Brainstrong Prenatals - my doc said stop! What to take now? — The Bump
1st Trimester

Brainstrong Prenatals - my doc said stop! What to take now?

When we first found out I was pregnant, my initial visit to the family doctor resulted in confirmation of my pregnancy and a prescription for prenatal vitamins.  My husband went to pick them up and the pharmacist sold him Brainstrong Prenatal vitamins with life's DHA.  I started taking them right away and continued to do so until a week later at my first intake visit at my obgyn.  The nurse told me she never heard of Bainstrong and to stop taking them because some can be too high in Vitamin A, and gave me a bunch of samples of different brands to try.  

I am out of samples now and awaiting my new prescription of one of the samples I liked.  Meanwhile I considered taking the Brainstrong so I wouldn't be without, but now I'm too scared to take them.  I can't find any reviews on them.  Quite frankly, when I started looking for reviews on top rated vitamins online, I was both overwhelmed and skeptical because nothing seemed unbiased or third-party.  I came across mostly sponsored 'reviews' that were more like ads than anything.  

Has anyone else taken Brainstrong prenatal; was a healthy baby born?  Has anyone else been prescribed or ordered to stop taking Brainstrong?  Does anyone have a good recommendation for the 'best' prenatal to take?  I don't want them to go to waste if they're perfectly fine to take.  Any thoughts?  Thanks! 

Re: Brainstrong Prenatals - my doc said stop! What to take now?

  • If your OB told you to stop taking them then stop taking them.  If you don't trust the advice of you OB then you need to find a new one.  I'd rather go without vitamins for a few days than take something that my doctor told me not to.
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  • sherpasherpa member

    imagespeckledfrog:
    If your OB told you to stop taking them then stop taking them.  If you don't trust the advice of you OB then you need to find a new one.  I'd rather go without vitamins for a few days than take something that my doctor told me not to.

    Yes 

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  • imagespeckledfrog:
    If your OB told you to stop taking them then stop taking them.  If you don't trust the advice of you OB then you need to find a new one.  I'd rather go without vitamins for a few days than take something that my doctor told me not to.

    ditto that.

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  • imagespeckledfrog:
    If your OB told you to stop taking them then stop taking them.  If you don't trust the advice of you OB then you need to find a new one.  I'd rather go without vitamins for a few days than take something that my doctor told me not to.

    I disagree. Her OB told her to stop taking them without even taking a look at the vitamin! (Even the doctor admitted he/she hadn't heard of them, so how could they know if this one was good or not?)

    Your doctor should at least give you the facts on what she/he specifically meant by saying some vitamins have too much vitamin A. How much is too much? That way you can compare and make an informed decision.

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  • Agree with pps.  If you are that concerned, go out to Target, Walmart, CVS or Walgreens and get an OTC prenatal to take while you wait.

    "When the world says, 'Give up,' Hope whispers, 'Try one more time.'" -Anonymous

  • Why do you need a prescription prenatal?  I've been taking an OTC from Walmart since TTC, and my doc said it is fine.
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  • I'd stop taking that prenatal bc it sounds like it freaks you out a bit now.  Just go to Wal-Mart & get a good prenatal to last until you get your prescription.  Or if it's just a day or so, don't worry about it. It's okay to miss a day or two.
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  • Hm....Your family doctor prescribed them so they can't be terrible for you. They are a prenatal vitamin so designed for pregnancy. Your NURSE said not to take them? 

    I would take them or just get OTC until you get back to the OB and as him personally, not the nurse. 

  • You're right, I did miss that.  I'd still stop taking it.  The nurse gave her several different options.  Unless she is really tied to the original vitamin, I don't see a reason to not take something her OB's office approves of.  That's me though.  We all need to make decisions that work for us.
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  • Did you check what the level of Vitamin A is in the ingredient list?  She said the nurse told her not to take any more, not the obgyn.  You can always pick up some otc/pharmacy brand prenatal vitamins.
    You should be able to compare the label on the bottle to info found on sites like this:
     If this is the label on your bottle...
    then it says you are getting about 6000IU of vitamin A.  The baby center site says
    "The government considers 3,000 mcg RAE (10,000 IU)  to be the maximum amount of preformed vitamin A that you should get from supplements, animal sources, and fortified foods ? combined ? each day. "
    And I found an article from the American Journal of Clinical nutrition here:
    and it states, " The benefit that pregnant women or women of childbearing age and their children may derive from vitamin A supplementation outweighs the potential risk. However, extra caution should be taken to minimize this risk, especially because for practical reasons supplementation is administered at high doses. The recommendations of the World Health Organization can be summarized as follows:
    1. During pregnancy, a daily supplement should not exceed 10 000 IU (3000 RE) and a weekly supplement should not exceed 25 000 IU (7500 RE). "
    What does all this mean?  Well... one site says 10,000 units combined of prenatal vitamin and food sources of vitamin A, and one says 10,000 units of supplemented Vitamin A. Compared to other prenatal vitamins I've looked at, the amount in the brand in question is higher, but not necessarily outside safe limits unless you're also eating a lot of foods that are rich in vitamin A.  I am not a doctor or a nurse, so I can't tell you what is the best thing to do in your specific situation, but from these sources that say 10,000IU is the danger zone, those vitamins don't go over that limit. 
     
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  • Your biggest concern is folic acid.  Do not skip on folic acid this early on.  My doc allows two flintstones vitamins per day as a replacement if you run out... or cannot keep your prenatals down.  Otherwise, buy a folic acid supplement and take the recommended amount, which is 800 mcg though most prenatals have 1000 mcg.
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  • imagemabenner1:
    Why do you need a prescription prenatal?  I've been taking an OTC from Walmart since TTC, and my doc said it is fine.

    This is what I was thinking? 

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  • imagekcvasquez:

    imagemabenner1:
    Why do you need a prescription prenatal?  I've been taking an OTC from Walmart since TTC, and my doc said it is fine.

    This is what I was thinking? 

    This 100%. I took walmart brand my entire first pregnancy and this time jm taking walgreens brand. My OB gave me a script but told me to take whatever I wanted.
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  • imageAinslie325:
    It sounds like she (the nurse) made a judgment on these vitamins based on a generalization ("some [vitamins] have too much vitamin A."). Why wouldn't she ask you for the label information before making an informed recommendation? Couldn't you just call her back and ask her how much Vitamin A your OB considers safe, then check the label? A medical professional-- nurse OR doctor--making a recommendation without knowing what's in the product is irritating to me. I also don't understand why so many women advise blindly following a medical professional's advice without questioning it-- especially when it's clearly based on a total lack of information. It's okay to question your doctors and nurses. It's not rude.

    I completely agree.

    What it sounds like to me is that your OBs office gets a kickback or some sort of incentive to prescribe certain brands of vitamins.  That's why she gave you samples in hopes you would want a script for one of the ones she gave you.  

    If the FDA has approved the Brainstrong Prenatals to be sold then I am sure they are fine to take.   

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  • There are so many prenatals out there, why take one your Dr. hasn't heard of. I would look into others.
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  • sgb721sgb721 member
    I chose not to go with any of the prescription brands they wanted me to sample because they are really nothing different, just a money maker. My doctor was very okay with it. I take target brand prenatals. I bought 300 for $9. They ingredients and percentages match most of those samples they gave me. 
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  • imageStarbuck128:

    Calm down. You didn't hurt your baby. Your nurse sure did a good job of scaring you though. I suggest taking your prenatal vitamin bottle in with you to your next appointment and get your doctor's opinion, not your nurse's.

    Other posters seem to be missing the distinction of nurse and doctor. She got advice for a nurse, not her doc.

    Instead of looking for vitamin reviews, I also suggest educating yourself on what should be in your prenatals and what shouldn't. Here are some links:

    First off, here is what is in your prenatals if you weren't already sure.

    https://www.brainstrongdha.com/products/brainstrong_prenatal/facts_directions

    Here is what you definitely need.

    https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins

     Here is an explanation of vitamin A and it's role in pregnancy.

    https://www.babycenter.com/0_vitamin-a-in-your-pregnancy-diet_675.bc

     

    Yes, there is an obvious distinction between nurse and doctor, but on the subject of prenatal vitamins, a nurse is perfectly well educated and experienced to give advice. I don't think that scaring a patient about a particular brand when not being familiar with it was the route for this nurse to take, but that doesn't warrant writing off any and all advice you get from nurses. They play an important and active role in many OB practices.  

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  • imageAinslie325:
    It sounds like she (the nurse) made a judgment on these vitamins based on a generalization ("some [vitamins] have too much vitamin A."). Why wouldn't she ask you for the label information before making an informed recommendation? Couldn't you just call her back and ask her how much Vitamin A your OB considers safe, then check the label? A medical professional-- nurse OR doctor--making a recommendation without knowing what's in the product is irritating to me. I also don't understand why so many women advise blindly following a medical professional's advice without questioning it-- especially when it's clearly based on a total lack of information. It's okay to question your doctors and nurses. It's not rude.

     

    agree 

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  • Hi, Everyone. My name is Shara Aaron,  
    M.S., registered dietitian and author of "The Baby Fat Diet." I am a consultant to the BrainStrong brand and wanted to help clarify some of the information that has been raised around Vitamin A
     and pregnancy. It is true that taking whole, non-converted Vitamin A in doses higher than 5000 can be toxic to the fetus, but the body needs Vitamin A during pregnancy to assist with eye formation (primarily) and the amount of Vitamin A in BrainStrong Prenatal (and the entire BrainStrong product line) is not toxic because of two reasons: 1) The body converts Vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is found in BrainStrong Pretnatal. The risk of toxicity does not exist when taking Vitamin A derived from beta-carotene. It only exists when taking whole high doses of Vitamin A. 2) The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends no more than 5000 IU of preformed Vitamin A from a prenatal supplement. This concern does not exist with beta-carotene. BrainStrong is well below this limit with 2000 IU of Vitamin A. The RDA for pregnancy is 2500 IU of vitamin A. There is no RDA for beta-carotene. I would be happy to answer any more questions you may have. Please visit www.babyfatdiet.com and send questions or comments through our blog or on the contact us page. Thank you.
    mghnmouse
  • imagespeckledfrog:
    If your OB told you to stop taking them then stop taking them.  If you don't trust the advice of you OB then you need to find a new one.  I'd rather go without vitamins for a few days than take something that my doctor told me not to.

     Yes, this exactly.  We do not know more than your OB.  I am confused by your post, you said you awaiting the new prescription. How long do you have to wait? Also, why did the pharmacist sell your husband something different than the prescription he took in?

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  • I have taken the brain strong prenatal with dha vitamins and had a very normal pregnancy.My obgyn also had not heard of them but read the box and told me they had everything I needed and were safe.I liked them a lot because they were easy to swallow and didn't make me nauseous. My daughter is two years old now and is doing well .I will definitely be taking them again with my next pregnancy.The only problem I had was that they are kinda expensive ($20) a box but in the end they are worth it.Hopefully this helps.
  • @jmr104, This post was from THREE YEARS AGO.
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