When to Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins: Before Pregnancy?

When you are trying to conceive, you will likely have plenty of people around you telling you to start taking prenatal vitamins… but when should you start taking them, and why are they so important?

Especially if this is your first time trying to have a child, you may feel a little bit left in the dark when it comes to why prenatal vitamins are such an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Some advise that it is best to start taking prenatal vitamins before you become pregnant. 

In contrast, others suggest. However, if that you start taking them as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and with all of this conflicting information, it can be difficult to find the best answer. 

When you become pregnant, your unborn baby starts getting all of their nutrients through you, which means it is very easy for you to end up with certain vitamin deficiencies, which is why prenatal vitamins come in handy. 

All of this being said, this is your complete guide to prenatal vitamins, when to start taking them, and why they are so important. Let’s get into it. 

Prenatal Vitamins: When To Start Taking Them

The specific time when you should start taking prenatal vitamins depends on a couple of things. If you are actively trying to become pregnant, it is a good idea to start regularly taking a prenatal vitamin. If you are not actively trying to become pregnant, however, and you end up conceiving anyway, you should start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you realize you are pregnant. 

It is important to start taking prenatal vitamins quickly because your baby’s neural tube, which eventually becomes their brain and spinal cord, develops during the first couple of months of your pregnancy. This means it may begin to develop before you even know you are pregnant. Thus, taking prenatal vitamins when you are trying to conceive, even if you do not yet know whether you are pregnant, helps ensure that your baby and body are adequately supported. 

Why Are Prenatal Vitamins So Important?

Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of a healthy pregnancy because vitamins and minerals play critical roles in your bodily functions and ability to complete daily tasks. Eating well and taking a prenatal vitamin when you are pregnant helps make sure that you and your baby are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need in order to stay strong and healthy.

That said, prenatal vitamins are also crucial because of the specific vitamins they contain. When you are pregnant, you are more likely to become deficient in some vitamins than others due to the way your baby is developing; thus, specific vitamins are especially important to look out for.

What Specific Vitamins And Minerals Should I Focus On And Why?

When you are pregnant, it is important to pay careful attention to your intake of folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin C. 

Each of these vitamins is important for you and your baby in their ways:

  • Calcium helps you and your baby build and maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Iron helps your red blood cells carry and deliver oxygen to your growing baby
  • Choline works to help develop your baby’s brain and spinal cord
  • Vitamin C works to promote healthy gums, teeth, and bones for your baby while also supporting your immune system
  • Vitamin D helps build your baby’s bones and teeth and keeps yours healthy
  • Vitamin B6 helps form red blood cells and helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Vitamin B12 helps promote and maintain a healthy nervous system while also helping to form red blood cells
  • Folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, and it also works to support the overall growth and development of your baby and the placenta

Thus, when you are trying to select a specific prenatal vitamin, you should read the nutritional label to ensure that these important vitamins and minerals are included. The GoBiotix Vegan Prenatal Vitamins contain the nutrients mentioned above and more to ensure that you and your baby have a safe and healthy pregnancy. This product contains 22 essential vitamins and 700 mcg of folic acid, so your needs, and your baby’s needs, are covered. 

How Do Prenatal Vitamins Differ From Regular Vitamins?

Since prenatal vitamins contain such various vitamins and minerals, you may assume that they are no different from your average multivitamin, but this is not the case. Prenatal vitamins are made specifically for pregnant women and contain the specific, recommended levels of each vitamin to support you and your baby.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, the needs of a pregnant woman differ from the needs of a non-pregnant woman, and choosing a prenatal vitamin as opposed to an average multivitamin ensures that you are getting the right amounts of the vitamins you need.

Similarly, postnatal vitamins should be taken instead of regular multivitamins after your baby is born. This is because postnatal vitamins are also made specifically for pregnant women and contain the recommended amounts of certain nutrients for this situation. Like the GoBiotix Postnatal Vitamin, some postnatal vitamins also work to promote lactation, which can be helpful if you plan to breastfeed your baby.

That said, when it comes to what time of day you should be taking your prenatal vitamins, you should start by reading the label on your vitamin to check if any information regarding this is offered. If there is a recommended time of day to take the vitamin, follow these guidelines. 

However, if such guidance does not exist, you should most of all focus on taking your vitamin at the same time every day, which is more easily done if you choose a convenient time for you. Our guide to the right time of day to take your vitamins may help, too.

All of this being said, it is best to start taking your prenatal vitamins when you are conceiving before you know if you are pregnant, but you can also start taking them immediately when you find out. 

The Bottom Line

Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of a healthy pregnancy because when you become pregnant, your baby is getting all of their vital nutrients from you, making it much easier for you to end up with deficiencies of certain vitamins or minerals. Thus, taking a prenatal vitamin is one way to help ensure that you and your baby are getting everything you need to remain strong and healthy until your due date. 

It is best to look for prenatal vitamins containing calcium, choline, folic acid, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids, so you should read the ingredient list before choosing your vitamins. You should consult your doctor before starting a prenatal vitamin regimen and if you have any questions along the way.

Sources:

Prenatal vitamins: Why They Matter | Mayo Clinic.

Nutrition During Pregnancy | ACOG

Everything You Need to Know About Prenatal Vitamins | Lancaster General Health

 

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