Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins While Trying To Get Pregnant – One of the most frequently asked questions we get is whether it’s okay to take prenatal vitamins if you’re not pregnant. The answer is simple: generally yes. Although there are a few exceptions. But first, let’s look at how prenatal vitamins differ from other multivitamins and why you should take them even if you’re not pregnant.
Pregnancy is often derided as a time when you can “eat for two”, “three”, or as much as you can get pregnant. But nutritional needs are not really doubled. A woman’s caloric needs are only increased by a few hundred, and her nutritional needs are not doubled or tripled. (one)
Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins While Trying To Get Pregnant
However, the need for certain key nutrients is very important before conception and throughout pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins differ from more standard multivitamin formulas in that they contain some specific vitamins and minerals:
Prenatal Vitamins, Nutrients & Supplements
Folate: One of the most important nutrients before pregnancy and during the first trimester, folic acid is essential to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The RDA (recommended daily intake) for non-pregnant women is 400 mcg DFE and the RDA for pregnant women is 600 mcg DFE. (2) Most prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of this B vitamin than standard multivitamins. Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Formula contains 800 mcg of methylated folic acid, or the activated form, because this nutrient is so important and not all women absorb it effectively. By providing more than the RDA, you’re hoping your body will be maintained at its optimal level.
Calcium: Although the RDA is not increased for pregnant women, prenatal vitamins often contain slightly more calcium than standard multivitamin formulas. (3) Seeking Health Optimal Multivitamin contains 210 milligrams of calcium, while Optimal Prenatal contains 400 milligrams.
Iron: This mineral is essential for the formation of red blood cells, and since a woman’s blood volume doubles during pregnancy, adequate iron intake is especially important. Without optimal conditions, a pregnant woman may become overtired, experience anemia or other complications. The recommended daily intake of iron is only 8 milligrams for adult men and 18 milligrams for non-pregnant women, but increases to 27 milligrams during pregnancy. (4) However, iron is a difficult mineral because iron taken at the same time as calcium can interfere with absorption and vice versa. For this reason, Seeking Health does not include iron in any of its multivitamin formulas.
Prenatal vitamins are usually low in other nutrients as well, especially vitamin A. Low vitamin A is problematic for pregnancy, but too much vitamin A can lead to pregnancy complications, especially in the first trimester. High levels of vitamin A are usually only possible in well-developed countries where dietary intake is adequate and supplemented. (5)
Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins When You’re Not Pregnant?
The RDA for vitamin A is 900 mcg RAE for men, 700 msg RAE for non-pregnant women, and 770 msg RAE for pregnant women. (6) Typical multivitamins may contain up to 10,000 IU (or more) per serving, which is 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Although it is not harmful to non-pregnant people, it is important for pregnant women to avoid consuming too much of this nutrient.
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal contains 1500 mcg RAE of vitamin A, although only 750 mcg of it is “preformed,” meaning it’s still less than the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. The remaining 750 mcg is beta-carotene, which must be replaced. First. If your body doesn’t need to use all the beta-carotene you take in, it continues to circulate throughout your body and acts as an antioxidant. (7)
Other prenatal vitamins may contain nutrients not commonly found in multivitamins, such as omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and more. Seeking Health does not include them in a supplement because it is becoming difficult to combine multiple nutrients without the need for fillers, flavors or preservatives. During pregnancy, it is recommended to take omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics separately.
Even if you’re not currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and you’re a man, you can sometimes take prenatal vitamins.
Pre Pregnancy Vitamins & Minerals
A prenatal vitamin provides significant nutritional support so that the enzymes produced by your genes can function properly. Enzymes work in your body.
Think of enzymes like worker bees. When at work, your genes produce a lot of enzymes. Many of these enzymes require vitamins and minerals to function. Without vitamins and minerals, your enzymes don’t work properly and you experience symptoms as a result.
Your car can’t run without gas, and your stove can’t run without gas or electricity, and your enzymes can’t work without vitamins and minerals. This is why prenatal vitamins are so useful. It gives your enzymes the tools they need.
If so, a prenatal vitamin may be right for you. If not, you probably don’t need it.
The Importance Of A Prenatal Vitamin Before You’re Pregnant
Personally, as a man, I alternate between Optimal Multivitamin Plus, a complete multivitamin, and Optimal Prenatal with Plant Protein, a protein powder-based prenatal vitamin. However, when I’m on vacation, I rarely take multivitamins—maybe only a few days a week. Why? Because now my enzymes are not under much pressure. I am relaxed, don’t work hard, don’t teach, don’t research, sleep well and enjoy playing with my family in the sun.
If I take prenatal vitamins or strong multivitamins on vacation when I don’t need them, I can get symptoms. Too many vitamins and minerals clog up your enzymes, causing your engine to leak too much gasoline and prevent it from starting. A balance is needed, and there can be too much of a good thing.
The main reasons for non-pregnant people to take prenatal vitamins are varied, but it’s important to remember that it’s always best to talk to your doctor first and get personal advice. Any information can give you questions to ask your doctor, but only your doctor has the best picture of your health factors.
If you’re looking to get higher levels of nutrients typically included in prenatal vitamins, one of these might be right for you. Some non-pregnancy formulas contain more nutrients or different amounts, so it all comes down to reading supplement labels and understanding what the nutrients do for you.
Vitamins For Fertility: What To Look Out For
The key to whether or not something is good for you when it comes to nutritional supplements is how you feel. Even if you’re not pregnant, if you feel good about taking prenatals, that’s good for you.
Sometimes a doctor may prescribe a specific supplement for you. If your doctor prescribes prenatal vitamins whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s a good idea to consider the reasons behind your doctor’s recommendation.
If you are anemic, taking a prenatal multivitamin rich in iron can help compensate for this deficiency. If you struggle with low levels of nutrients like folic acid or calcium, or you want to improve your cell performance, taking a prenatal multivitamin may be the best option for you.
If you are doing something that requires a lot of physical or mental effort, your body may need higher amounts of nutrients in prenatal vitamins. Pregnancy is a time of high demand as cells reproduce at breakneck speed to create a new person. Additionally, a woman needs extra support because most of her nutritional reserves go into feeding her baby. Even if the baby gets what she needs during pregnancy, if a woman does not take supplements during pregnancy, she may suffer from severe malnutrition after delivery. The same is true for those who have spent months training intensively for a marathon or other major event and are depleted of energy and nutrition.
When To Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins (and Other Must Have Tips For F
High nutrient needs don’t end with the birth of a baby, so if you’ve recently given birth or are breastfeeding, you should continue to supplement with prenatal nutrients. About 12 to 24 months after giving birth, a woman’s body has returned to pre-pregnancy hormonal levels, but if she is still of reproductive age, it may still be beneficial to continue prenatal vitamins after that.
If you work with a doctor who treats infertility or helps you prepare for pregnancy, you may be advised to take fertility drugs at least three months before trying to conceive. However, taking it a few months earlier will continue to prepare your body for conception.
Even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, if you’re a woman of reproductive age, taking a prenatal multivitamin will meet your body’s high needs for getting pregnant at any time, even if you know you’ll get pregnant. Don’t try. Physiologically, you have the anatomy and hormones of a woman
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