Prenatals? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-09-2003, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I am ttc #1 and taking prenatal vitamins. Just general ones from Whole Foods. But they are HUGE And I have trouble swallowing them, as I have a really sensitive gag reflex. Which usually means they get stuck in my throst and I throw them back up. Does anyone know of any smaller (less that horse pill sized) prenatals? Closer to the size of an advil? Or am I just stuck trying to swallow huge ones?

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#2 of 15 Old 01-09-2003, 05:40 PM
 
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I was given samples from my doctor when I was pg with my second. I can't remember the names but one was a chewable, much like children's vitamins. The other was the size of an advil and was a twice a day pill. I really liked that one, but couldn't find a pharmacy that carried it since it was new. This was three years ago so it may be easier to find now.
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#3 of 15 Old 01-10-2003, 12:21 PM
 
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I've been taking a regular multi w/iron, an extra folic acid, and a zinc. I take my calcium separately at breakfast (others are at bedtime) because I read someplace that calcium is absorbed better when not taken w/iron or zinc--I forget which. It's annoying swallowing multiple pills, but they're all pretty small.

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#4 of 15 Old 01-10-2003, 12:49 PM
 
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I've just been taking chewable Centrum. Are pre-natals a lot different or better? If anyone can recommend a chewable brand or one that's small, I'd appreciate it.
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#5 of 15 Old 01-10-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm taking Natures Way, they are pretty big, I'd say a step down from horse pills, anyway I have a very strong gag reflex and what helps is taking it with milk or juice not water or anything "weak" it doens't always help but sometimes it does.

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#6 of 15 Old 01-10-2003, 07:27 PM
 
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Panda, the daily values for some vitamins are different for pregnant women than for other adults. Compare # milligrams on the labels and you'll see. (Prenatal vitamin labels use % daily value for pregnant women, so the % won't look different.) More folic acid, more iron, and more calcium are among the differences. Also, prenatal vitamins generally are more expensive. : That's why I'm taking a cocktail of pills instead.

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#7 of 15 Old 01-10-2003, 07:34 PM
 
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I take the pre-natals from costco. They are smaller than centrum regular, but that may have changed because Costco just brought in a new house label. When I bought mine, they were cheaper than centrum, too, for more vitamins.
Unfortunatly, hubby won't take them, no matter how cheap they are!
Don't forget that you can ask the pharmacist about the vitamins. I get better care from my pharmacist than my doctor sometimes.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-11-2003, 12:38 AM
 
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I've heard of people taking a double dose of children's chewable vitamins. You might look into that.

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#9 of 15 Old 01-12-2003, 10:05 PM
 
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Oh, I can help!!!!!!

I have the worst gag reflex and never learned to swallow pills as a kid or young adult. Would always get chewables (yuck...) or liquids (even bigger yuck....) or crush regular pills and mix with water and sugar - that is what my mom did for me with aspirin as a kid (or aspirin substitute). But some things are time release and you shouldn't take them out of their capsule or crush them.

For years a friend had been telling me take them in a spoonful of applesauce. Never in a million years did I think it would work. IT WORKS! Actually half a spoonful of applesauce is better. You put the prenatal in the applesauce on the spoon (lengthwise with the spoon so you are swallowing the narrower part if you know what I mean). Have a glass of water ready. Swallow the applesauce and chase with the water. You won't even feel the pill! Really! Another helpful thing is to keep the tip of your tongue against your front teeth while you swallow.

All prenatals that I've ever seen are pretty darn large. They are better than regular vitamins (for us) as they have more folic acid which is important to avoid certain birth defects. Something like 800 mg instead of 400 mg in regular adult vitamins. Double check me but I think that is what it is.

I choked on and spat out vitamins through pregnancy #1. I would do it until I would cry. Taking six, eight, ten tries each day to choke it down. It was miserable and I remember crying about it a lot as I thought my baby would be less healthy if I couldn't get them down. Pregnancy #2 I tried the applesauce. What a miracle! This is pregnancy #3 and I use applesauce every day to take them. Without applesauce, I can barely choke down a birth control pill (and those are TINY!)

Try applesauce and let me know how it works for you!
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#10 of 15 Old 01-15-2003, 02:26 AM
 
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I took Twinlab prenatals for every day of pregnancy #1, and thru 18+ months of breastfeeding, and even now, since I'm ttc #2.

The capsules are the size of an ordinary capsule., and I didn't have any problems swallowing them. You take 2 with breakfast, and 2 at dinner. I think spreading out the daily dose of vitamins throughout the day helped me tolerate the vitamins better. Other women I knew who took their prenatals once per day often felt sick or constipated when the big dose of vitamins hit their system.

By the way, the main difference b/t prescription prenatals and over-the-counter ones is that the former often has laxatives to help you deal with the constipation related to increased iron intake. Don't take what you don't need!

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#11 of 15 Old 01-15-2003, 11:32 PM
 
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When I was pg I got 3 diff prscriptn prenatals and couldn't stomach any of them (I think it was the unbuffered iron). I ended up taking my regular multi, plus separate folic acid and Slow FE (time released iron) - all pretty small. While I had the prenatals in hand I compared the contents (by milligrams - good point Envirobecca) and they were all very different, and all had fewer things in them than my regular multi (Bronson #2 with minerals). I did a little reading then (3yrs ago) and read that there are no FDA or industry standards for prenatals. I suspect that many of the prescription ones are a scam to get bucks out of insurance companies--package up an inexpensive multivitamin with some extra folic and iron thrown in, and bill the insurance company for an expensive prescription. (OK, yes, I am a cynic.) My midwives were fairly appalled that i was using regular vitamins instead of prenatals, but they could not give a specific reason, so I took that as a sign that the drug reps do a good sales job. I have since had 2 MDs tell me you can take 2 Flintstones with iron every day and get just as good nutrition. They're not OBs, so they may not be in the know--or they may not be targeted for prenatals by their drug reps. Just my 2c.

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#12 of 15 Old 01-16-2003, 07:17 PM
 
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The 800mg of folic acid is the biggie. As long as you are getting that you can take whatever multi you are comfortable with. I have horrible morning sickness when I am pregnant so by 6 weeks thru 14 weeks I don't take a prenatal at all cause they make me sicker. This was on the advice of my ob. By the time you realize you are pregnant your need for the folic acid has pretty much passed. The baby won't need the nutrients from the vitamin until later in the pregnancy.

Of course I should admit that I don't think that after 6 weeks I remembered to take my vitamin more that 25 or 30 times and my son is fine.
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#13 of 15 Old 01-17-2003, 01:51 AM
 
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Sue, I've heard the same thing about the children's chewable vitamins. When I was pregnant with my daughter I knew some women who took those as they couldn't stomach the other kind and would vomit them up.
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#14 of 15 Old 01-17-2003, 03:21 AM
 
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Is there a recommendation as to how long you should take prenatals prior to getting pregnant?

Thanks
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#15 of 15 Old 01-20-2003, 11:52 PM
 
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Hi CAMommie and welcome! I've read that you should start taking prenatals 3 months prior to TTC, just to be sure you are as healthy as you can be. I think the most important thing is to be sure you are getting all the folic acid you need before you start trying, even if you just start taking it the same month you TTC, you need that folic acid from day one.
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