Many people forgo daily vitamin supplements because they simply cannot stomach a daily handful of pills. However, when a woman is pregnant, it is essential that she takes a daily prenatal vitamin, and powdered and drinkable formulas can make that task much easier to swallow.
“Prenatal vitamins are recommended for women who are planning to get pregnant and those who are already expecting,” says Los Angeles OB/GYN Doctor David Ghozland. “Getting enough nutrients is essential for the health of the mother and unborn child.”
All of the nutrients that a baby receives come from its mother, and unfortunately, when the mother has a vitamin or mineral deficiency, their baby’s health can suffer. Prenatal vitamins help expecting and breastfeeding mothers support a healthy nervous and immune system, maintain energy levels, and enhance bone health, all important components of a healthy pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, an adequate daily supplement should contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Calcium: 1000-1300mg
- Folic acid: 400mg
- Iron: 27mg
- Iodine: 150mcg
- Vitamin D: 5mcg
While these combinations are readily available in pill form, the right dosage can result in pills being large and difficult to swallow, and women often report stomach upset after taking large vitamin supplements. When you factor in that nausea is a common symptom during the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s easy to see why an alternate method of vitamin consumption would be desirable. Another unwanted side effect of traditional prenatal vitamins is constipation, usually as a result of the additional iron.
New versions of powdered prenatal vitamins and drinkable prenatal vitamins make getting the nutrients a woman needs both convenient and easy on the stomach. Most reproductive experts advise women who are even contemplating pregnancy to begin taking a prenatal supplement right away, and sticking with the supplement throughout the pregnancy. For those with concerns about pill quantity and size, Dr. Ghozland suggests inquiring about powdered and drinkable prenatal vitamins to optimize your chances for a healthy pregnancy. When taken daily as part of a balanced diet and sensible exercise program, supplements like these can ensure your body and your baby are getting the optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need.