Two disclaimers before we start here – and no, this post isn’t sponsored. BUT:
That being said – prenatals are an area of vitamins I find super interesting. There are loads of studies out there proving that prenatal vitamins are crucial to take while pregnant, and potentially even while breastfeeding. Prenatal vitamins have amazing nutrients that are perfect for helping build a healthy baby.
We are not actively trying to get pregnant right now – but my doctor did recommend I take a folic supplement which I found super interesting! Again, consult your own physician before diving in. But I wanted to share the main reasons why my doc recommended I take a prenatal even though I’m not actively trying to get pregnant right now.
Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which is proven to help with spinal cord and brain development in utero. Because the standard recommendation for a daily intake amount is around 600 mcg, it’s pretty darn near impossible to get that amount from food alone. Enter, the prenatal vitamin!
So what about those of us not looking to get pregnant right away? The CDC does recommend that the average woman who could become pregnant get about 400 mcg of folate a day. And that’s the key phrase: “could become pregnant.”
Basically, ladies – if you’re having unprotected sex OR if you’re considering starting your family soon (consult with your doc on what “soon” means for you), taking a folic acid vitamin might be right for you. Folic acid is crucial in fetal development and by the time you find out you could be pregnant – it’s important to have a healthy level already established. Taking a prenatal even when pregnancy isn’t in your immediate plans could be a good call. The CDC really emphasizes the word “could” because data shows recent years where over half of pregnancies in the U.S. unintended. Again just always consult with your doc first!
Some words directly from the CDC:
These birth defects of the brain and spine happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman finds out that she is pregnant. All women should get in the habit of taking folic acid daily even when they are not planning to get pregnant. For folic acid to help, a woman needs to take it every day, starting before she becomes pregnant.CDC
Another added bonus of prenatal vitamins? Most contain calcium – which is crazy important for strong bones.
Calcium can be found in plenty of foods, so again it’s important to chat with your doc before opting for a prenatal or a multivitamin specifically for calcium, but a little extra calcium is a great added bonus for those of us who do take prenatals.
Straight up – so many prenatal vitamins are like giant horse pills. Some of them even make you a little nauseated. I’ve tried a handful of different brands and transparently – I really enjoy gummy versions the most. This post is 100% not sponsored – but shoutout to the OLLY gummies because they taste the best and still pack 400 mcg of folic acid. Are they the most potent? Nope. I could potentially switch to a stronger vitamin when the time comes – but for now ya gotta choose whatever works for you!
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