How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin for You

How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin for You

Choosing a prenatal vitamin can be quite challenging, given the many options out there. That being said, new moms (and old moms too) can make the right decision by selecting a prenatal vitamin according to nutritional content, dose, form, and ingredients. 

Nutritional Content

Vitamins and minerals support the development of the fetus and the placenta. As such, it’s best to choose a supplement that contains the following nutrients:

Folic Acid

Folic acid supplementation will help prevent the onset of certain brain and spinal cord. For best results, you should start with this vitamin at least 3 months before pregnancy.

Vitamin B12

Together with Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 may help prevent nervous and spinal disorders such as spina bifida. 

Iron

Iron is necessary for the formation of blood cells that deliver oxygen (and other nutrients) to the baby. It also helps prevent anemia, which is due to a low amount of red blood cells in the body.

Calcium

As with adults, developing babies need calcium for bone and tooth development. 

Vitamin D

Just like calcium, Vitamin D aids in tooth and bone formation – as well as general fetal development. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C improves the mother’s ability to absorb iron, which as mentioned helps make red blood cells. It also promotes wound healing, tissue repair, as well as fetal bone ; teeth development. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A enhances the vision of both the mother and the developing baby. It also ensures the proper development of your baby’s organs – as well as his/her skeletal and immune systems. 

Zinc

This mineral plays a major role in the development of your baby’s cells and DNA. 

Copper

Similar to Iron, Copper plays a major role in the formation of red blood cells. It also supports the formation of your baby’s brain, heart, skeleton, and blood vessels. 

Magnesium

Magnesium helps improve your baby’s weight by preventing growth restriction in the womb. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps fight off free radicals that may damage your cells – and that of your baby’s too. 

Dose

Apart from picking a vitamin that contains the above-mentioned nutrients, you will need to take a look at the dosages as well. For optimum fetal growth, your supplement should meet the recommended daily doses: 

  • Folic Acid – at least 400 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 2.6 mcg
  • Iron – 2.6 mg 
  • Calcium – at least 1,000 mg
  • Vitamin D – at least 400 IU (not to exceed 2,000 IU) 
  • Vitamin C – at least 85 mg
  • Vitamin A – 10,000 IU
  • Zinc – 11 to 12 mg
  • Copper – 1 mg 
  • Magnesium – 350 to 360 mg
  • Vitamin E – 22 to 30 mg

Form

Prenatal multivitamins come in various forms. This makes choosing the right type important as it will help you get as many nutrients as possible.

Experts recommend taking capsule vitamins since they easily break down in the stomach, thus allowing you to absorb more nutrients. You may add the capsule’s content to food or beverages in case you can’t take it whole.

While tablets contain a higher amount of vitamins, they’re poorly absorbed by the body. nutrients. Gummies, on the other hand, usually lack the dosages recommended above. 

Additional Ingredients

You need to stay away from vitamins that contain food dyes, preservatives, fillers, and synthetic additives. Not only do they affect nutrient absorption, but they can harm you and your baby as well. 

The long pharmacy aisle of prenatal vitamins may be overwhelming, but it shouldn’t faze you. By keeping the nutritional content, dose, form, and additional ingredients in mind, you’ll be able to choose the right vitamin for you and your baby’s health