Unlocking the Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins For You and Your Baby • The Pregnancy Network

Unlocking the Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins For You and Your Baby

Researching and taking prenatal vitamins may feel like just another box to check off, but we don’t want it to. To make this journey easier, we asked our staff registered nurses to describe the importance of prenatal vitamins. 

We believe in the importance of prenatal vitamins so much that we offer a one-month supply to each of the women we serve who need them. Keep reading to learn more about why prenatal vitamins are a must-have.

The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins ensure you get what you need to keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Prenatal vitamins can lower the risk of developing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and iron-deficiency anemia, as well as help you rest assured your baby is getting what he/she needs.

Prenatal vitamins contain important nutrients for the growth and development of your baby. One of these nutrients is folic acid, also known as folate. Pregnant women need approximately 600 micrograms of folic acid each day which is hard to attain through diet alone. Prenatal vitamins should contain anywhere from 400-800 micrograms of folic acid. Folic acid is essential in preventing major birth defects of the brain and spinal column, known as neural tube defects.

Another important nutrient found in prenatal vitamins is iron. Women need extra blood during pregnancy to support the development of the placenta and growth of the baby. Non-pregnant women need about 18 milligrams of iron each day while pregnant women need about 28 milligrams of iron per day. Prenatal vitamins ensure you get the extra amount of iron needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins also contain essential fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA, and arachidonic acid (ARA). These “healthy fats” help with the development of baby’s eyes and with the brain development that happens primarily in the 3rd trimester.

Prenatal vitamins include other essential vitamins such as vitamin B, C, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Though prenatal vitamins do provide the majority of the nutrients needed to support a healthy pregnancy, they should not replace a healthy and balanced diet.

When should you start taking prenatal vitamins?

Ideally, as soon as you are trying to get pregnant, you should begin taking prenatal vitamins. If your pregnancy was unplanned,they should be started as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed and at least through the first 12 weeks. This is because major growth and development of your baby happens during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

We’re Here for You.

At The Pregnancy Network, we’re here to help with compassionate, confidential care. Receive a free pregnancy test and limited obstetrical ultrasound from one of our staff registered nurses, connect with community resources to meet your needs, and be equipped through our free pregnancy and parenting classes. At your appointment, your registered nurse will offer you a free one-month supply of prenatal vitamins. Make an appointment today to get started.

*The above information was provided by our staff licensed registered nurses.

Picture of Chloe Belk

Chloe Belk

Chloe is the Communications Coordinator at The Pregnancy Network.