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When to Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins (and Other Must-Have Tips for Future Moms)

by Joann Row

Hey mama. Ready to embark on one of the most exciting times of your life? Being a new parent is full of joy but can also be stressful and even confusing. We’re here to help clear things up for future moms, and answer some of your burning questions. From when to take prenatal vitamins to the best foods to eat while you’re pregnant, we’re answering it all here.

When should I start taking prenatal vitamins? Can I take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy? How about while I’m breastfeeding? 

Prenatal vitamins aren’t just important when you know you’re pregnant - they’re important while you’re trying to start a family too. If you just found out you’re expecting and haven’t been taking prenatals already - no need to stress. There's still time to incorporate them into your daily routine to reap the benefits (including great taste)! And while you’re breastfeeding, a prenatal vitamin can help with increased nutrition needs. 

Why do I need a prenatal vitamin?

Prenatal vitamins are important to make sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need for healthy development. Your bundle of joy is getting all of their vitamins and minerals from you, so while you may joke about eating for two, you should also take a multi that meets the vitamin and mineral needs for two! However, we always recommend consulting your healthcare provider/ OBGYN to advise on your specific pregnancy needs.

Pill form prenatals or gummy prenatals? Which is better for nausea?

Sometimes moms-to-be have trouble with prenatal pills; their size can make them hard to swallow and might cause an upset stomach. Some future mamas with sensitive stomachs find gummies to be a great alternative to get the nutrients they need.

What should I look for in a prenatal vitamin?

Folate: Necessary for red blood cell formation and support normal early fetal development. We include folate as methyfolate because it’s the form your body prefers and can easily use. Folate is also important for breastfeeding moms.

Iodine: An essential mineral needed in a number of metabolic functions. Iodine also supports the nervous system and normal brain development during pregnancy. Our prenatal formulas include 100% of the daily value of iodine!

Omega-3: Omega-3s are important for both mom and baby! Our formulas provide a source of omega-3, with EPA and DHA in our Prenatal Formula, ALA in our Organic Prenatal Formula, and DHA in our PhD Prenatal Formula.

Vitamin DVitamin D helps support normal immune function. You’ll find vitamin D in its premium form of vitamin D3 in our prenatal formulas.

Vitamin K: Talk about bone-ificial! Our prenatal formulas contain vitamins K1 and K2, in the premium form (MK7), to help support bone health.

I’ve read that folic acid is good in prenatals. Is it the same thing as folate?

This can be confusing! Folic acid gets metabolized into methylfolate, your body’s preferred form as we mentioned earlier. Some people have trouble metabolizing folic acid efficiently, which is why SmartyPants prenatals use methylfolate.

Can I get omega-3s from food? 

Yes, you can! The best sources of omega-3 DHA and EPA are seafood and fish oil supplements. While consuming a large amount of seafood isn’t generally advised during pregnancy, you’re still encouraged to have 2 servings of low mercury fish twice a week. You can also make up for the nutrient gaps in omega-3s with a great prenatal vitamin. Our Prenatal Formula contains Omega-3 (EPA & DHA) sourced from sustainable stocks of wild-caught small fish. When it comes to ALA, your body can convert it into EPA and then DHA. We include omega-3 ALA in our Organic Prenatal Formula, sourced from organic flaxseed oil.

 

mom and laughing kid

When do I need to start having prenatal care appointments?

This question is something you will coordinate with your doctor. Prenatal appointments often begin between 7-12 weeks, depending on your needs and your physician’s schedule. With your doctor, you will be able to make a plan to schedule appointments throughout the course of your pregnancy.

Can I workout while I’m pregnant?

Before diving into an exercise routine, make sure to talk to your doctor to build a plan that works for you and your pregnancy. In most cases exercising while pregnant is perfectly fine. Even Serena Williams played - and won- a Grand Slam tournament while she was two months pregnant. While it may not be the time to pursue Olympic-sized athletic dreams, walking or running, prenatal yoga and swimming are all great ways to keep moving.

What are the best foods to eat while I’m pregnant?

Food’s on the brain during pregnancy and there are some nutrients for you and baby that may be hiding in some of your favorites.

Vegetables: Broccoli, leafy greens like spinach and kale, green and red peppers, cabbage, cauliflower and avocados.

Grains: Brown rice, whole wheat bread, tortillas, brown rice, lentils and whole wheat pasta, fortified cereals, waffles

Meat, Fish, Eggs: Chicken, beef, salmon, trout, cod, shrimp, catfish, scallops, crab, tilapia, and eggs

Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, flax seed, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and pumpkin seeds

Dairy: Milk, plain yogurt, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and cottage cheese

With so much information out there, it can be hard to tell what’s what, especially as a first-time parent. We hope this makes your journey a bit easier to welcome in your growing family!

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Joann Row