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How do I Choose the Best Prenatal Formula?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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As soon as you find out you are pregnant, you should discuss the proper prenatal formula with your doctor or midwife. Most versions are essentially the same, although there are variations which should be considered. For instance, organic or food-based vitamins are believed by many people to be better absorbed by the body. There are also both liquid and tablet varieties. If you are not currently pregnant, you may be prescribed a particular prenatal formula if you are in your childbearing years.

You can get store brands of most any prenatal formula from your local pharmacy or grocery store. These are often less expensive than prescription formulas and generally contain the same ingredients. Many doctors and midwives now recommended food-based vitamins instead of synthetic ones. These can be found in most health food stores, online, and are becoming more widely available in conventional pharmacies.

Ask your doctor or midwife to recommend a prenatal formula. If you have any special conditions, such as anemia or a vitamin deficiency, you may need to take additional vitamins or supplements to ensure that you are getting enough of everything you need. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to add more vitamins in your diet.

It is important that you choose a vitamin which is specified as a prenatal formula because pregnant and lactating women need additional vitamins and minerals when compared with non-pregnant women. Many doctors recommend that any woman who may become pregnant should take prenatal vitamins because the earlier the necessary nutrients are consumed, the more beneficial they become for a pregnancy.

Be sure that your prenatal formula contains folic acid in higher amounts than what is found in most vitamins. This is a B vitamin which encourages cell growth and reproduction and it has been shown to significantly reduce the chances of birth defects in infants whose mother took vitamins containing folic acid in the first trimester. The sooner it is taken the better, so women who are trying to conceive should begin taking a folic acid containing vitamin before becoming pregnant. If you are already pregnant, begin taking prenatal vitamins as soon as possible.

Occasionally, women may experience nausea and other stomach upset related to their prenatal vitamins. If this occurs, taking a smaller pill or liquid vitamin may help. Chewable prenatal vitamins may also be available in some areas. If none of these options reduce stomach problems, speak with your doctor about medications which may reduce nausea and other symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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