Dr. DiCampli shares when women should start taking prenatal vitamins.
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What You Need to Know About Prenatal Vitamins My name is Dr. Jesika DiCampli. I am a midwife and a naturopathic physician, and I’d like to talk to you about prenatal care. Actually, a woman should start taking her prenatal vitamins even before trying to get pregnant. Most of the women who are of child bearing age I put them and recommend a prenatal even if they are not trying to get pregnant so at least it's on board. It’s a good multivitamin, has all the nutrients in it that you need. A great prenatal vitamin that I would think of would be one that has a broad base of nutrients in the proper amounts but that is also good quality nutrients, vitamins and minerals so that it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions or symptoms or side effects to taking those nutrients and the way you can do that is by having proper forms in the vitamins. It doesn’t necessarily matter where the prenatal vitamin come from. The important thing is that you can take it everyday. A lot of prenatal vitamins have forms for example of iron that can be constipating. That’s the number one problem with prenatals. They either hurt the stomach or they are constipating and then no one wants to take them. So if you search out a prenatal that has good ingredients and it’s a high formula in the right amounts with a nice balance and in the good forms then it won’t cause the constipation and issues that other prenatals can cause. One of the most important things is folic acid. Every one talks about folic acid levels and my prenatals that I use they have one milligram of folic acid in them. Folic acid is very important in the neural tube formation which occurs almost immediately after conception. So this is why I stress to my patients to be on the prenatals so that they have their folic acid in the proper amounts well before conception even takes place. Well the prenatal will comprehensively cover all of the basic nutrients but some of the things that I like to add in, in conjunction with that for my patients are probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut and they are very important in maintaining a healthy balance whether it’s throughout the whole reproductive tract and baby when coming through the vaginal canal that’s their first dose of the good bacteria that they don’t come with in their gut. So it’s important for a mom to be on a probiotic and I also like to include fish oil. Fish oil helps with essential fatty acids, components of fish oil support baby’s brain development and it’s very beneficial to mom to help support her hormone levels throughout pregnancy. Vitamin A is something that you don’t want to be in a prenatal in high doses and so prenatals are formulated to include the things that are necessary but also exclude the things that could be damaging to the fetus. For example, that being vitamin A, in high doses that can cause birth defects. So it’s important that you are not on a regular multi, that you have a prenatal that has the proper balance of nutrients. Ideally you would want to take your prenatal everyday but some women have such significant nausea and morning sickness in the beginning of pregnancy that it’s difficult for them to take their supplements. One of the ways to combat that is by taking your supplements with food; having a good prenatal supplement and making sure that you are digesting it well.