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Prenatal Vitamins - See Your GP

Jul 7, 2008
Prenatal vitamins and minerals are a must for in the family way mothers. A doctor will often prescribe a prenatal vitamin to a pregnant patient, but some assert that the vitamins are helpful for women who are planning to conceive. Using the supplements before getting expectant helps prevent certain birth defects. Some mothers prefer to continue taking prenatal vitamins and minerals throughout their pregnancies and while they are breastfeeding.

One should also remember that the prenatal vitamins and minerals are supplements. They do not supplant a balanced intake. It is not good practice to rely on vitamins for all of your nutritional needs. It is more important to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet than it is to take pills, no matter how helpful they are. The vitamins also work better when they are taken with a beneficial diet. Some of the nutrients in the foods help to absorb the vitamins and minerals.

Calcium is an extremely important element in a expecting woman's diet. Prenatal vitamins and minerals do not have the recommended daily allowance of calcium for an in the club mother. Prenatal vitamins have about 250 milligrams of calcium but an expectant mother requires between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day to assure that the newborn will develop properly. This-is-a-significant-difference.

Not every prenatal vitamin is the same; in fact some may not benefit the expectant mother as much as they claim. Research show that a expectant woman's body does not necessarily absorb all of the nutrients provided by the vitamins and minerals, especially folate. Folate is extremely important in the baby's prenatal development. The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina-bifida. Only three out of nine vitamins on average actually provide the amount of folate labeled on the bottle. This is not to suggest that the supplements do not have the vitamin, it just is not absorbed by the woman's body.

Some argue that it is better to take a prenatal vitamin prescribed by a doctor. However, this is not necessarily the case. While prescribed vitamins are ideal, many of the very same vitamins and minerals are available in stores and without a prescription. The most important thing to consider is the ingredients in the vitamins. Another important factor to consider is whether the vitamins and minerals are easily absorbed or not.

There is an easy test you can use to determine if the vitamins and minerals will be absorbed into your system. Put one of the prenatal vitamins into a cup of water. Wait ten minutes. If the vitamin is dissolved, or is very soft, it will be absorbed into your system. If the vitamin remains hard, it will probably pass through your system without depositing many of the nutrients it carries.

It is a good idea to talk to your general practitioner when deciding which prenatal vitamin is best for you. I found that the vitamin my medical practitioner prescribed made me very nauseous. I told my family doctor about the trouble I was having and she recommended a supplement that I could buy over the counter. This vitamin was not a strong as the one she originally prescribed, but I was getting more nutrients because I was able to tolerate them much better.

Finding the right prenatal vitamin may take a little research, but the benefits are great. However, it is vital to keep eating a beneficial, well-balanced intake. There is no supplement that can replace good nutrition.
About the Author
John LeClere writes for Home Study Central, this article is posted on Second Article
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