When is the best time to begin taking a prenatal vitamin? Doctors say it’s never too early to begin reaping the benefits of the plethora of nutrients they provide. In fact, because vitamins like folate are so vital for fetal development, many doctors recommend that you start taking a prenatal vitamin at least 90 days prior to conception.
If you’re currently in the midst of your babymaking endeavor, quality supplementation should be top of mind. With a sea of options out there to sift through, here’s what to look for in a standout prenatal multivitamin.
Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you that this B vitamin is a non-negotiable. There’s extensive research showing its critical role in minimizing neural tube defects like spina bifida. But with multiple names floating around, like folic acid and methylfolate, how can you be sure you’re taking the right one? Folate is a broad term encompassing all natural and synthetic versions of vitamin B9. Folic acid is a man-made version that must be converted to its active form by your body. Methylfolate, on the other hand, is already active and usable. Quality prenatal vitamins, such as UpSpring’s Prenatal Complete Multivitamin Softgels, include methylfolate, often listed as “active folate.”
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that aids in the development of a baby’s eyes and brain. In short, it’s not something you want to skimp on. While it can be found naturally in fish, if you’re concerned about mercury or simply not a seafood fan, choose a supplement that contains fish oil.
We all need iron to produce hemoglobin—a special protein that helps carry oxygen throughout our bodies—but when you become pregnant you’ll need about double the amount. While you can get iron from foods like lean meat and poultry, leafy greens, and iron-enriched cereals, it’s a good idea to make sure your prenatal vitamin has adequate amounts. Just be aware that upping your iron intake can cause constipation. To protect your tummy, consider choosing a brand with a non-constipating form. UpSpring Prenatal Complete contains 27 mg of the gentler form of iron.
During pregnancy, iodine helps a baby’s brain and nervous system develop. Despite this, you won’t find it in all prenatal vitamins. While dairy, fish, and iodized salt all contain some iodine, it’s a good idea to make sure your body is adequately supplied with this all-important mineral, which is one of the top ingredients recommended by Ob-Gyns.
We don’t hear a lot about choline, because it’s often grouped in with its fellow B vitamins. But this rising star in the world of prenatal nutrients has been shown to play an important role in fetal brain development, specifically the memory center. Research has found that most pregnant women in the U.S. are not getting the recommended amount of choline and you won’t often find it in the nutrient lineup that basic prenatal vitamins provide. For a truly complete prenatal vitamin, look for one like UpSpring’s Prenatal Complete Multivitamin, which contains choline and other nutrients consistent with current scientific recommendations.
Balancing your nutrition before you become pregnant can help your baby get the healthiest start. The nutrients in your body will become the building blocks of your baby’s fetal brain development and all other growth during those vital early days. Try your best to eat a rich, varied diet and start supplementing with a quality prenatal multivitamin as part of your fertility self-care. While most prenatal multis will cover the basics, a truly standout option will include a wide variety of nutrients, including the ones we’ve shared here.
UpSpring’s Prenatal Complete is a best-in-class prenatal multivitamin packed with 20 superstar essential nutrients for mom and baby. Their science-based formula includes active folate, DHA, non-constipating iron, iodine, choline, and much more at the optimal recommended levels. Every ingredient is thoughtfully hand-selected by a team of scientists and medical professionals to keep your body balanced for you and your baby. Tap the link below to learn more.
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