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How To Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin


When you're pregnant, everything you put into your body matters. Both you and your growing baby need the right nutrients throughout these next nine months. Sure, you may know how to eat a balanced diet, but that's not always enough. Supplements play a big role in a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here's what you need to know about prenatal vitamins and how to choose the best one:

Why vitamins?

All women experience pregnancy differently. Some moms-to-be have morning sickness nearly every day, while others don't feel nauseous once. Because of the eccentric nature of pregnancy, it can be tough for women to get all the nutrients and minerals they and their baby need. That's where prenatal vitamins come in. These pills can dramatically reduce health risks and complications with your infant.

Doctors recommend taking prenatal vitamins about three months prior to trying to conceive. If you find out you're pregnant, you should put choosing a prenatal vitamin at the top of your to-do list.

What you need

Folic acid is usually the biggest component of prenatal vitamins. This nutrient is essential when you're pregnant, as it greatly reduces health complications for your baby, like spina bifida and even autism. Most practitioners recommend about 400 mg each day. You will also need to up your iron intake to keep up with your increased blood pressure. About 27 to 30 mg of iron a day should do the trick. As you may know, calcium is important to build strong bones for yourself and also to create new ones for the baby. Most prenatal vitamins provide 150 to 200 mg of calcium. Magnesium is also crucial for your baby's bone development and can help relive your muscle aches, improve energy and aid in relaxation. Look for a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mg of magnesium.

Talk to your doctor

Choosing the best prenatal vitamin for you and the baby includes taking a good, honest look at your everyday diet. Talk with your doctor to see where the nutritional gaps are, and he or she can help you determine how to fill them with the appropriate supplements.

Remember that prenatal vitamins do not make up for unhealthy food choices. They should complement your diet to help your baby grow strong and healthy and prevent complications down the line.

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