you wish to go for organic and vegan DHA prenatal vitamin, you should refer to your physician and only take medically approved brands such as Nordic Naturals Vegan Prenatal DHA which is available here at Amazon!
Besides Zinc and Calcium, prenatal vitamins with iodine should be highly preferred by expectant mothers. Iodine works the best when it is taken in a measured dose, even a little excess can harm the fetus. Iodine deficiency can lead to future neurodevelopmental problems. The WHO advises that pregnant women should take 200 micrograms of iodine per day, however, going overboard can harm maternal thyroid health.
One of the most essential prenatal vitamins, iron is highly sought after as it prevents anemia during pregnancy. Severe iron deficiency might increase the incidence of premature birth and postpartum depression in new mothers. Therefore, consuming about 27 milligrams of iron per day is advisable to keep excessive sickness at bay. Along with supplements taking iron rich food coupled with Vitamin C to facilitate proper absorption is important. Prenatal vitamins with iron are thus extremely central to a healthy pregnancy and gestation period.
When Should You Start Taking the Best Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins can be included in the diet even before pregnancy, when you are actively planning to have a baby. Medical professionals recommend taking them as soon as you are trying to get pregnant.
Since the major development period occurs during the first trimester, experts recommend taking supplements timely in that period. Clinical pharmacy specialist Morgan King advises that expectant mothers can start taking the best prenatal vitamins at the earliest, even 3 months before the pregnancy.
While most pregnancies are discovered after weeks and even months, Ob-Gyns recommend replacing your regular multivitamins with a prenatal vitamin as soon as it is discovered. People often have certain misconceptions about the right time to begin coupling prenatal vitamins with regular diet. There are some things you should keep in mind while doing that.
First of all there is the myth that one should begin taking the best prenatal vitamins only when the woman is pregnant. It is not so, in fact it is safe to consume vitamins prescribed even before pregnancy. Secondly, prenatal vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach or with a meal.
While there is no ideal time to take a supplement, it is advisable that one should take their prenatal vitamin with your lunch. The timing often works because the incidence of acid reflux is lower in the day.
It’s never too late to start your routine with prenatal vitamins, but as advised by Morgan King, they should be taken at the earliest possible sign of the pregnancy.
What are the Side-Effects of Vitamins for Pregnancy?
While prenatal supplements are generally encouraged for their nutritive qualities, consumption of some vitamins might not suit the pregnant woman too much. As we mentioned before, each pregnancy is unique and so is every woman’s capacity to absorb and adapt to prenatal vitamins. There are some general side effects like an upset stomach, nausea, even hiccups, bloating, gas or bad bowel movement.
Prenatal supplements are the building blocks of a healthy pregnancy, but excess of anything is not good. Sometimes, women are subjected to high doses of such tablets and gummies that it can have counterproductive effects that can manifest as birth defects.
Taking the prenatal vitamin according to the exact dosage prescribed by your physician can mollify these side effects. Other options are to swallow the prenatal vitamin whole without cutting or chewing it, taking it with a meal and washing it down with a full glass of water.
The 7 Safest Organic Prenatal Vitamins to Have
Knowing about pregnancy vitamins might seem intimidating as there is so much to unpack. And who says pregnancies are an easy job. It might be for those who idolize women excessively as superheroes without acknowledging the struggle, but truth to be told, pregnancies are one of the most delicate stages of life where a mother needs to be acknowledged for her human needs and should be catered to.
This is why we at BeZen only suggest you the best prenatal vitamins to take along with a good diet. Let’s take ‘eating for two’ to a higher qualitative level!
Future Kind’s vegan prenatal vitamin is enriched with goodness of iron and folate that will help women all through the grind of pregnancy, be it gestation or post-birth lactation. The company itself is committed to improving the formula (the latest one comes in September this year) and offers a complete solution to all the worries related to adequate nutrition during the pregnancy.
You can easily opt for Ritual’s essential prenatal vitamin capsules if you wish to milk out the best nutrients and make your pregnancy a fulfilling experience.
Besides delivering essential nutrients and minerals such as iron, Ritual is packed with biotin, choline, omega-3 DHA, Vitamin B-12, E, D3 and K. The capsules are lemon-scented, so you can keep your worries of ingesting unappetizing, bitter pills at bay.
Ritual capsules should be coupled with a balanced diet to get the best results. These capsules are third party tested, are non-GMO verified and vegan, besides being free of artificial colors and flavors.
While FullWell is one of the most expensive capsules on this list, it also delivers nutrients that are worth the price. The tablets include essential macro and micronutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin, manganese, chromium vitamins A, B6, B12, E, zinc, selenium and molybdenum.
One of the topmost picks by physicians worldwide, this prenatal vitamin can be combined with another DHA supplement to get the best out of it.
Although it does not contain iron, FullWell tablets are easy to digest and contribute to high energy levels as reported by users.
This pick is clearly the best supplement if you are looking for DHA-rich vitamins. These softgels are rich in omega 3 DHA, EPA, niacin, folate, Vitamins A, B12, K and E and are tested by the U.S. Pharmacopeia.
Affordable and being one of the most comprehensive supplement is the hallmark of this particular brand. And look at all those 5 Star reviews by the customers themselves!
This prenatal formula comes in the form of bright gummies that you will have fun eating. But the merits are not just limited to them being gummies. SmartyPants delivers adequate Omega 3, and is gluten-free! One of the safest options out there, the gummies are targeted at providing nutrition which is just right for pregnant women and is supported by extensive research!
Promising advanced support for both the mother and the baby, you can completely trust this formulation enriched with more than 23 vitamins and ginger to relieve you of the irritating feeling of nausea.
Recommended by several acclaimed physicians, New Chapter is indeed the perfect prenatal multivitamin as it is gentle on the tummy and is sourced sustainably.
The brand is committed to providing premium prenatal care to you and your baby and is no non sense when it comes to delivering you natural goodness that does not threaten nature.
Non-GMO and vegan friendly, this bottle is an environmentally friendly option and features essential vitamins in their most natural, bioactive forms. Refer to this wholesome multivitamin to care for your little one in an ethical way without compromising your health!
What Do We Have to Say About Prenatal Vitamins- Yeah or Nah?
We think that prenatal vitamins that are organic, safe and comprehensive in addressing your specific needs earn a big YEAH. What may be NAH about them is excessive dosage, greenwashing and false claims that are common with several brands in the market.
According to us, referring to any advice is only pertinent if it has been attested by medical professionals who know the logic of the best prenatal vitamins inside and out. With these 7 best suggestions, we hope that you and your baby have a happy and healthy time bonding together and that the family thrives in love and good health. Keep checking in with us for more medically sound and environmentally ethical advice on how to take care of infants and yourself! Stay tuned for more at BeZen!