Even women who eat a well-balanced diet may benefit from supplementing with vitamins and minerals. It could be several weeks before finding out that there’s a little one on the way, and that’s why it’s recommended that all women trying to conceive (TTC) take a daily prenatal vitamin. You should choose a prenatal that includes a variety of beneficial nutrients, in particular look for the following:
- Folic Acid: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that TTC women get at least 600 micrograms of folic acid, which helps form a baby’s neural tube during early development. Most prenatal vitamins will have a bit more than this (usually about 800 mcg).
- Iron: ACOG recommends that TTC women get around 27 mg of iron a day in their prenatal vitamin, to help with baby’s blood development and oxygen transport. Consider looking for a prenatal that won’t cause constipation.
- Vitamin D: This essential vitamin supports healthy bone growth, skin, and eyesight. Getting a bit of sun can help you reach your daily total – just be sure to use sunscreen!
- Vitamin B6: The Mayo Clinic advises that a prenatal vitamin should contain at least 2 mg of Vitamin B6, which may help with nausea.
- Vitamin C: The Mayo Clinic advises women to get at least 50 mg of vitamin C in their day to help support a strong immune system. It’s recommended that you try and get at least a portion of your vitamin C from foods, think leafy greens and citrus fruits.
- Zinc: The Mayo Clinic recommends that moms-to-be consume 15 mg of zinc daily to help fetal cell and immune system development. You can supplement your prenatal with spinach and cashews! It’s even in cocoa, not that we’re recommending eating chocolate.
- DHA: Although many prenatal vitamins don’t contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid), DHA can be incredibly important for the development of the fetal nervous system. Many doctors recommend taking a prenatal that includes DHA, most of which contain about 200 mg.
Popular Prenatal Vitamins
Although there are many prenatal vitamins to choose from, we recommend these as among the best:
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