Prenatals plus a healthy diet: a strong start for your baby.
Prenatal multivitamins and mineral supplements are important, but should not (and cannot) replace a healthy diet.
By supplementing your healthy eating habits with prenatal multivitamins, you can meet your own nutrient needs while giving your baby a strong start. Discuss prenatal supplementation with your healthcare professional.
Prenatal multivitamins help ensure you're getting enough nutrients
Even if you are eating well, the amount of important nutrients you should eat daily increases during pregnancy and might be difficult to obtain from what you normally eat.
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) guidelines recommend that you increase your intake of many essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. If your daily diet doesn’t measure up, prenatals will help you fill the gaps.
Consider prenatal multivitamins your backup plan in case you miss any of these nutrients throughout the day.
Key nutrients and their importance*:
- Folic acid to help support fetal brain development. Folic acid is critical in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy for central nervous system development.
- Iron is critical in the growth and development of the placenta, and the increased blood volume needed for supplying oxygen to the brain and throughout the body.
- Calcium to help support skeletal health including bones and teeth.
Your doctor can help you decide which prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement is best for you.
Tips for taking prenatal multivitamins
- Consult your healthcare provider first about nutritional needs and any supplements you want to take while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Compare prenatal nutrients in tablet, liquid, and chewable forms to be sure they contain the nutrients you need
- Make it convenient by keeping prenatal multivitamins in clear sight to make them part of your daily routine
- Take prenatal multivitamins with a meal or snack, or before bedtime to help counter possible nausea
- Take supplements ONLY as directed in the dose your doctor recommends. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing
- Choose a prenatal supplement designed for pregnancy rather than a regular multivitamin to get the increased levels of nutrients specifically needed during pregnancy. Your doctor can make a recommendation
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.