When Is The Best Time To Take Prenatal Vitamins? Find Out the Answer Here
You have been looking forward to conceiving, and now it is finally happening. Pregnancy is an overwhelming moment in a woman’s life, but it is also a time when extra cautions have to be taken to ensure a healthy body condition for you and your baby.
One of the best gifts science has brought us is the manufacture and availability of prenatal vitamins. If you are a first-time mom, you might ask, “what are prenatal vitamins?” In particular, “what benefits do pregnant moms get from prenatal vitamins?”
Finally, “when is the best time to take prenatal vitamins?” These are the questions we are going to discuss in this article.
What are Prenatal Vitamins?
Whether or not you have your little one in your tummy, getting the right nutrients and healthy diet is always important. However, with your baby in your belly, you also need to step up in the foods and nutrition you are taking in. Sometimes, eating alone does not compensate for the body’s dietary requirement.
Hence, experts suggest expecting moms to take prenatal vitamins to cover nutritional gaps. Prenatal vitamins are made up of iron, calcium, folic acid, and iodine that are beneficial to pregnant mothers’ health.
What Benefits Do Pregnant Mothers Get from Prenatal Vitamins?
Before becoming a mom, I have been introduced to calcium, iron, and iodine. I know their uses, and the benefits pregnant women can obtain from them. But folic acid? I had heard of it in my Chemistry subject back when I was in my intermediate school.
But I was completely alien to its uses. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I engaged myself in reading all pregnancy and health books available to make sure I know the ABCs of pregnancy. So, here’s what I discovered.
Folic Acid Folic
Acid is a substance that helps in the prevention of congenital disabilities in the neural tube. When the neural tube is defective, it gives a domino effect on the spinal cord and brain. Defects in the neural tube usually develop during the first 28 days after the baby is conceived, the time when women are completely unaware they are pregnant.
Most pregnancies are not planned at all. Thus, experts recommend women to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, beginning before conception up until the first trimester of pregnancy.
So, you already had a baby with a neural tube defect before, what should you do?
If you already had a baby with a neural tube defect, consider talking to your healthcare provider and ask whether folic acid supplements are still needed. Research in the past has shown that a large dose of folic acid at least a month before conception and especially during the first trimester is beneficial for women.
Some of the foods rich in folic acid are nuts, beans, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits.
Calcium, Iron, and Iodine
Calcium is likewise essential for expecting mothers. Calcium functions by preventing bone density loss as your little one utilizes calcium for his bone development. On the other hand, iron helps in carrying oxygen-rich blood in both the fetus and the mother.
Iodine is also crucial during the pregnancy because it secures the proper functioning of the thyroid. When there is iodine deficiency, it may lead to deafness, severe mental disability, and stunted physical development. When pregnant moms do not receive an adequate amount of iodine, this may result in stillbirth and miscarriage.
When is the Best Time to Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Taking prenatal vitamins must be started three months before trying to conceive. Why? It is because the egg begins to mature about three months before its release. It is crucial that adequate nutrients are available during these early stages.
The risk of neural tube defects including spina bifida is high during the first month of pregnancy. If you suspect you are pregnant, take 600 micrograms of folic acid supplement, which you can purchase over-the-counter.
If your prenatal vitamins do not contain enough supplement, take calcium. Nevertheless, the majority of pregnant women avoid taking additional calcium because it makes the multi vitamin unstable.
Expecting mothers need 1000 milligrams of calcium every day. DHA is also another dietary requirement for women who are pregnant and should be given at least 200 mg daily. DHA is usually found in vegetables and fish. Omega-3 fatty acid is rich in DHA and is essential to the brain development of the fetus.
What Time of the Day should Prenatal Vitamins be Given?
There is no specific time as to when you can take prenatal vitamins during the day. For others, taking prenatal vitamins is most useful before bedtime or immediately after they brush their teeth. Others prefer taking it before lunch or breakfast.
Nevertheless, if your prenatal vitamin causes nausea, you may try ingesting it while you have your meal. If all else do not work, contact your doctor for other alternatives.
Prenatal vitamins are not meant to be used as food supplement. Instead, they are used to add more nutrients to your body since your baby takes some of those nutrients from you. Prenatal vitamins are effective in preventing neural tube defects, strengthening the bones, improving thyroid function, and carrying oxygen-rich blood.
Women are advised to take prenatal vitamins three months before attempting to conceive and should continue up until the first trimester.
When did you start taking your prenatal vitamins? Share your experience with us.