Pregnancy is a time of enormous excitement and anticipation. However, it can also be a time of great uncertainty for many hopeful couples about having a baby.
Did you know? The first step to getting pregnant is ensuring you are healthy enough to conceive.
So, if you’re trying to conceive, having the best preconception vitamins can be a helpful addition to your pre-pregnancy regimen.
The term “preconception” refers to the time before pregnancy begins. It’s a good idea for women hoping to become pregnant to take special care of their health during this time because it can increase their chances of having a healthy baby.
Preconception vitamins contain various nutrients that can help support your baby’s development and your body’s ability to carry out a healthy pregnancy.
From ensuring you’re getting enough DHA during those critical months to filling in any gaps in your diet, preconception supplements can help prepare you for all the changes your body will go through in the coming months.
A usual question asked by women who want to get pregnant is what preconception vitamins they should take.
There are two kinds of preconception vitamins: multivitamins and prenatal vitamins.
Multivitamins provide a variety of nutrients and minerals, while prenatal vitamins contain higher doses of specific nutrients like folic acid and iron.
Here are some tips on choosing the right one:
Choose a supplement that helps you get the full range of nutrients
Multivitamins aren’t always enough, especially if you are expecting.
Some essential nutrients, such as folic acid, iron, and iodine, are necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
So first, aim to get enough folic acid. This nutrient helps prevent congenital disabilities by reducing the risk of brain and spine congenital disabilities by up to 70%.
You can get folic acid in leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified foods like bread and cereal.
But when you plan on supplementing, make sure the vitamin contains 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
Next, make sure you’re getting enough iron. This is essential for making haemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout your body.
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases. Thus it would be best if you had more iron to keep up with this demand. You can get iron in meat, poultry, seafood, beans, lentils, and fortified foods.
Finally, get enough calcium, vital for developing strong bones and teeth.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are good sources of calcium.
You can also find calcium in some leafy greens and tofu.
Adequate levels of iron and calcium help prevent iron deficiency, anaemia, and osteoporosis during pregnancy, leading to complications during labour and delivery.
Choose a supplement that’s easy for you to take.
Since many women find it challenging to remember to take their supplements daily, one of the most important things to consider when choosing the best pre-pregnancy vitamins is how easy it will be to take every day.
Prenatal vitamins come in many different forms — pills, gummies, liquids — so it’s crucial to find one that works best with your lifestyle and schedule.
Suppose you are not a fan of swallowing large pills or taking multiple tablets at once. You can try looking for one that offers an alternative, like chewable or gummies (if those work with your schedule) or a liquid version of the same product (if that works better).
Consider your diet
If you don’t eat well or have nutritional deficiencies, it’s worth considering taking a prenatal vitamin before trying to conceive. These supplements can help fill any gaps in your diet to have all the nutrients needed for pregnancy.
For example, if you’re following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet — meaning no animal products — you may want to consider taking an iron supplement as part of your prenatal care routine.
Iron is an essential mineral that expedites oxygen flow through our bodies and maintains good health.
Unfortunately, women who follow either diet are more likely to be deficient in iron and other vital nutrients like zinc or B vitamins during pregnancy because these foods are often lacking in those diets.
Choose a brand you trust
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, you should be able to trust the brand of your prenatal vitamin. Some people are comfortable using generic brands, while others prefer to stick with a brand they know and trust.
But nowadays, there are so many different brands and types of prenatal vitamins on the market that it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you.
Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to regulate some brands. This means the ingredients may not be listed correctly on the label or even included in the product.
If you’re concerned about the quality of preconception vitamins, look for brands that have been around for a long time. In addition, check to see if they have good customer feedback.
It would be best if you also choose a brand backed by science and research— look for those that use high-quality ingredients and list them on their label.
In addition, check to ensure they don’t contain harmful substances or fillers. This is especially important if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.
For example, some brands contain sugar and artificial sweeteners. Women attempting to conceive or those pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid these because these sweeteners can cause tooth decay.
Another example is, Some brands also contain ingredients like gelatin or shellac — derived from animals — making them unsuitable for vegetarians or those who abstain from animal products for other reasons.
Some brands may also contain wheat gluten, which might be an issue for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Read the label carefully before purchasing a prenatal vitamin to know precisely what you’re getting into.
This will give you peace of mind knowing that others have already tested your choice and found them to be effective.
Choosing the correct preconception vitamins is vital to improving fertility and pregnancy health. Many women do not realise that the nutrients required for healthy pregnancies differ from those needed for general health.
When you’re expecting, your body needs more nutrients than usual. That’s why taking a prenatal vitamin every day is essential, even if you’re not in the first trimester yet.
Pharmaceutical companies design prenatal vitamins to meet the needs of expectant mothers and their growing babies, ensuring they get all the vitamins and minerals they need throughout pregnancy.
It’s worth noting that when it comes to preconception vitamins, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
The best way to find the proper vitamin for you is to talk to your doctor and consider your own needs.
With some research, you can find the perfect vitamin to help you have a healthy pregnancy.