What are the best prenatal vitamins for pregnancy? How many supplements should you take?
Anyone who has walked down the vitamin aisle knows there is an overwhelming number of items to choose from, so what do you really need?
The essential vitamins for a healthy pregnancy include:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
Iron helps red blood cells carry life-giving oxygen to nurture your baby’s growth and vitality. The risks of iron deficiency include premature delivery and low birth weight.
- High-quality prenatal vitamin containing iron
- Prenatal Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations, 2/day
- Prenatal and Nursing Formula by Klaire Labs, 3/day
Folic acid helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, such as spina bifida. It also plays an important role in the formation of DNA for the creation of normal chromosomes. It’s essential to have enough folic acid during your first trimester, and we recommend taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin with 800 mcg or more of folic acid.
If you are experiencing nausea and cannot stomach a prenatal vitamin, take just the folic acid which is much easier to get down. The methylated form of folic acid is the most easily absorbed form of this vitamin.
Supplement: FolaPro by Metagenics, 1/day for 1000 mcg
This is one of the omega 3 essential fatty acids, and it is needed to build a healthy brain and central nervous system. Due to the concern of mercury levels in fish, we recommend our patients get their DHA from a supplement.
Supplement: Omega-genics EPA-DHA 500 by Metagenics, 2/day for 1000 mg
Vitamin D has been shown to improve conception rates and decrease the risk of miscarriage. The best way to get vitamin D naturally is through sunlight on your skin, without sunscreen. To make sure you get enough of this essential vitamin, most people will need to take a supplement.
Supplements: D3 5000 by Metagenics, 1/day for 5000 iu
When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?
Start taking a prenatal vitamin three months before you get pregnant, so you have plenty of these essential nutrients available for the baby. See our blog on preparing for pregnancy here.
Where can I get these supplements?
- Supplements mentioned in this blog can be purchased here.
- Visit a local store, such as natural health food store, that can give you recommendations on which high quality vitamins to purchase.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to work with our clinic, you can book an appointment online here.