What are the Different Kinds of Prenatal Pills?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2019
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Most prenatal pills are types of vitamins intended for women who are pregnant, intending to become pregnant, or nursing. These can include both over the counter and prescription prenatal pills. Other prenatal supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acid pills, are also developed especially for child bearing women. Most prenatal medications are produced as compressed tablets.

Prenatal pills often contain several key nutrients to help promote the health of the mother and her baby. The three most important nutrients of these include calcium, folic acid, and iron. Other key ingredients found in typical vitamins, such as thiamine and zinc, are also in prenatal supplements. Pregnant women are advised to not mix supplements, as nutrient overdose may be harmful to them, as well as to their fetuses.

Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, prenatal pills are favored by many pregnant women. Some studies indicate that the presence of DHA can help promote brain development and provide other benefits to the fetus. Women are often advised to take a vitamin D supplement as well, as the nutrient can help reduce the risk of premature delivery and other pregnancy complications.


Obstetricians consider taking prenatal vitamins to be integral to the development of the fetus. As fetuses that do not receive adequate nutrition are known to extract it from their mother's nutrients, prenatal pills are essential for the mother's well-being as well. Since mothers require extra nutritional support while pregnant, typical women's vitamins will usually not suffice for use during pregnancy. Some women's vitamins, such as those that contain additional herbal support, may also be considered dangerous to be used while pregnant.

Many women experience health problems while taking prenatal vitamins or other pregnancy supplements. With their increased iron content, these pills often cause women to experience constipation and other unpleasant symptoms. Some women use trial and error with the help of their physician in order to choose the prescription prenatal pills that will work best for them without too many uncomfortable side effects.

In addition to prenatal pills, women who are pregnant, or may become pregnant, can do a variety of things to make their bodies healthy and ready for child bearing. Healthy eating, including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, is usually advised. Moderate to light exercise is often recommended, depending on the mother's specific health conditions. Her obstetrician can advise her on an appropriate exercise routine to follow that will not endanger her health or her child's health.



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