Am I a terrible person for NOT taking prenatals? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't like them. They don't make me sick but I do feel like I burp up a lot of fishy taste. Not good for morning sickness.
I eat pretty well, get lots of fresh fruit and good, organic food. I make nearly everything I eat and only eat out occasionally.
I'll add here that I don't drink milk due to the fact that it makes my eczema worse. My dh said last night that the baby needed the vit d from the milk. I'm wondering now if I'm screwing this whole thing up?
Should I go back to drinking milk?
Should I absolutely take the prenatal vitamins?
I will if I should but just thought good food should be enough. Am I wrong?
TIA for the advice.
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#2 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Are you taking at least folic acid and a calcium supplement? I think as long as you do that, you're probably fine, but you probably do need something. Last pregnancy the vitamins made me throw up every single time I took them, so my OB had me taking them only every other day...

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#3 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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A lot of women can't handle prenatal vitamins in the first trimester- and there are a lot of moms here at MDC who don't do prenatal vitamins at all. As long as you are eating a well balanced diet your baby will be fine. If you are worried about your vit. D- go outside and get some sunshine for 5-10 minutes each day- that will take care of it (no sunscreen then, btw).

I also can't do milk- during pregnancy I drink some soy milk- though not a huge amount, and have found that late in pregnancy if I start getting leg cramps that taking a calcium and magnesium suppliment at bedtime helps that.

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#4 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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I'm not taking them this time around. I was sick for so long and just now starting to feel better at 22 weeks. I did take folic acid while TTC and during the first 6 weeks or so. Then I stopped everything.

For a LONG time all I could eat was cereal in milk. The cereal had added folic acid so I was not too concerned.

No, you are not a bad person. I think most of us here eat a varied diet and get what we need from real food.
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#5 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I totally skipped the prenatals with all of my children. They turned out perfectly healthy. Prenatals are good, of course, but you do not need them to have a healthy baby.

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#6 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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I take prenatals, just to be on the safe side (mostly concerned about folic acid). I don't think they're necessary. My GP once told me that I needed to take them, because we can't get enough nutrition to support a healthy pregnancy just from food. All I can say is...WOW! The human race never supported a healthy pregnancy until...what?...100 years ago, if that?

How can we possibly need prenatal vitamins? They haven't existed that long, and millions and millions of healthy babies have been born without them.

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#7 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Whole Grain Total. Eat more than a serving. Eat healthy foods without chemicals. You'll be fine. There are no studies that prove prenatals to prevent anything. I quit mine once I realized they were making my morning sickness worse. My body knows what it needs and being repelled by the sight of the vitamin bottle meant something to me.

I am also having a relatively easy pregnancy, but in the beginning months I was very concerned about how it would go. Enriched foods will get you there just the same as a vitamin, if not better. Unless the prenatal vitamin is time released, most of the overdosage will just be expelled from your system.

That's how I see it, anyway. I believe it to be common sense. If you can stomach a regular vitamin even every other day, or even just a folate supplement, that would likely suffice if you are eating healthy.

JMHO

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#8 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I don't think prenatals are mandatory but I think your diet would need to be pretty darn good to be skipping them altogether. Have you tried New Chapter brand? I hear from a number of people that they are the least likely to cause nausea.

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#9 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I take prenatals, just to be on the safe side (mostly concerned about folic acid). I don't think they're necessary. My GP once told me that I needed to take them, because we can't get enough nutrition to support a healthy pregnancy just from food. All I can say is...WOW! The human race never supported a healthy pregnancy until...what?...100 years ago, if that?

How can we possibly need prenatal vitamins? They haven't existed that long, and millions and millions of healthy babies have been born without them.

Are you aware of how much our food has changed over that last 100 years? Polution, genetic manipulation, fertilizers, etc.

Something to think about.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#10 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I couldn't do prenatal tablets/capsules either, I even tried New Chapter, but they made me gag too. I found Isotonix Prenatal- it is a powder that you mix with water (kind of like Emergen-C) and I love it. Does not make me nauseous in the least. And as far as vitamin D goes, depending on where you live in the country you probably should be supplementing anyways. (Most people do not get enough D and are deficient I take drops for that (D3) equivalent to 2000 IU's per day. (I'm in WI where we get NO vit D from the sun in the wintertime.) The drops are pretty benign- they don't make me nauseous at all either.

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#11 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Do you have midwife you could ask? I started taking them then forgot sometimes, now I haven't taken them for 3.5 weeks. I saw my mw on Tuesday and I was honest about it but she said my bloodwork looked good and I eat well so she was not worried. I am not either. I personally don't have a lot ofo faith in vitamins b/c I feel they are so processed that you body doesn't really absorb much from them. I prefer to use nutrition and herbal teas. Right now I am drinking a mix of various herbs, including red raspberry leaf, once a day. At work i will occasioanlly have a Carnation instant breakfast. Not great since it has a lot of sugar but I its only once in awhile so it can't hurt too much either I feel. You could just take a folic acid supplement if you are really worried. Thats all alot of my European friends take per their docs.

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#12 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I take prenatals, just to be on the safe side (mostly concerned about folic acid). I don't think they're necessary. My GP once told me that I needed to take them, because we can't get enough nutrition to support a healthy pregnancy just from food. All I can say is...WOW! The human race never supported a healthy pregnancy until...what?...100 years ago, if that?

How can we possibly need prenatal vitamins? They haven't existed that long, and millions and millions of healthy babies have been born without them.
Yes, this is precisely what I have been wondering.
The only answer I have been able to find for myself is that we are living very different lifestyles than most of our ancestors. If I was spending most of my time outside every day, eating only vibrant food straight from the earth, and not breathing in exhaust fumes every time I go outside (I live in a city) I would definitely feel that no, I don't need them. But since my modern lifestyle involves being mostly inside, having to go to the gym to exercise, having most of my food (even if whole and organic) being far from the ground in which it grew, and unwilling/unwitting exposure to numerous chemical stresses every day, I feel less secure about not taking them.
Though I would still like to believe that I am healthy and nourished enough not to need them...

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#13 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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Prenatals (as with any vitamin) has to be really easily digested or they are worthless. They are going straight through you (as in whole, can be seen on xrays or in poop - whole). Some are fine and digest well but just becareful what you are taking. Chewable and liquids are the best. But if you can't do that I don't think you are hurting anything.

You def don't need milk. Its difficult for your body to digest and if you have eczema I am guessing you are allergic to milk proteins. So you def should not have it. I don't drink it because of that very thing. You can get vit d in fish oils and salmon, tuna etc. You are gonna get more Vit d from 1 tbs of cod liver oil than for all the milk you drink in a day.

Go find out how much is recommend each day and what foods have those in them. I think you will be surprised at how well you really are doing. Vits on the other hand have huge amount because its so difficult for your body to break them down so you are only getting a small percentage. (if they break down at all)

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#14 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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I take prenatals and have since before I was pg, I take Rainbow light and I really like them. That said I stopped taking them at the end of my pregnancy with my DD, I had end of pregnancy nausea for the last few weeks and couldn't take them. I realize now though I probably should have tried to get a chewable or liquid because after her birth my blood was checked and I was really anemic, so bad that they couldn't believe I still had color and was even functioning. I feel for my circumstances that I'll try to do a chewable later in my pregnancy this time.

The last few days I have taken 2 of my DD's kids vitamins to get my folic acid at 800mcg, today I took my prenatal because I haven't been feeling so cruddy.

About the milk thing-it's funny I had not drank cow milk for years(like 10) before getting pg with DD, at about 5 months it hit me one day, I need milk!!! I had to go buy a half gallon of og 2% right then. From that day on I guzzled the milk, like a half gallon every 2 days. I feel bodies usually can tell you what they need.

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#15 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Proud2BeAnAmerican View Post
Are you aware of how much our food has changed over that last 100 years? Polution, genetic manipulation, fertilizers, etc.

Something to think about.
Yes, I'm aware. I'm also aware that nobody in my mom's circle of friends (40 years ago or a little less) took prenatals, and we were all healthy. I'm aware that quite a few people in my circle of friends didn't take prenatals, and their kids are healthy. I'm aware that I've known people who think they're "covered" because they take a prenatal, and then they eat crap. I'm aware that I didn't take prenatals in my last pregnancy, and my little guy was, as far as anyone can tell, healthy as can be until whatever it was (probably an infection that I had picked up) killed him during labour.

Our food supply has changed, yes. It still seems bizarre to me to assert that it's not possible to eat well enough to support a healthy pregnancy, without supplementation. Do the broccoli and greens I eat have as many vitamins in them as the ones my mom or her mom ate? Probably not. I've never seen anything to suggest that they're so lacking that 8-10 servings a day doesn't provide nutrition, yk? Are today's organic eggs as good as eggs off the farm 150 years ago? Possibly not...but they're not completely nutritionally void, either.

By the "our food supply has changed" argument, we might as well all eat Frankenfood all day, and take a vitamin with each meal.

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#16 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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: StormBride!!

I have to admit that I have always been terrible at remembering to take my prenatals. Sometimes I remembered, they made me feel terribly nauseous, so I often ended up vomiting them again.

I do eat very well though. Lots of fruits, veggies and varied diet.
My babies are all healthy. I lost twins, but that was a due to to TTTS, and anyway, I was taking prenatals regularly then...

Yes, taking vitamins is a great thing, but to it is also true that in our day and age, most people living in a developed country can more than cover their nutritional needs if they choose to eat well.
Maybe some doctors tend to make us feel so terrible about not taking prenatals because they don't trust us to make wise nutritional choices?
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#17 of 33 Old 02-18-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I don't take them. I took them the first few weeks of my last pregnancy then stopped shortly before my 2nd trimester (I was maybe 10 weeks along). My midwife knows I don't take any, she doesn't even reccomend them to women unless they feel that they need or want to.
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#18 of 33 Old 02-19-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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Since I don't eat as much organic and unprocessed foods as I should...we are just starting to get into some of that, I take the prenatals. Plus I feel a difference on the days I take them vs the days I don't. I have more energy the days I do. I do take the natural ones from my chiro physician or the natural health store, not from Walmart!

With that said, I could not take them regularly till about 5 months. The first 3 months I had severe morning sickness so I ended up just taking DDs natural gummy vitamins until I could stomach the prenatals. Also with DD I took the prescription vites as that is all I knew at the time and she is very healthy...though we do give her probiotics and mulit vit/mineral everyday too. I think vitamins are important and in the real world I don't eat perfectly. Now if I grew my own veggies and fruits and bought organic meats and dairy (which will never happen), I might forgo some vitamins but not all.

ETA: though this is yet again another personal perference and everyone has to do their own research and make an informed decision for their family.
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#19 of 33 Old 02-19-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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I just couldn't take prenatals at all for the first 14-17 weeks with both pregnancies. I am about 4 weeks today and I gagged up my pills today already!! I used to chew the kids vitamins. I also had a horrible diet due to nausea and food aversion but my kids seem healthy and cute!!LOL
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#20 of 33 Old 02-19-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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Just a thought - Prenatals are making me sick this time around plus I have really severe morning sickness and the aftertaste really aggrivates it so I take mine right before I go to sleep at night. So far it's worked really well for me.
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#21 of 33 Old 02-21-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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dude, if the stars aren't aligned completely right, and i don't eat the right thing with my morning vitamins, my prenatals make me feel nauseated as crap--and i'm not even pregnant! but i'm nursing and we're planning to TTC sometime in the next several months, so i figured i might as well take prenatals. i'd say folic acid is the most important thing about them, so as long as you're getting enough of that you're probably fine.

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#22 of 33 Old 02-21-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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I don't take them. I can't even take any regular multivitamins (not even children's chewables). Too hard on my stomach. But, I do watch what I eat during pregnancy and oddly both last time and time time crave dark leafy greens (spinach and kale and such) and yogurt - so maybe that's helping me get my fix of folic acid and calcium and such.

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#23 of 33 Old 02-21-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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I didnt take them with either of my kids because I was SO sick. They both turned out VERY healthy

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#24 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 01:35 AM
 
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I took New Chapter as long as the first bottle lasted, and then when I got Rainbow Lite after that, they made me sick so I was really inconsistent and basically stopped.

I might be one of the few that didn't take them and can honestly say I should have. I had some problems after the birth that wouldn't have been eliminated by taking them, but could have been mitigated. DS is really healthy though despite a few allergies I'm confident he'll outgrow, my body gave him all he needed. I needed them though to help my body detox everything from the pregnancy.

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#25 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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You can supplement with just D3 if you're concerned about D. I think choosing a few supplements that you have reason to believe you need is more reasonable than taking a huge pill of synthetics that your body may or may not absorb very well, and feeling covered by that.

I don't do prenatals. I took folic acid from the day of conception throughout the first trimester, but I took less than recommended because I was getting lots of the natural sources of folate already. I have some targeted supplements for times I feel I need extra of something (A & D for when I'm not feeling like taking cod liver oil, vitamin E occasionally, B complex occasionally, magnesium occasionally, a general mineral complex for when I get too lazy to make herbal infusions), I have some "superfood" type supplements which I eat regularly (Cod liver oil, fish oil, kelp, bee pollen, dessicated organ meat blend), I eat really well in general, and I do herbal infusions of nettle and RRL, both of which have really concentrated nutrient content.

How you prepare food also makes a difference when it comes to mining the nutritional content of food -- that's another thing that's changed over the past 100 years, how food is prepared. Grains are more nutritious when they're soaked or sprouted, veggies are more bioavailable and have more beneficial bacteria when fermented, etc etc. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting used to be common practices among our grandmothers, which is part of why they got more nutrition from their food.

Herbal infusions also was a much more common practice among our ancestors than it is today. Our ancestors also ate more and better sources of fish, drank raw milk, etc etc. A lot of things are different about our food today than it used to be, so I understand the concern that food isn't giving us what it used to. But we can remedy that!

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#26 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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I am taking folic acid for the few months before conceiving (that is when it is important) and do not plan on taking any prenatals while pregnant.

With my first pregnancy, I did not take anything besides Floradix towards then end as my iron levels were dropping quite a bit.

The whole concept of taking vitamins, especially in pill form, is just strange to me. The absorption rates are really low and it won't do anything to make inhaling exhaust fumes or eating artificial food any better.

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#27 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Thanks, everyone for a balanced discussion regarding something I've been thinking about. :

My experience has been different with each pregnancy. With baby #1, I was taking folic acid b/c I had been on the pill for YEARS. I took regular multi + folic acid and then after awhile switched to a prenatal.

With #2 I used a different brand of prenatal and they made me ill (taking them at night is a good trick ) so I didn't take them much in the first tri. Then I took them occasionally.

I am so sick this pregnancy, I can't even look at prenatals!!! Plus, I was reading some of the recent research that suggests that the people and children who need vitamins the most are the least likely to get them. Those of us with some food awareness and healthy lifestyles really don't need vitamins- I think.

I am a foodie, but even the flour at my local mill is fortified, it's hard to get away from fortified food anymore, even though I shop exclusively quality organics/local/wild food. So there is some 'insurance' there but the real insurance is in eating well, quality organic, homegrown and wild. Like I said, in my case, food and the care of it is a big part of my life, so I may be atypical, but I believe I can sustain a healthy pregnancy without taking prenatals every day.

However, I usually buy a bottle and set them on my counter. 'Cause I do worry just like we all do.

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#28 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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I skipped them because I was worried about lead, etc. they are often contaminated with. Folic acid is in greens and whole grains. Vitamin D - are you getting direct sunlight every day? I'm surprised to see so many women here recommending artificial, synthetic junk. Food is always the best source; vitamins are a safety net.

I'd recommend tracking what you eat at http://www.fitday.com - see what you get enough of, and what you need to add to your diet.
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#29 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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My OB (DO not MD so he is a little more about the over all body, rather then seeing pg as an illness) took me off all prenatals. I was SO sick and basically he said "if you were in a 3rd world country or extremely underweight, I would want you to take them, but honeslty, you are neither, you have fine, your baby will be fine, and if they make you sick, what is the point, you aren't getting any benefit at all". I might try them again since my MS has gotten better, but honestly, I feel better not taking them.
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#30 of 33 Old 02-22-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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As a result of modern farming practices, soil depletion has caused most of our food (including organic) to be drastically lacking in vitamins and minerals and far inferior to the foods our ancestors ate, even our parents and grandparents. This has been scientifically proven and is un-debatable.

I don't worry too much about prenatals BUT I do make sure to take a superfood supplement every day (Vitamineral Green if anyonme wants to know) since the nutrients in real superfoods are far more bioavailable than any regular multivitamin.

Also, in the first part of pregnancy it is essential to get enough folic acid, so I'd make sure to be consuming that one way or another, no matter what.
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