My Pregnancy Guide
My Pregnancy Guide My Preconception My Pregnancy My Motherhood Pregnancy Tools & Stuff Pregnancy Shopping
Not All Prenatal Vitamins Are Alike

Not All Prenatal Vitamins Are Alike

Prenatal vitamins are essential for women who are trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Your body needs an increased amount of nutrients like folic acid, which helps protect the fetus against neural tube defects in the first few weeks of development. In addition, a woman hoping to conceive needs more iron, calcium and protein, which a prenatal vitamin supplies. Ideally, you should begin taking prenatal vitamins three months before you plan on conceiving.

However, there is a large variation between different types of prenatal vitamins. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown problems with some of the leading brands of supplements, which don't meet the standards required of prenatal vitamins. This puts mothers and their babies at risk, and fails to provide women of childbearing age with the vitamins and minerals they need for a healthy pregnancy.

So, which vitamins brands have recently come under attack for not putting the amounts stated on the packaging into their products?

  • New Chapter Perfect Prenatal vitamins do not meet dissolution standards, claims the study, done by Consumer Labs. This means that many nutrients may not be absorbed by the body, and certain types contain less vitamin A than is needed by pregnant women or those trying to conceive. The vitamin dissolves too quickly, meaning most of the essential nutrients are lost.
  • Theragran-M Advanced and L'il Critters Gummy Vites contained a higher than normal amount of lead, which can lead to birth defects, and had only half of the folic acid stated on the label.
  • It's not just these vitamin manufacturers who are at fault. Other studies done by researches have shown that only three of nine of the most popular prenatal vitamins dissolved properly, and two of these nine released their folic acid too soon, leading to decreased absorption. Women of childbearing age should be taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists).

If you want to put your prenatal vitamin to the test, simply drop it into a cup of vinegar and stir. It should be mostly dissolved after 20 minutes if not, it could fail to break down adequately in your body. You could be missing out on important nutrients that you and your unborn baby need.

It is a mistake to think that buying the most expensive prenatal vitamin is the right choice. Ask your physician which supplement he or she recommends, and do your homework before starting any vitamin program your health and your baby's health depends on it!


Find Your Baby's Name
Free Pregnancy and Baby Website