Babies on the Brain

Prenatal Vitamins: the good, the bad, and the does it matter?

I need to start taking a prenatal vitamin, but have no idea on how to sort through the masses of options. Is there anything other than Folic Acid mg. that i should look for? What make one multi prenatal better than another?
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Re: Prenatal Vitamins: the good, the bad, and the does it matter?

  • I grabbed the ones from Costco/Kirkland brand.  Good price, and has everything needed.
    (I havent even looked at the iron in it - last pregnancy, I had to supplement my iron)
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  • Also, the numbers do not have to match exactly.. I only found one prenatal that matched this list and it made me super sick. Nature Made was the second closest and has not made me sick.
  • Jags8Jags8
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    I like my VitaFusion gummies. I hate swallowing pills. My doctor said that they are good, but once we are actually trying though, she wants to write me an Rx for a little more folic acid.
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  • My office says it doesn't matter.  I just get the Target brand with DHA when pregnant and the Target brand without DHA when just BFing.  
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  • My OBGYN wrote we a prescription for a great prenatal vitiam ( she gave me loads of samples of it too) because  I had tried a few that made me nauseous and was tired of buying these big bottles only to find they didn't work for me.I did finally find one (after DD was born) that doesn't bother me a bit and is cheaper. But you can always ask you OB for samples they should have tons and several different varieties, just be warned depending on your insurence if you have to pay for them the perscription ones can get pretty pricey. We were lucky and ours were covered minus the $15 copay.
  • In all  honesty, I'm just taking my multivitamin plus an extra supplement.  My multivitamin contains more vitamins and minerals than prenatals with almost all of them at the proper amount for pregnant or TTCing women.  I also take Pregnitude so that gives me my extra folic acid.  I eat a pretty healthy diet, so I'm not concerned.
  • I just started the VitaGummies. I just stopped my BC and this is our first cycle TTC. When we get into the full swing of TTC I think I'll move on to more hardcore vitamins with iron.
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  • fredalina said:
    There is the folate vs folic acid discussion. Is that a "thing" on TB boards?
    What's the discussion? They are the same thing.
  • I've heard people say that prenatals make them sick; do y'all know what ingredient it is that tends to do that?  Or does it vary?  Do they make you nauseous even when taking them before you're pregnant?  (I've heard they can make your morning sickness worse but not sure about before?)

    Someone mentioned iron; I've been on high mg iron supplements for the last month because I was anemic, and it definitely causes constipation, but it hasn't made me feel sick.  Although I could see where that constipation + pregnancy constipation could really be painful!
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  • fredalina said:
       Must not be a thing here ha ha.


    On the comment section on one of the articles on TB, there was a whole diatribe about folate versus folic acid, but I've yet to see it on the [community] boards.

    "Yet" being the key word.

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  • heartbot said:

    My last pregnancy, I took a regular multivitamin and half a dozen other supplements because I couldn't swallow the real prenatal vitamins and the gummies made me nauseous. Like a lot of others, I cut out the iron. It caused the nastiest constipation I've ever experienced, which was bad enough already just from being pregnant.

    Buyer beware with the normal multivitamins. They are not FDA regulated and many do not contain what they claim they do. Prenatal vitamins are FDA regulated and by law contain what is on the label and have guidelines they have to meet. If others make you nauseated talk to your Dr about a prescription brand.
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  • Very interesting, @Fredalina.  I'd have to investigate more what happens.

    My gut (har-har) tells me that once its in your stomach, where the pH is VERY low, all the folate becomes folic acid anyway.  But who knows!
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  • fredalina said:
    fredalina said:
    There is the folate vs folic acid discussion. Is that a "thing" on TB boards?
    What's the discussion? They are the same thing.

    They aren't exactly the same thing. Supposedly folate is much better and it comes from natural sources. Some crunchier people say that folic acid has been linked to things like ADHD and autism. Must not be a thing here ha ha.
    You're splitting hairs.

    It's like the woman in Whole Foods who told me not to buy a certain brand of puffs because "that one contains ascorbic acid." I told her ascorbic acid is Vitamin C. Her reply? "Yeah, but ascorbic acid is made in a lab." Facepalm.

    Ascoribic acid is to vitamin C as dihydrogen monoxide is to water.
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  • Joy2611 said:

    fredalina said:
    fredalina said:
    There is the folate vs folic acid discussion. Is that a "thing" on TB boards?
    What's the discussion? They are the same thing.

    They aren't exactly the same thing. Supposedly folate is much better and it comes from natural sources. Some crunchier people say that folic acid has been linked to things like ADHD and autism. Must not be a thing here ha ha.
    Folate is folic acid that has lost one hydrogen.  Sometimes people say aspartate or aspartic acid.  Aspartic acid loses one hydrogen and becomes aspartate.  Citrate and citric acid.  Same deal.  It's just how organic molecules are named.

    What governs if it's folate or folic acid is the pH that it's sitting in.  The hydrogen will pop on at certain pHs and pop off in other pHs.  I could be wrong, but eating one or the other doesn't really make a difference because once it's in you and sitting in a different pH, your body will naturally adjust it to what it's going to be under those conditions.

    Of course, I'm looking at this from a chemist's point of view.  Because our bodies have enzymes/proteins that mess with the equilibrium states of reactions (on purpose), it's possible that there is never time for folate to equilibrate with folic acid and it's used up instead.  Interesting to think about now that I've written this much.  Ha.
    Thank you. From my standpoint, as a physician, I can either order a lab test called a "lactic acid" or a "lactate." We use them interchangeably.

    Of course, now that I know we have a chemist on this board, you'll probably tear apart my post above on Vit C/ascorbic acid. My chemical knowledge is limited to pre-med courses - the basic general and organic chemistry undergrad weed-out classes ;)
    Joy2611
  • What have people heard in terms of how early to start prenatals before TTC? I have heard to make sure you start a month prior but have read conflicting things.

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  • Love2RunJ said:
    What have people heard in terms of how early to start prenatals before TTC? I have heard to make sure you start a month prior but have read conflicting things.
    3 months out is what I have seen the most. 
  • edited March 2014

    fredalina said:
    fredalina said:
    fredalina said:
    There is the folate vs folic acid discussion. Is that a "thing" on TB boards?
    What's the discussion? They are the same thing.

    They aren't exactly the same thing. Supposedly folate is much better and it comes from natural sources. Some crunchier people say that folic acid has been linked to things like ADHD and autism. Must not be a thing here ha ha.
    You're splitting hairs.


    It's like the woman in Whole Foods who told me not to buy a certain brand of puffs because "that one contains ascorbic acid." I told her ascorbic acid is Vitamin C. Her reply? "Yeah, but ascorbic acid is made in a lab." Facepalm.

    Ascoribic acid is to vitamin C as dihydrogen monoxide is to water.
    *I'm* not splitting hairs. I have exactly zero shits to give to the argument. I just know there is an argument. Don't give a flying fuck either way. Don't be a twat. I mean a Dr. Twat.
    So in other words, don't shoot the messenger? Just... involving words like "twat." Nice.

    edit: spelling
  • Oh newbs.
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  • What was the name of the vitamin that matched this list? I might give it a try and see if I can tolerate it without getting sick. I have a pretty strong stomach...so far ;)
  • I used the Similac Prenatals- there is usually a coupon that you get in the mail for those if you sign up to get their formula coupons online for $5 off of one, and then there is always a coupon inside (at least I have always had one in each container that I bought).  There are two pills you have to take, one is big and a little rough, but I always took them before bed so my stomach issues would work themselves out while I was sleeping.  I also kept the gummies on hand in case if I puked them up!  
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  • My doctor said they were all "created to be equal".  Having said that, I would go with the one that has the required amount of Folic acid and iron and not too high on Vitamin A.  Too much vitamin A is not supposed to be good.  I am using Nature Made and seems to suit me just fine.  Been taking it for 6 months now. 
  • My doc also said it didn't matter much, but that I should start without iron and she'd let me know if I needed to add iron by monitoring my levels. I started out with the Vitafusion gummies because I too have a hard time swallowing pills, but by the middle of my first trimester they were making me extremely sick (even without iron), so I switched to the Enfamil Expecta. They're two different capsules that you need to take, one has DHA, but for someone like me who has a pretty hard time swallowing pills, I don't struggle much with these. One is a gel capsule and the other is a pretty well coated regular capsule. It says to take it with water  and a meal but Ive been taking it with juice to offset the taste as it sits on my tongue for the second before I swallow it. Someone also told me to drop the capsules in a bowl of applesauce and take it that way as well. 
  • I tried a few different brands when I first started on them and they made me sick. I finally settled on the generic Rite Aid brand and they work just fine. It has the right amount of folic acid, but I take a separate Omega -3 supplement with DHA. That was recommended by my MW since I don't eat any fish (I hate fish.). I did end up having to take an iron supplement while pregnant with DD (I was borderline anemic).
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  • When I first told my doctor we were trying, he told me as long as there was enough Folic any brand is fine. I use the Jamieson Prenatal http://www.jamiesonvitamins.com/prenatalmultivitamin

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  • Loyal to Rainbow Light Prenatal One--- doesn't make me sick or constipated. 
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  • The one Prenatal vitamin that differs from the standard are ones with Folate in them...like Neevo DHA. Folate is the natural form of Folic Acid (man made) and is crucial in the Spinal Column development phase which happens around week 3. if you have a folic acid deficiency then it may lead to Spina Bifida...which happened to me and we only found out when it was too late. They are not the same thing...it takes a much longer process to break down and absorb folic acid than it does to absorb folate. . happy to say after this second pregnancy with the Folate prenatal we had not spinal development issues.

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