The world of Prenatal Vitamins can sometimes be overwhelming...well, if you let it be. Many women just go to the store, pick out a prenatal vitamin and call it a day. But I wanted to know exactly what it was that I was putting into my body, especially if it was going to be transmitted to my baby.
First off, I started taking Folic Acid last August in preparation for getting pregnant. Folic Acid is the best thing you can take pre-pregnancy, but I kind of wish I had started on actual prenatal vitamins at least a month or two before becoming pregnant, just for an extra boost of all those essential vitamins.
When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't want to wait until my 8 week appointment to start taking whichever prenatal vitamins the doctor recommended to me. So, I set out to do a bit of my own research and preparation on what to take. I literally spent an entire 8 hour work day (hey...my boss was out of town) doing research of various vitamins. There are a million gazillion vitamins out there, and a million gazillion reviews on why you should and shouldn't take each of them.
Before I met with my doctor, I was taking a vitamin from Whole Foods called Super Nutrition Prenatal. Right now, I'm taking a prescription from my doctor called PreNate Essential that I trusted to be good, and seemed to hit all the right marks. It costs us $50 a month from the pharmacy, but I think it's worth it.
A lot of people seem to take and like the Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins. I stayed away from them because I read two reports that said there may be a link between taking anything with Red Raspberry Leaf in your first trimester and miscarriage (read "side effects" here), and yet red raspberry leaf is found in quite a few prenatal vitamins. It's in very small amounts and I know that people take these types of vitamins every single day and are fine - but because there were a few "possible" reports that some women may have had trouble with it...it was enough for me to want to avoid it altogether in my prenatal vitamin, at least for the first trimester. Even the Whole Foods 365 brand prenatal vitamins have Red Raspberry Leaf.
I also learned that the Nature Maid Prenatal vitamins with DHA have Red40 in them, which is known to be harmful to children and obviously, a developing fetus. It's astounding to me some of the products out there. I was taking the Nature Maid Folic Acid for 6 months, so after I read this I went home and sure enough - that had Red40 in it too! ARRRG! (read article here)
I've been lucky that I haven't had any trouble taking my vitamins, but many women report feeling nauseous and/or throwing up from their vitamins. I always used to take mine at dinner with a big meal because I honestly just assumed that was when I should take it. But then I read the box and it said to take 2-3 hours after a meal. So, now I take them at night before bed. It helps me remember to take them better anyway, and should it happen to upset my stomach at some point, I'll just sleep it off.
What about you? What prenatal vitamins are you taking? Do you like them? Did you have any trouble deciding on what to take or was the decision easy?