What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins? 6 Best Ones To Take

What Happens If You Don't Take Prenatal Vitamins

Taking prenatal vitamins is vital to the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. While maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated, prenatal supplements are essential when pregnant.

Not taking prenatal vitamins can lead to a deficiency in folic acid, neural tube defects, low birth weight, premature birth, and poor health for the mother. 

Finally, folic acid supplements should be taken regularly during pregnancy.

This article will stress the importance of folic acid, prenatal vitamins, and a healthy diet during pregnancy, which are crucial to having a healthy baby and a healthy mother.

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What happens if you don’t take prenatal vitamins?

A healthy diet is just one part of pregnancy health. 

When you are pregnant, your baby’s growth depends upon your nutrients. The nutritional demands of your growing baby can leave the mother depleted if she doesn’t have boosted levels of essential vitamins and nutrients.

This is where prenatal vitamins come in. 

Taking prenatal vitamins or supplements gives pregnant women enough nutrients, so they aren’t left depleted after the baby gets its share. 

A balanced diet alone is not enough.

Devastating issues can occur if you do not have the vital nutrients that a healthy pregnancy demands.

As a mother, you risk issues like weak bones, nausea, vomiting, lowered or weakened immunity, achiness, tiredness, anemia, and early and complicated labor.

For the fetus, there are even more significant risks. 

Some risks associated with poor prenatal care or not taking the recommended prenatal vitamins are Spinal cord abnormalities and defects in the very early weeks of pregnancy, weak or brittle bones, premature birth, extended stays in the NICU, brain disorders, weak immunity, and overall poor health.

What Happens If You Don't Take Prenatal Vitamins

When should you start taking prenatal vitamins?

A prenatal vitamin should be taken every day at around the same time as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Many experts and doctors even suggest that you take prenatal vitamins up to three months before you plan to get pregnant.

Start taking prenatal vitamins before you are pregnant. Your body won’t ever have to play a game of catch-up to restore levels of essential nutrients like folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and more.

Taking prenatal vitamins is just one step of prenatal care, but it is necessary for your quest for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. 

There is simply no good excuse not to. For most women in the US, these vitamins are offered for free by pharmacies, charities, hospitals, and women’s healthcare groups.

Tell your doctor if you need prenatal vitamins and do not have the financial resources to buy them over the counter at your local department store or supplement store. 

Hard times befall everyone now and then, and pride will do you no favors. Ask for the help needed, and your doctor will ensure you get it.

Why You Should Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Pregnant women should, at the very least, take prenatal vitamins daily as soon as they find out they are pregnant. 

Your body and your baby need prenatal multivitamins and a nutritious pregnancy diet to optimize the development of your fetus and maintain your health.

Women seeking fertility treatments or who have shared with their doctors that they are trying to conceive are often told to take prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. Doing so builds up a reserve of all the nutritional and vitamin needs they will have once they become pregnant.

If you are trying to get pregnant or plan to soon, think of it this way: 

You can start a cross-country road trip with just a half tank of gas in your car, or you can begin your road trip by filling up your tank first so that you won’t have to stop more often or risk running out of gas before you reach your destination. Which is the better option?

Think of prenatal vitamins in the same way. Starting with a full tank is better than starting with a half-depleted store of what you need to get the best outcome. 

Pregnancy is a journey. 

While it’s not the same as a road trip, the idea is the same. Being prepared is the best course of action. If that isn’t convincing enough, the following are specific reasons to highlight the importance of the essential nutrients provided by prenatal vitamins.

What are the recommended prenatal vitamins?

Here’s a rundown of some of the vitamins recommended for moms-to-be:

1. Folic acid

Folic acid is essential in preventing neural tube and spinal cord-associated congenital disabilities like spina bifida. Spina bifida is one of the neural tube defects that occur in the very early stages of pregnancy.

Folic acid is a B Vitamin crucial in developing the spinal cord, brain, immune system, and more.

To prevent neural tube defects, pregnant women should take prenatal vitamins or, at the very least, folic acid supplements as soon as they find out they are expecting. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), you should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Your women’s healthcare provider can assist you in choosing the best folic acid supplement to take to get the level of folic acid you need.

2. Iodine

Iodine is an essential mineral in brain and thyroid development. 

Iodine is present in seafood and fish. However, because pregnant women are not advised to eat unchecked amounts of seafood, supplements like prenatal vitamins can give the baby’s brain a chance for healthy growth. 

Remember to start during the first trimester for the best results.

In this case, attempting to get all the nutrition you need from the food that provides it can be dangerous.

A gummy, pill, or chewable tablet is a much better way to get this nutrient than eating dangerous amounts of seafood that can put you and your baby at risk.

3. Iron

Iron is used by red blood cells and is vital in transporting oxygen to the organs, brain, and baby. Extra iron is important for both the mother and the baby, and it can help to prevent congenital disabilities, preterm birth, and low weight at birth.

If you don’t have enough iron in your body, your body gets weaker due to not having the proper nutrients. 

You may experience anemia, dizziness, shakiness, nausea, and fatigue

Women’s iron levels quickly deplete during pregnancy, and your best shot at this critical part of nutrition is by taking prenatal supplements.

While you can find this mineral in your diet, supplementing it with a daily vitamin is better for your health.

4. Vitamin D

Occurring naturally through sunlight exposure, Vitamin D helps solidify the baby’s bones and the mother’s bones. This vitamin also strengthens teeth, hair, and nails.

5. Calcium

Also necessary in bone growth, a daily dose of calcium will help your baby’s development far more than a balanced diet. It will help both you and your baby develop and sustain strong bones. 

Women have not gotten enough of this important mineral in general. A prenatal vitamin can help women sustain levels that benefit their health and their babies health.

Calcium is also found in dairy products, dark leafy greens, and other foods. However, taking vitamins during pregnancy will optimize the calcium level you and your baby are getting, along with other certain nutrients that cannot be readily available in foods.

6. DHA

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in fish. It is essential to eye development and a healthy brain. 

Since you cannot consume an unlimited amount of fish while pregnant, you have to find a way to get this nutrition into your body in another way.

It is best for your health that women who are pregnant take prenatal vitamins for this and so many other reasons.

What Happens If You Don't Take Prenatal Vitamins

More about prenatal vitamins

Not only are you getting specially formulated daily vitamins when you take prenatal vitamins, but many women even say that taking prenatal vitamins helps to treat morning sickness in the first trimester.

In the first few weeks of pregnancy, you are at greater risk for nausea and vomiting due to a sudden and significant rise in hormone levels. 

Taking prenatal vitamins, especially at night, can help women sustain a healthy pregnancy and meet the body’s particular needs so that nausea is less prevalent.

Do prenatal vitamins make you gain weight?

There have long been rumors surrounding pregnancy and prenatal vitamins about weight gain. 

Women have claimed that taking vitamins during pregnancy or when trying to conceive will make you gain weight you cannot quickly lose after your infant is born.

There is no evidence that this is true.

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal. 

You should expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. 

Women who think this rumor is true are most likely experiencing weight gain that would occur naturally due to pregnancy.

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Prenatal vitamins during pregnancy

Vitamins and minerals are essential to everyone, whether trying to conceive, in the middle of a pregnancy, or otherwise. 

A multivitamin is a good idea for every adult, but the impact of prenatal vitamins on the outcome of a pregnancy is massive.

From the very early stages to delivery, you need all the extra nutrients you can get. 

Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about taking prenatal vitamins. Still, unless instructed otherwise, you should start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you find out you are pregnant, if not before. 

The benefits are numerous, and the risks are practically nonexistent. You owe it to yourself and your newborn to provide the best chance at good health.

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