There’s no substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. Fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are the best way to get the essential nutrients your body needs — but your nutritional needs change when you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy creates more demand on your body. Prenatal vitamins are the best way to fill any gaps you might have in your diet, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends prenatals for all women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.
At OB-GYN Associates of Marietta, our team is here to ensure you and your baby enjoy your best possible health. We offer comprehensive prenatal care, and here, we’re taking a closer look at why prenatal vitamins are so important.
The importance of prenatal vitamins
Most of the time, you can get all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs by eating a healthy diet. But when you’re pregnant, certain vitamins and minerals are especially important.
Taking a prenatal vitamin ensures you have all of the extra nutrients you need for your health and your baby’s during pregnancy.
Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin that supports healthy brain and spinal cord development, and it reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Iron helps your body make more blood to support your growing baby, and calcium is essential for strong bone development.
Taking prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy lowers your baby’s risk of complications like preterm birth and low birth weight, as well as congenital disorders, like spina bifida. Combined with regular prenatal care, taking prenatal vitamins is one of the best things you can do to give your baby a healthy start.
What to look for in prenatal vitamins
There are lots of prenatal vitamins to choose from. Most women find that affordable, over-the-counter prenatals are sufficient. If necessary, prescription prenatals are available as well.
Since the amounts of each nutrient can vary from vitamin to vitamin and every woman’s health needs are different, our team can help you decide which type of prenatal is best for you.
In general, look for prenatal vitamins that have:
- Folic acid
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Once you find a vitamin that fits your needs, take it every day during pregnancy. And if you’re thinking about trying for a baby, it’s never too early to start taking prenatal vitamins.
We often recommend taking prenatal vitamins for a few months before conceiving, because a baby’s neural tube develops within the first month of pregnancy.
Always take the recommended dose of prenatal vitamins and other supplements. Prenatals are formulated specifically for pregnant women, and taking more than what’s necessary could harm your health or your baby’s.
Whether you’re currently pregnant or you’re planning for the future, don’t skip the prenatal vitamins. Learn more with a prenatal consultation at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia. Contact us to get started.