Pregnancy Nutrition

Prenatal Vitamins: When to Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy

Getting good nutrition is more important when you are pregnant than it is at almost any other time in your life therefore the best prenatal vitamins is crucial. Ideally, you should begin taking a good prenatal vitamin before you begin trying to conceive. This is important for the health of the baby and for your own health and some experts even believe that a good prenatal vitamin can even reduce the risk of miscarriage.

A good prenatal vitamin will have a sufficient supply of the critical nutrient folic acid. Folic acid is very important for women of childbearing age and women who can become pregnant because it has been proven to prevent neural tube defects in babies. Neural tube defects happen when the spinal column of the baby is incomplete, it is also known as spina bifida.

More depth Info About: Top 10 Pregnancy Vitamins and Why Should You Take Them

In order to prevent this birth defect, folic acid levels need to be adequate within the first four weeks of pregnancy, which is so early that some women may not even realize that they are pregnant. This is an excellent reason to start taking a good prenatal vitamin prior to becoming pregnant.

Most of the time, women do not realize that they have conceived until after they have missed their period. The timing of that can range from 2 to 4 weeks after conception so during the time that their developing baby needs folic acid the most, most women won’t even realize they are pregnant.

Best Prenatal VitaminsThis is one reason why any woman who could possibly become pregnant, even if they are not trying, should have a good vitamin with adequate amounts of folic acid. Because as everyone knows, not all pregnancies are planned, but every pregnancy should result in a healthy baby.

Because folic acid is so important it has been added to some foods. You can find folic acid in many enriched breads and some enriched pastas and it naturally occurs in such foods as romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, calf’s liver, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and lentils along with squash, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, papaya and string beans.

If you eat these foods regularly, your levels of folic acid may be fine, however, most of us don’t eat these foods daily so a supplement that includes folic acid offers additional protection. You might want to check out organic prenatal vitamins as opposed to over the counter prenatal vitamins.

During your pregnancy you need to continue with your prenatal vitamins and aim for at least 600 mcg of folic acid daily. This requirement goes up significantly if you have previously given birth to a child with a neural tube defect.

If you have trouble taking your prenatal vitamins during the first trimester, when many women report having morning sickness, you should consult your doctor for recommendations on other supplements. Do not just stop taking these prenatal vitamins at this crucial time as they are much too important for the health of your unborn baby and you.

Sometimes the high iron levels can cause further upset stomachs or constipation, so you may be able to get a prenatal vitamin that has a sustained release of the iron so that the stomach problems are minimized.

However, taking the best prenatal vitamin is crucial to the health of your unborn baby and yourself, especially in the first few weeks but really throughout your entire pregnancy.


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.