Prenatal Vitamins - Best Vitamin Brands and Possible Side Effects

Preconception Advice

The need to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy is emphasized by healthcare providers, and is borne from the evidence that they help both you and your baby. If you've had a preconception visit with your healthcare provider, then, along with health history and STD testing, you have probably already be told that taking a good prenatal vitamin as well as an appropriate dose of folic acid will give your baby a healthy head start. A number of complications associated with pregnancy can be prevented with good prenatal care, good nutrition, and quality prenatal vitamins. Some women obtain a prescription for prenatal vitamins from their healthcare provider, although, in most cases it isn't required.

A Good Diet May Not Be Enough

Even though your diet is probably excellent, due to growing conditions of foods and other things outside of your control, your diet may be lacking in specific vitamins and minerals that are essential to the health and well-being of your baby. A high quality prenatal vitamin that contains the recommended daily allowances of folic acid, iron, zinc, inositol, calcium and DHA will greatly reduce the risks associated with pregnancy. No prenatal vitamin can eliminate risks, but they can help to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Cautions When Buying Prenatal Vitamins

There are some cautions associated with purchasing prenatal vitamins, which pregnant women should be apprised of. First of all, over the counter prenatal vitamins are not regulated by the FDA and often do not contain the vitamins they claim to contain. Buy high quality vitamins, whether they are pills, capsules or chewable prenatal vitamins, to ensure you are getting everything both you and your baby need. Vitamin deficiency leads to birth defects and sometimes even death.

Avoid prenatal vitamins that contain artificial color, sweeteners and preservatives, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Instead, go for natural vitamins and those that are not overly high in Vitamin A, even if it is in the form of beta carotene. Doses of Vitamin A in excess of 10,000IU may cause fetal poisoning, birth defects, and may also cause calcium deficiency, a contributor to osteoporosis. An intake of more than 10,000IU of Vitamin A per day increases the chances of birth defects when taken by a pregnant woman.

Possible Side Effects

Prenatal vitamin side effects can occur. Some women suffer with headaches or nausea and some with constipation. It is thought that the constipation can be a result of the increased iron combined with the higher levels of progesterone in the body. Increase in your intake of fiber and water can be helpful in addressing this particular symptom. Sometimes gas and a metallic taste in the mouth may accompany prenatal vitamins, as can allergic reactions like breathing difficulties. If any of these symptoms arise, advise the doctor immediately. You may simply need to change the prenatal vitamin brand you are using for one with a different level of certain vitamins and minerals.

Hair Tonic?

There is buzz out there that prenatal vitamins induce hair growth and as a result, prenatal vitamins are taken by non-pregnant women. Even though some women swear it's true, there isn't any scientific evidence to corroborate this. Actually, the overwhelming scientific take on the increased hair growth in pregnant women is that it is due to the increased production of hormones related to the pregnancy.

Top Brands

The top prenatal vitamins reviewed in the US are Trimedisyn in the number one spot and Prenatalgyn in the number two spot. They are virtually identical except that Trimedisyn has 200mg of CoQ10, which is useful for the prevention of pre-eclampsia and has been shown effective in reducing the risk by 10%. Prenatalgyn has none. The other prenatal vitamins that have been acknowledged as high quality come behind in many of the minerals and supplementation present in the top two.

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