If you are thinking about having a baby, then one of the first things that you can do, before you even conceive is start taking a good prenatal vitamin.
Not only will it help give you and your baby the best start in life, but it can also improve your fertility! So what should you look for when choosing a prenatal vitamin supplement?
What to look for in a good prenatal vitamin supplement
Folic Acid (Folate)
While including folic acid is usually standard in prenatal vitamins (and even some regular multi vitamins) you need to make sure that they include the correct dosage so that you are getting enough of this important nutrient.
Make sure that your supplement includes at least 400 mcg of folic acid. This will help protect your baby against neural tube defects like spina bifida. For the best way to lower your risk of your baby getting it, then you should be taking folate BEFORE you are getting pregnant.
You’ll need extra calcium to help you grow a healthy baby when you are pregnant, so look for a supplement that has 1,000 mg per day. You can also get your daily calcium needs by eating foods that are high in it such as milk, yoghurt and cheese.
Iron is especially important when you are pregnant because it will help to combat fatigue and prevent anaemia. A good prenatal vitamin will have around 30 to 40 mg per day.
Vitamins that help improve fertility
If you are taking a prenatal vitamin to help improve your fertility you should also make sure it contains vitamin B6, manganese and zinc.
Other factors to consider when choosing a prenatal vitamin
You also need to take into account other factors such as the size of the supplement (smaller vitamins are easier to swallow than large ones – especially if you do get pregnant and are suffering from morning sickness). If you can’t stomach swallowing your supplement you might even prefer one that you can chew or dissolve in water as an alternative.
Price might also be a contributing factor to which brand you purchase. Don’t always assume that the most expensive brand is going to be the best – most supplements are quite similar in composition, so read the labels carefully to decide.
There are many great prenatal vitamins that are available at your health food or grocery store that will not only help improve your fertility but also put you in your best shape when you do conceive.