Many women believe that pre-natal vitamins are just the same as any other vitamin out there – just the same old stuff that they’d need to take every day in frequencies recommended in the bottle. The truth, however, is that it can get a lot more complicated than that. There sure are a lot of myths surrounding pre-natal vitamins, and here are the five most prevalent ones that we are going to debunk.
You Should Only Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy
Many women think that they only need to start taking prenatal vitamins by the time they get pregnant and stop taking them after they have given birth. However, it is recommended that they should start a lot earlier than that. Women should be taking prenatal vitamins before and throughout pregnancy, and should keep doing so while they are still breast feeding.
Several key developmental milestones including the closure of neural tubes occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy, a period when most women do not even realize that they are pregnant. Furthermore, the reason why women need to continue taking the vitamins while they are breastfeeding is the fact that vitamins can be passed to the baby through breast milk. This means that if you neglect to take prenatal vitamins during these stages, you are basically having your child miss out on essential vitamins during key developmental stages of their life.
You Will Not Need to Worry with Your Diet When You’re Taking Prenatal Vitamins
Untrue, most definitely, as prenatal vitamins are intended for healthy childbearing and are not meant to cover your entire daily vitamin needs. It is also known that some vitamins are best absorbed into your system through food. Furthermore, a healthy diet can help pregnant women maintain a healthy weight such that their bodies can easily support their child’s rapid growth.
All Prenatal Vitamins Are One and the Same But in Name
As ignorant as it sounds, it is surprising that many women adhere to this myth. This, of course, is completely untrue. There are certainly variations between different brands, and although the variations may tend to be slight, different prenatal vitamins may provide different doses of nutrients.
It is thus advised that women taking prenatal vitamins should check the key ingredients of the vitamins that they are taking or are planning to take, and should look out for these key ingredients and their recommended dosages:
- Calcium (1,000-1,300 milligrams)
- Folic acid (400-800 micrograms)
- Iodine (150-220 micrograms)
- Iron (27 milligrams)
- Vitamin D (15 micrograms or 600 international units)
You should also be on the lookout for copper, selenium, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, and E. These are crucial nutrients that will greatly aid in your child’s development, but remember to check with your doctor first for the best dosages; overdoing your intake of these may be detrimental to your child’s health.
Prenatal Vitamins Will Make You Feel Healthy and Energetic
Vitamins definitely promote better health through the beneficial nutrients that they contain, but in the case of prenatal vitamins, you will definitely not feel the effects. It is also well-known that they will not make you feel energetic and strong, but in fact will do the opposite. These vitamins will typically make you sick, with nausea and constipation as their common side effects.
That said, we recommend that you take steps to alleviate these side effect should they start to kick in. Take your vitamins with food or before you hit the sack. You should also drink water and stay as active as allowed.
Should you find the negative side effects persistent and unbearable, talk about it with your doctor. They will provide you with helpful advice with regards to dealing with those effects, and will perhaps recommend a different brand for you. You may also safely try another brand yourself and see if your body finds more bearable than the vitamin you’ve previously used.
A Multivitamin Has Everything You Need
Multivitamins certainly may have the nutrients that you need for a healthy pregnancy, but they likely do not have those in the right dosages and certainly are no substitutes to actual prenatal vitamins. For instance, multivitamins typically do not contain any Omega-3 fatty acid like DHA or EPA. This particular ingredient promotes the development of a fetus’ brain and is very important in the early weeks of pregnancy.
If you are keen on taking multivitamins, it is recommended that you have your doctor look at it first before you start taking it on your own accord. Should you get the green light for it and the multivitamin does not contain Omega-3, be sure to talk to your doctor and get their advice on what you should eat to make up for this lack.
Doctors will typically advise that you eat seafood, particularly fish and shellfish, and will recommend a certain dosage of these products, as well as the kind of seafood that you should be eating. There are some fish and shellfish species that do contain unhealthy levels of mercury that can negatively affect your health and your child’s brain development, so knowing what you should and should not eat is extremely important.