Home Women's Wellness What Are Prenatal Vitamins?

What Are Prenatal Vitamins?

by Gauri Kolhe

Prenatal vitamins are the nutrient supplement required by women. They contain daily vitamins and minerals needed before or during pregnancy such as iron and folic acid.

A prenatal vitamin is a type of multivitamin that provides basic nutrients specifically for pregnant women. As compared to other supplements they have more nutrients best for pregnant and lactating women.

Doctors prescribe to take nutrient supplements daily for the proper growth and prenatal development. They protect the body and helps to keep vitamin and mineral balance.

Which is necessary for the growth of the fetus and the safety of the pregnancy. Furthermore, a balanced diet is also required for fertile mothers besides nutrient supplements.

While having pregnancy gynecologists suggest using prenatal multivitamins to deliver a healthy child.

They contain vitamin D, calcium, iron, iodine, and folic acid in an adequate amount. As well as zinc, thiamine, magnesium and vitamin A, B, C, E for balanced health.

Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

The key importance to use prenatal vitamins is to get extra folic acid. Pregnancy may not necessarily be planned so folic acid is suggested for all young women.

It is necessary to take prenatal multivitamins because it provides an extra amount of nutrients. Folic acid aids in the development of the brain and spinal cord of your baby.

It also decreases critical birth imperfection anencephaly and spine bifida. Calcium provides a shield to the bones as the fetus starts growing.

Vitamins provide necessary vitamins and minerals for prenatal growth inside the mother. So the use of these vitamins is important even in nauseous conditions due to improper diet.

Because only food does not fulfill the required nutrients during pregnancy. The body needs multivitamins from dietary intake to get healthy and secure. The growing fetus gets all the essential nutrients from the mother.

In this regard, the body needs good nutrition during the fertility process. Thus nutrient supplements execute the right amount necessary for childbirth.

During the development, stages the body requires a high amount of nutrients. If these needs are not accomplished then a nutrient supplement is a must for the safety of your baby.

These are not only required during nine months but also before conceiving and after delivery. Start using these when you stop birth control and tend to conceive. So these supplements would help conceive a baby and for its growth.

Prenatal Vitamins Deficiency

Mineral and vitamin deficiency may cause serious disorders and fetal and maternal problems. 

  • Folic acid deficiency may lead to serious birth defects known as the neural tube. In which the spine of a baby child is not fully developed. This abnormal condition leading to nerve damages. And a child may have paralysis, mental retardation, and incontinence. 
  • Calcium deficiency causes cleft palate and cleft lip. Due to improper formation of mouth or lip in early pregnancy. Calcium can prevent the mother from losing bone density. Because the fetus requires minerals for growth.
  • Iron deficiency leads to anemia due to decreased level of iron in the body. Iron helps in carrying oxygen in the baby and mother’s body. 
  • Vitamin D deficiency causes pre-eclampsia leading to mortality of both infant and mother. Other risk factors are neonatal hypocalcemia, autoimmune diseases, bone fragility, and weak postnatal growth. 
  • Preeclampsia is a pregnancy difficulty that affects the organ system and blood pressure.

Different types of Prenatal Vitamin

Prenatal vitamins are available in different forms such as capsules, liquids, and pills. They may be vegan or organic don not have a standard formula.

Their ingredients depend on the products. Some important nutrients are given below have the main role in infant development for pregnancy.

  • Iron is the main mineral for the fetus and placental development. As well as it is also important for the elevation of red blood cells in women. To prevent iron deficiency pregnant women should take 30 milligrams of iron per day.
  • Calcium is an important mineral that helps in infants’ teeth, bones, heart, nerves, and muscle development. Pregnant women require 1000 milligrams of calcium per day through diet and supplements.
  • Folic acid is the vitamin B that is required for the development and healthy growth of each in the body. Pregnant women require 400-800 milligrams of folic acid per day to avert birth defects.

Other vitamins and supplements 

  • Iodine helps in the functioning and development of the thyroid gland. Pregnant women need 220-290 micrograms of iodine per day to develop an infant’s nervous system.
  • Vitamin A is required for the development of skin and eyes. Its deficiency causes night blindness. Pregnant women need 770 micrograms of vitamin A daily.
  • Vitamin C aids in wound healing and tissue repair and also helps in bones and teeth development.
  • Zinc aids in the normal development of the infant and improves birth weight.

How to Use Prenatal vitamins

  • To get the greatest benefits to stick to the given instructions and use them according to the prescription. Most of the medicines work premier when used along with water.

Before use must choose the type of nutrient supplement that limits the side effects.

  • Prefer to use such vitamins that are easy to approach and cost-effective and provides the best results.
  • Make sure that the product is sealed and approved by pharmaceutical organizations. Because the authorized organizations supply attested quality and assure seal.

Common Side Effects of Multivitamins

Some women face episodes of side effects who have a weak immune system. Common side effects are given below;

  • Constipation: By reducing the dose of iron risk of constipation can be decreased. Use more fibrous food, drink water, and perform physical activity to prevent constipation.
  • Changes in the Skin: The nutrient mixture present in the supplements may exhibit changes in the skin. Such as peeling of the skin, discoloring, skin rash, and itching.
  • Allergic Reactions: In case of skin rash and allergy-like redness, swelling, cracked skin, scaling of skin consult your physician instantly.
  • Nausea: Most women experience morning sickness during pregnancy and supplements may increase it. Dark stool, low appetite, stomach cramps, and diarrhea are also included in their side effects.


In short, multivitamins cannot fulfill the benefits of a well-nourished diet but they help to maintain nutrients.

At the time of pregnancy or before conceiving every woman needs an extra amount of nutrients. So these multivitamins provide nourishment to women and infants.

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