There’s so much to think about during pregnancy, including the right nutrition for yourself so that you give your developing baby the best start in life—which is where a prenatal multi can come in. In fact, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all women of childbearing age take a daily multivitamin supplement containing folic acid—although we prefer folate, which occurs naturally in food—to reduce the risk of neural tube defects should pregnancy occur. They also suggest that all pregnant women take a prenatal multivitamin.
There are several reasons for this, including at least 41 studies that connect taking a prenatal multi containing folic acid (folate) before and during the first trimester of pregnancy with a reduction in structural fetal birth defects. Taking a prenatal multi can also help reduce the risk for pre-term birth and a low-birthweight baby, while supporting Mama’s health during pregnancy.
Ideally, a healthy diet should provide proper nutrients for both Baby and Mama, but many women in their childbearing years don’t get the nutrients they require, including folate and iron.
Getting enough folate is critical for proper fetal development immediately after conception—before a woman may even realize she’s pregnant. Why? During the first 30 days of pregnancy, folate helps guard against neural tube (which becomes the spinal cord and brain) defects. Folate is also needed throughout pregnancy to support the baby’s rapid cell production.
Getting enough iron is important, too, since iron requirements increase during pregnancy. Iron reduces the risk of pre-term and low-birthweight babies, and helps to avoid anemia and to transport oxygen.
Likewise, taking a prenatal multi after pregnancy (during lactation) ensures continued nourishment, since some nutrients, including folate, are still required in higher amounts.
So, make sure you and your baby get what you need—before, during and after pregnancy.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.