Prenatal vitamins- WHY, if your nutrition is good? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never really understood why it's a requirement to so many midwives and OB's to take these if you are eating multiple servings of the proper veggies, fruits, protein and everything else that is good nutrition-wise for pregnancy. If our anscestors for years and years were able to go without them and deliver normal babies, why do it?

 

Ok, the reason I hate them: They make me puke most times I ingest them, they leave an AWFUL metalic taste in my mouth and they're so big, it takes forever just to go down my esophagus. 

 

Also, when I have actually ingested them, I feel no different. I don't feel less "sick", I don't feel healthier or happier (some have claimed this happens to them).

 

I just wonder if I am the only one that has distain for them? If I forget to take one for the day, my husband panics and says "Quick!! Take one now! You HAVE to have them!"

 

So...why, exactly? I eat healthier than all of my pregnant friends, I'm completely addicted to all of the veggies that the prenatal provides in their supplement information.

 

What is YOUR opinion on the matter?


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#2 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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With my first, I took prenatals and fish oil when we started trying to get pregnant, all through the pregnancy, and the first 6 months I breastfed. My opinion then was better safe than sorry.

 

With this pregnancy, I decided to get what I needed from food only, but I realized that it's very hard. At 24 weeks pg, I started taking prenatals/fish oil again, and I feel a whole lot better. I don't eat processed foods, I cook everything myself, and eat lots of veggies and good fats (I'm a traditional foods-type), but it was still hard for me to get everything from food.

 

My opinion now is to listen to your body. In my case, I feel so much better taking them that I feel like I need them. In your case, if you don't feel differently when you take them, and you are eating a variety of foods, I say don't bother. 

 

I would just like to add that if you do still want to take them, there are lots of options. If one type of vitamin makes you feel sick, try another, like New Chapter that is made from food.

 


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#3 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bignerpie View Post

With my first, I took prenatals and fish oil when we started trying to get pregnant, all through the pregnancy, and the first 6 months I breastfed. My opinion then was better safe than sorry.

 

With this pregnancy, I decided to get what I needed from food only, but I realized that it's very hard. At 24 weeks pg, I started taking prenatals/fish oil again, and I feel a whole lot better. I don't eat processed foods, I cook everything myself, and eat lots of veggies and good fats (I'm a traditional foods-type), but it was still hard for me to get everything from food.

 

My opinion now is to listen to your body. In my case, I feel so much better taking them that I feel like I need them. In your case, if you don't feel differently when you take them, and you are eating a variety of foods, I say don't bother. 

 

I would just like to add that if you do still want to take them, there are lots of options. If one type of vitamin makes you feel sick, try another, like New Chapter that is made from food.

 


Thanks! I'm taking Rainbow Light. I will have to check out New Chapter...

 


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#4 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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I also am a healthy eater, but take vitamins.  They say (and I'm not going to take the time to look it up) that the average produce these days has a lot less vitamins and minerals in it than a few generations ago.   We've depleted the soil with poor farming and pesticides.   So, it takes a lot more to get what you need, even if you're eating organic, home-cooked stuff.   Bummer!

 

I take a multi, fish oil, and vitamin D.   I haven't been sick once this pregnancy, even though DH has had 2 colds, and I'm a teacher interacting with many people.    re: vitamins making you sick, 1st trimester folate is acceptable to take instead of a multi, and you might try a vitamin w/o iron as that can make lots of people queasy.   then you could either eat plenty of iron-rich foods (meat), or take a liquid iron supplement that shouldn't make you sick.

 

All that being said, your babe would almost certainly be fine w/o vitamins.   To me, it's a question of intangibles - I'm sure my babe would be fine w/o vitamins, but I also think maybe good nutrition and good supplementation can help the babe have a stronger foundation to start off life.   Maybe a bit better immunity, better brain function (omegas),  better genes (fewer predispositions to disease).   Things we can't really measure right now.   

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#5 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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I hear you about vitamins leaving a bad taste in your mouth or making you sick. I can only take mine right after dinner and only the gel-cap ones, so they don't leave a taste on my tongue.


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#6 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I just found out I'm pregnant, we've been TTC for 2 months now and I've done a lot of research. I don't plan on taking any vitamins or supplements besides B12. I'm vegan, and have several friends who are vegan and have happy healthy babies, some even on the chubby side, nursing from vegan moms.I can and do get all the vitamins and minerals from my diet besides B12, which doesn't come from animals it comes from bacteria. If I were to eat food straight from the ground or drink straight from the lake I'd get plenty of B12. I eat almost all whole foods, cook my own and eat a lot raw.

 

To me it's a personal choice. A lot of people say better safe than sorry, but there is also a saying, Too much of a good thing is bad, and I have heard of theories of some birth defects that are on the rise being due to too much of one vitamin or another. I let my regular doc check me for any deficiencies he wants, as often as he wants, since he is against my diet. And I will tell my midwife the same thing, I'll take your vitamins when you can prove I need them.


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#7 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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I have been too sick to take vitamins through any of my pregnancies, including this one.  I also have a terrible carb-filled diet and can hardly stomach veggies, though I do eat plenty of fruit.  I have 2 wonderful, very bright, healthy children- and another on the way. 

 

Your body will provide for your baby.  Our bodies were meant to provide for babies long before vitamins.  Through famine, plagues- women still bore healthy children.  Our bodies are amazing things.


 
 
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#8 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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I am like you, I have total disdain for vitamins (prenatal or otherwise).  They are mostly a racket.  Here's a good article about why:

 

http://www.slate.com/id/2240688/

 

I've only taken folic acid, since there is some science behind that that hasn't been disproved yet, but only during the first trimester and not every day.  I have three healthy children. 

 

I think the reason they stress prenatal vitamins is the same reason many docs don't talk much about nutrition: because most Americans eat crap and having a doctor wag a finger at them isn't going to change that.  My dad has been a type 2 diabetic for years and the doctor he sees regarding his condition never talks to him about what he eats!!  It is easier for them to hand out pills than to try to get people to be educated about nutrition or make healthier choices.  So those of us who do make an effort in that direction just have to ignore the "take your vitamins" mantra if we would prefer not to take them.

 

That having been said, there was a study that came out recently correlating taking prenatal vitamins to a lower risk of autism.  It is only a correlation, and probably not causative, but I was intrigued by it and am interested in what explains the correlation.


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#9 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 12:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmiranda View Post

I think the reason they stress prenatal vitamins is the same reason many docs don't talk much about nutrition: because most Americans eat crap and having a doctor wag a finger at them isn't going to change that.  

 

  Yes, that.

 

Quote:
That having been said, there was a study that came out recently correlating taking prenatal vitamins to a lower risk of autism.  It is only a correlation, and probably not causative, but I was intrigued by it and am interested in what explains the correlation.

 

I read about that too and I think it wasn't the prenatal vitamins per se but the fact that prenatal vits contain 800 mcg of folic acid whereas normal multivits contain only 400. It was definitely related to the folic acid anyway. And I believe the benefit only came from taking the f a preconception and during the first 2 months of pregnancy. After the first 2 months, f a consumption wasn't correlated to autism incidence anymore. If I remember right and we are talking about the same study.

 

I haven't taken a prenatal. They don't recommend them where I live unless you are malnourished or really anemic. I think that comes partly from the fact that most people here have basically passable diets at least, and that there is definitely evidence that artifical vitamins can a) be poorly absorbed or b) actually be harmful outside of deficiency situations. I've kept track of my diet, and honestly it wasn't that great in the first tri. However, I ate very well for over a year before my pregnancy and felt that I had reserves to draw on. If I get pregnant again within a year of giving birth to this one, I will probably take a regular multivitamin due to not having enough time to build up my nutritional reserves and not being able to eat very well in the first tri. I do feel that taking anything beyond 100% of your daily requirements of a vitamin is overkill, unless you are deficient or get no vitamins in your diet.

 

I have taken Floradix on and off and a B complex when I felt that I wasn't getting enough B from my diet. Also vitamin D in winter and fish oil until it made me nauseous to even think of. Occasionally vitamin C and magnesium. So I haven't been supplement-free, just haven't taken a regular prenatal, and I've felt pretty great and high energy after the first tri. I think you should go with how you feel. I know that when I was really depleted a multivitamin really helped my energy levels and mental health, but I haven't felt the need for it at this point.



 


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#10 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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I took prenatals pretty religiously while TTC DS and I TRIED while during the 1st trimester to remember them . . . but didn't do so well. I am just not good at taking pills, any pills, on a regular basis. He seems healthy and happy enough, and smart enough (though that is hard to tell at 19months) regardless.

 

With this pregnancy . . . I remember to take a vitamin maybe once a month. I really am horrible at remembering to do so, and I think it is partly because I think they are a bit silly. I eat as balanced as I can, which includes some not so great stuff, but all in all, I don't do too badly. I really believe baby will get what she needs from me, one way or the other.

 

If you can do it, take vitamins that is, go for it, especially if you feel better for it. If you can't, don't sweat it.

 

And I second the Iron thing; unless you are deficient, don't take an iron supplement. I know they make me feel weird. GNC makes an iron-free prenatal.


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#11 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akind1 View Post

I took prenatals pretty religiously while TTC DS and I TRIED while during the 1st trimester to remember them . . . but didn't do so well. I am just not good at taking pills, any pills, on a regular basis. He seems healthy and happy enough, and smart enough (though that is hard to tell at 19months) regardless.

 

With this pregnancy . . . I remember to take a vitamin maybe once a month. I really am horrible at remembering to do so, and I think it is partly because I think they are a bit silly. I eat as balanced as I can, which includes some not so great stuff, but all in all, I don't do too badly. I really believe baby will get what she needs from me, one way or the other.

 

If you can do it, take vitamins that is, go for it, especially if you feel better for it. If you can't, don't sweat it.

 

And I second the Iron thing; unless you are deficient, don't take an iron supplement. I know they make me feel weird. GNC makes an iron-free prenatal.

 

Yeah, I had to learn this one the hard way. Prunes became by best friend during this time! 
 

 


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#12 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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I think it depends on which type of prenatal vitamin you take.

 

New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal, for instance, includes cultured whole food and sprouted veggies.  Quality prenatals can be a little more pricey, but you can usually find them online cheaper.  Here's some on ebay right now.

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#13 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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i was taking rainbow light but switched to the new chapter ones.. the reason i selected those was b/c they are both food-based and b/c it takes more than one (6 i want to say for the RL and 3 of the NC ones) to make a 'full' dose.  so i can take all of them or none based on how i feel i have eaten that day.

honestly, though, i do not believe in multi vitamins.  when you eat certain foods (like calcium and iron containing things) they tend to prohibit absorption-- they cancel each other out.  likewise certain foods enable more absorption (which is why we cook vitamin c foods and iron foods together in a cast iron pot).. so logically to me, i don't see how all minerals and vitamins can integrate together all at once to absorb or be used correctly in your body.  but i'm not really any kind of sciencey expert, so maybe it makes sense that i don't know about. 

fwiw the new chapter ones are supposed to be very easy on your guts and keep you from feeling ill.  i have no taste of metal or whatever with them either but i didn't have that with the RL ones, either.  (i'm also a little skeptical about the probiotics in the NC ones.. don't probiotics need refrigeration?  these came unrefrigerated from amazon)..


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#14 of 15 Old 06-22-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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Well, because they think that they're not harmful, and at least one good study that I know of has shown them to be beneficial in reducing birth defects (not just folic acid, the whole multivitamin). I think the idea is why not?

 

Besides, even the healthiest eaters can have a rough first trimester in terms of aversions, morning sickness...I still eat a diet that's not as healthy as what I used to eat before I got pregnant.

 

Of course, the cost/benefit changes if they make you miserable. My OB told me it was fine to ditch them if they were making me gag/puke and just take folic acid. I happily agreed until I got into the second trimester, when I started taking some pleasant gummy vitamins and additional iron every few days.

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#15 of 15 Old 06-23-2011, 03:15 AM
 
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I didn't take a single, all-inclusive multi-type prenatal this go-round, but I did take plenty of supplements. At various stages: folic acid, iodine, B-complex, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil, vitamin D, evening primrose oil, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and iron. (Whew!)

 

I had different reasoning for different supplements. Iodine and folic acid are routinely and strongly recommended here - it's VERY hard to get enough of both through diet alone, and in the case of folic acid, I don't tend to eat shop-bought cereals and breads, which, being fortified, are major "dietary" sources of folic acid for a lot of people.Vitamins C and D were largely for preventing me getting a cold in the weeks before delivery. Iron (first Floradix, then cheap supermarket tablets, then prescription iron tablets when my numbers dipped), because I'm prone to anaemia; vitamin C also to help the iron work; magnesium to counter its constipating effects, plus calcium to balance the magnesium, plus I read that taking cal/mag could help with an efficient labout. B-vitamins just because I had them, vaguely mant to relieve stress. EPO to ripen my cervix in the last week or two of labour; zinc because low zinc levels are linked to PPD and poor bonding.

 

Now I've given birth, I'm taking three placenta capsules a day, and whatever other vitamins I feel like taking. I might get my iodine prescription renewed as long as it lasts, despite not being pregnant any more. I should get back into the cod liver oil - I've just been avoiding it because it's vile!


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