Organic Prenatal Vitamins: Taking The Best When You Are Pregnant

When you’re ready to have a baby, you should start planning your prenatal vitamin regime well before conception. You’ll want to especially make sure you get enough of the B vitamin folate before you conceive, because it apparently decreases the risk of neural tube defects in developing babies. Organic proponents contend organic vitamins are best because they come from organic foods.

A multivitamin is a good idea, and many brands carry preparations specially formulated for pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are often high in iron and calcium, in addition to folate. The iron helps the mother’s and baby’s red blood cells carry oxygen. The calcium helps maintain the mother’s bone density. You should talk to your health care provider about which prenatal vitamins are right for you. Organic vitamins won’t make up for an unhealthy diet, but help close the nutritional gaps.

Pregnancy And B Vitamin Folate

The most important pregnancy vitamin may be one of the B vitamins, folate. The government’s Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) guide calls for 600 micrograms of folate daily. But many doctors set the dose at getting 1,000 micrograms (one milligram) daily, both preconception and during the pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe this vitamin for you. Adequate folate levels during the first month after conception appear to greatly reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the developing baby. Neural tube defects affect brain and spinal cord development, resulting in spina bifida and anencephaly. Spina bifida poses a range of disabilities depending on the degree to which part of the spinal cord is unprotected.  With anencephaly, the brain does not develop. The baby dies soon after birth.

Most Other Vitamin Needs Increase

It’s probably a good idea to take a standard multivitamin before and during pregnancy, in addition to a healthy diet. After all, you are your baby’s only source of vitamins. Most the DRI vitamin recommendations change during pregnancy. Adult pregnant women need an extra 70 micrograms of vitamin E for a total of 770 mcg. The vitamin C recommendation increase 10 milligrams, to 85 mg. Thiamin and riboflavin recommendations each increase from 1.1 mg to 1.4 mg. For niacin, the increase is from 14 mg to 18 mg. For B6, it increases from 1.3 mg to 1.9 mg. The increase for B12 is from 2.4 mcg to 2.6 mcg. Pantothenic acid increases from 5 mg to 6 mg. Requirements for vitamin D remain unchanged at 5 mcg. Vitamin E remains at 15 mg, vitamin K remains at 15 mcg and biotin remains at 30 mcg. Excess amounts of vitamins A and D can cause birth defects.
Sometimes prenatal vitamins cause nausea in the already nauseous pregnant woman. Your health care provider may be able to prescribe a different kind of prenatal vitamins if that happens.

How To Tell If  It’s Organic

Organic vitamins are derived from organic products that were not subjected to irradiation, sewage sludge. If a food product is “100 percent organic,” that’s what the label will say. If the label says the product is “organic,” at least 95 percent of the ingredients in a processed product have been organically produced. If the label says “made with organic,” the product has 70 to 95 percent organic ingredients. If the content of organic ingredients is less than 70 percent, the label can only list which organic ingredients are used. 

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