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You know you need to take prenatal vitamins – that’s been hammered into you by your mother, your doctor and everyone else, but do you know why? Do you know what they really are? Before you go to the store and pick up a bottle, understand the basics of pregnancy vitamins.

What are Prenatal Vitamins?

Prior to getting pregnant, you may not have had the best diet, and that’s okay – it’s your body, and while it pays to be healthy, you have choices to make about what health means to you. If you were living on a fast food diet, that was your decision.

Now that you’re pregnant, however, you have a baby to think about – a baby that can’t thrive off of trans fats and French fry grease. This is why doctors recommend that pregnant women switch to a balanced diet, but there’s also room for a margin of error. And since you can’t get everything from food, this is where prenatal vitamins come in. They’re not just for your health, but also your baby’s.

Prenatal vitamins are designed to contain the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to help give birth to a healthy baby. These vitamins help fill in the gaps in your own diet by providing for example large quantities of calcium, folic acid, iron and iodine to both mother and child.

These vitamins are extremely important for child growth and development. For instance, folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects and promotes spinal cord and brain development. Because these defects occur so soon after conception, it’s strongly recommended that any woman not on birth control, and who is sexually active, take folic acid daily in order to help combat birth defects in case they do get pregnant.

What Should a Prenatal Vitamin Include?

According to Web MD, look for these compounds and amounts in your own prenatal vitamin:

  • 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
  • 400 IU of vitamin D.
  • 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
  • 70 mg of vitamin C.
  • 3 mg of thiamine.
  • 2 mg of riboflavin.
  • 20 mg of niacin.
  • 6 mcg of vitamin B12.
  • 10 mg of vitamin E.
  • 15 mg of zinc.
  • 17 mg of iron.
  • 150 micrograms of iodine.

If you want to take the guesswork out, I am personally vouching (and taking during my own pregnancy) this one: Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Vitamins. I buy mine on iHerb.com (http://ch.iherb.com/Garden-of-Life-Vitamin-Code-Raw-Prenatal-180-Veggie-Caps/39196). If you would like to try this website out, you can use discount code SCB965 on your first order. By using it, you will save USD 5-10.

When Should You Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?

Remember how even women who aren’t trying to get pregnant should take folic acid in the off chance of conception? It’s vital that unborn babies start off in the right environment for growth, so set up your own child for success right out of the gate. It’s recommended that you take prenatal vitamins for up to three months before you even start trying to get pregnant to ensure that neurological defects don’t occur.

Take your prenatal vitamins before you go to bed. Once you get pregnant, you’ll likely experience morning sickness, so taking your vitamins nightly ensures they stay down. You may also want to look into taking other vitamins or supplements in case your prenatal vitamins don’t contain enough of a certain compound. Crosscheck the above list and supplement accordingly.

Do you need more support?

Part of my Radical Wellness mission is to help you interpret what your body’s telling you. When you tune in and listen, you fast track your ability to create, enjoy, and maintain Radical Wellness! If you’d like help on your journey, I’d love to support you. When you register today for a Radical Wellness Wakeup Call session, a 60 minutes deep dive with me, you will get an individualized action plan that will help you reach your goals! Click here for details.

I know investing in your health may feel like a luxury. But Radical Wellness is actually the ultimate necessity. Without your body, you can’t enjoy the amazing life you have. So what are you waiting for?

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