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

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)
  • 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 member
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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.

  • 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.  
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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. 
  • 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 far ;)
  • 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).
  • 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 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 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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  • My friend suggested taking the vitamins before bed.  I have done that and so far have not had a problem with them making me sick.  Also, the package says if they do upset your stomach, to eat some bread or crackers.

  • Has anyone had strange dreams while taking prenatal vitamins? I took them everyday for several weeks and every night had unusual dreams and had a hard time sleeping. The next day, if I skipped the vitamin, I would sleep normally without dreaming. I'm taking the Nature Spring Walmart version.
  • Iron is a big thing too.
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  • mrsAF13mrsAF13 member
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    I am taking natures made multi vitamin it has 400 mcg of folic acid,18 mg iron15mg zinc. does it have to be labeled as a prenatal vitamin? and how much is too much vitamin A @kkhamb1 bc mine has 2500iu 50%
  • I'm seeing a RE so it may not be necessary for every pregnant woman but it was very important to him that my prenatal vitamin have a minimum of 800mg of folic acid. I went with rainbow lite complete prenatal (1,000mg of folic acid) which is three vitamins in the AM and three in the afternoon. I was told to do prenatals three months before TTC, again this is after a MC so may be overboard for someone who hasn't had any health issues going into a pregnancy.
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  • I have been taking prenatal since Oct. So hopefully pregnant soon.
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  • samsofiasamsofia member
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    edited May 2014
    I think you should deff ask your doctor what you should take. they are all good but some have more then others depending on age, situation, and nutrition. I was reading a article on [EDITED] and some woman need different things depending on their diet so maybe a doctor is best to ask.

    ***edited for spam***
  • If you are interested in the folate/folic acid difference, they are similar, but folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. I chose to go with a suggestion made here by another mom. Just got it and so far so good.  

    Here are a couple links that goes into some detail on the difference that I found helpful. 

  • LadymouseLadymouse member
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    edited June 2014
    I did Rainbow Light Prenatal One until morning sickness kicked in, then did VitaFusion when I couldn't keep much down, then went back to Rainbow Light in the 2nd tri.

    I have a seizure disorder managed by supplements.  There is a difference between types of supplements, but the same thing in different brands - I haven't noticed a difference.  A food-based multivitamin does me way more good than other types.
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  • I have been taking Nature Made for over a month. It doesn't make sick if I have it with a meal.
  • MNgirl326MNgirl326 member
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    edited June 2014

    I am so bad at taking prenatal's.  It doesn't really matter what you have in your kitchen, when you forget to take them!



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  • I went to the Dr. a few weeks ago and he mentioned I need to get on PNVs at least three month before TTC.  He also mentioned he could write me a prescription for some and most, if not all, of the cost would be covered by insurance. However, we aren't TTC until 2015 so I didn't find out if the insurance paying part was true.
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  • mcschuttemcschutte member
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    edited June 2014
  • 4N6s4N6s member
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    If they make you sick, take them right before you go to bed. Problem solved!
  • KR55KR55 member
    Seventh Anniversary First Comment
    I was told to add a DHA supplement and Vitamin D supplement if the prenatal does not include those (which of course mine doesn't :))
  • I actually take three different ones, rotating them. It started out that I had the one prescribed to me by my doctor but when I took it everyday for a week I had constipation problems and so I decided to go with gummies so for 8 months I went back and forth between gummies and Rx. Then Harris Teeter stopped selling gummies last month so I got one with DHA, all their prenatal had iron so decided to give it a try and once again I had problems with going back and forth between Rx and MV+DHA. (I notice a difference in my focus with taking the DHA one.) There was one day I took mv+DHA and I didn't eat right away and completely tore up my stomach, had a lot of pain (I think it was because i did not eat it with food within 30 minutes and the iron.) As long as I take it with food I am fine (lesson learned) but decided to add gummies into the rotation so got a pack from Food Lion. Now it is kind of weird because the Rx you can't have food for an hour after taking, the mv+DHA you have to have food, and the gummies don't care. I am not sure taking it at night will work with all the prenatals. For only 2 weeks now I have been on the 3 pill rotation. The reason I like the DHA is because I also feel more mentally together since taking it so it is staying in rotation but I make sure it is with breakfast.

    That being said I have heard some GYN that want the mega-Prenatal vitamin, but some are perfectly fine with the gummies. I have a friend who did not know she was suppose to take prenatal and her baby turned out fine but she also tries to eat healthy so really if you are having a balance diet you shouldn't need vitamins. (although I think if you are growing baby I assume you need more vitamins, but I am not a doctor).

    I have heard 3months to a year before TTC to take Prenatal vitamins. When I told my GYN last year that I plan to start trying this summer, she prescribed me the Rx and wanted me to start taking it. I know people who started taking it when they found out they were pregnant but that is not advisable but better than not.

    DHA supposedly helps with the brain formation and retinal tissues of the baby. Folic acid or Folate reduces risks in neural tube defects (brain and spine development). Calcium (+Vitamin D helps body use Calcium) and Iron are important too.
    Lists of needed amount and why they are important:
  • My doctor told me not to use the chewable prenatal because it doesn't have iron. I just use the CVS store brand prenatal.
  • Here's a tip.  If your pre-natal vitamin is making you sick, try taking it at night before going to bed. You'll doze off the sleep before the sick feeling comes on by the time morning comes, you'll be over it.

    Work for me. I never have to get up sick or anything.
  • My doctor said folic acid is the main one to take. I just get mine at the grocery store or drug store. There are also prenatal vitamins that have a combination of vitamins in them.

    The only thing my doctor suggested with the folic acid is that it gives you the most B12 out of the vitamins other than just taking straight B12 supplements. I am B12 difficiant as well as having low iron so the folic acid helps me with that without having to take a bunch of different ones :)

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