Do I need to take prenatal vitamins?
Real Mom Problem
“I have been really sick and have been throwing up for the last three days. My prenatal vitamins won't stay down and I am worried! Is this going to be detrimental to my baby's health?”
- 1. Prenatal vitamins can supplement your diet to help ensure you get enough folate, iron, and other vitamins during pregnancy
- 2. If you have trouble keeping your prenatal vitamins down, try a chewable or drinkable vitamin instead
- 3. Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about prenatal vitamins
Real Mom Solutions
Are you considering a prenatal vitamin? Find out what vitamins the moms of CafeMom prefer, and read their strategies for getting enough folate, DHA, and other nutrients during pregnancy.
Take Them to Get Enough Folate
I take my prenatal everyday for the first eight weeks. I also take an extra folic acid supplement. I also eat a lot of spinach which is high in folate. I think I get enough!
I take them every day through my first trimester no matter how sick they make me. Once I'm in my second, I'll keep taking them as long as I can keep them down. Otherwise I just try to eat as healthy as possible and take a folic acid supplement.
I take prenatals to ensure I get enough folic acid.
I take my prenatals to prevent anencephaly, heart problems, and other birth defects.
Find a Vitamin That Works for You
I've tried a ton. I don't like pills a whole lot, and the ones the doctor prescribed me last time were huge! This time around, I talked to friends who are pregnant and asked what they were taking. Almost all of them said they were taking the gummies. That is perfect for me right now since I gag on everything.
Honestly, any prenatal vitamin is great. The important part is that you take one at all! I would stay away from the ones that are many, many pills a day. Just not worth it. If you take one a day you are more likely to stick with it. Just make sure it contains iron and folate. Those are most important. Bonus if it contains a lot of Vitamin D since most American women are deficient. If you don't like taking pills, I came across a drinkable prenatal called Nine Prenatal. Gummies are great! I took the Vitafusion gummies for about half the pregnancy and the drinkable prenatal for the other half. I tried the pills but hated taking them. The other kinds were definitely easier on my stomach.
You have to find one that works for you. The generics were easier for me to swallow, even gummy ones are better than nothing. Folic acid and calcium are very important.
I take two Flintstones vitamins a day- I have tried a total of 11 different ones between my pregnancies and Flintstones are the only ones that I can stomach.
Vitamins Aren't Necessary
I am not worried about whether I'm getting enough folic acid and let me explain why. There are babies born around the world to mothers in poor conditions and their children are born completely healthy. Not to mention the women that are pregnant, don't know it, and go into labor and their baby is fine. If a woman in Africa with barely any food/water and no prenatal care or vitamins can have a healthy baby I am sure that all of us here in America can without worrying too much.
I could never stand prenatals. I just made sure my diet was good for the most part.
I am not taking vitamins. I did with my other kids and did in the beginning of this pregnancy, but stopped at two-and-a-half months pregnant for personal reasons. Not worried about anything. Many women don't take vitamins and have healthy, smart children.
What About DHA?
I use One A Day and it has a prenatal and also it comes with a DHA vitamin. This is super important for eye and brain development for the baby so I would not go without it.
There is a lot of information about DHA and prenatals, but studies haven't shown any benefit for baby brain development. They just taste bad. The studies that show DHA/EPA having benefits are the ones where moms were getting it through an omega-3 rich diet, such as eating fish. So, I would say DHA doesn't matter. Just eat some salmon once a week, or maybe second best would be to take a complete fish oil supplement.