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Can i take b complex with prenatal vitamins
Pregnancy B Vitamins: How Important Are They?
Taking vitamins while pregnant
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. This is especially true when you’re pregnant. Foods rich in the eight B vitamins (known as B complex) play an important role in supporting a healthy pregnancy.
Mary L. Rosser, MD, PhD, attending physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, explains that, “they keep your body strong while your baby is growing. They also change food into energy, giving you that needed boost during your pregnancy.” This natural energy lift will help if you’re feeling tired during your first and third trimesters.
Each of the B vitamins listed below is packed with benefits for you and your growing baby.
Vitamin B-1: Thiamine
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) plays a huge part in your baby’s brain development. Pregnant women need about 1. 4 milligrams of vitamin B-1 daily. Natural sources of vitamin B-1 are found in:
whole grain pastas
Vitamin B-2: Riboflavin
Like all B vitamins, B-2 (riboflavin) is water soluble. This means that your body doesn’t store it. You must replace it through your diet or prenatal vitamins.
Riboflavin keeps your eyes healthy and your skin look glowing and refreshed. Pregnant women should take 1.4 mg of riboflavin daily. Women who are not pregnant need 1.1 mg daily. The following foods are filled with riboflavin:
Vitamin B-3: Niacin
Vitamin B-3 (niacin) works hard to improve your digestion and nutrient metabolism. Doctors recommend that pregnant women take 18 mg daily. A delicious lunchtime sandwich made with whole-grain bread and fresh tuna salad would be an excellent source of niacin.
Vitamin B-5: Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) helps create hormones and ease leg cramps. Pregnant women need roughly 6 mg of pantothenic acid daily. Breakfast that includes a good amount of B-5 could be scrambled egg yolks, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal.
Follow up with a vitamin B-5-rich lunch of brown rice stir-fry with broccoli and cashew nuts. An afternoon snack of peanut butter-filled cookies and a glass of milk can complete your daily requirements.
Vitamin B-6: Pyridoxine
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) plays a part in your growing baby’s brain and nervous system development. It also is vital for producing norepinephrine and serotonin. These are two important neurotransmitters (signal messengers). Pyridoxine can help ease pregnancy symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
“We often recommend vitamin B-6 for relief of nausea in early pregnancy,” explains Amelia Grace Henning, CNM at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. “Typically, between 25 to 50 mg up to three times a day.” But, doctors advise that pregnant women should not go over the recommended daily dose.
Some natural sources of vitamin B-6 include:
Vitamin B-7: Biotin
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 30 mcg of vitamin B-7 (biotin) during pregnancy (35 mcg for breastfeeding women). Pregnancy can often cause a biotin deficiency. So, make sure you’re getting enough. Vitamin B-7-rich foods include:
Vitamin B-9: Folic acid
Vitamin B-9 (folic acid) might be the most important B vitamin to take during pregnancy. The March of Dimes recommends that women of childbearing age take 400 mcg of vitamin B-9 daily before and after pregnancy.
Your folic acid needs will increase when you become pregnant. Vitamin B-9 can help to reduce your baby’s risk for developing birth defects, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects. Vitamin B is also essential to produce red blood cells.
Taking a prenatal vitamin daily with at least 600 mcg of folic acid, and eating folate-rich foods, will ensure that you get the right amount. Sources of folic acid include:
green, leafy vegetables like spinach
breads and cereals
Vitamin B-12: Cobalamin
B-12 (cobalamin) helps to maintain your nervous system. Sources of vitamin B-12 include:
The recommended amount of cobalamin during pregnancy is roughly 2.6 mcg per day.
But, doctors also believe a vitamin B-12 supplement along with folic acid (found in prenatal vitamins) will help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and defects that affect the spine and central nervous system.
Routine supplementation of vitamin B complex beyond what’s included in prenatal vitamins is typically not recommended, says Henning. “While there may be some research in this area, data to date has not supported changes in routine supplementation.”
Take simple steps to eat a well-balanced diet filled with a combination of these B vitamins to keep you and your baby strong and healthy.
Prenatal Vitamins While Not Pregnant: Can I Take Them?
The famous saying about pregnancy is that you’re eating for two. And while you might not actually need that many more calories when you’re expecting, your nutritional needs do increase.
To ensure that expectant moms are getting enough vitamins and minerals, they’ll often take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are associated with reducing risks for pregnancy complications like neural tube defects and anemia.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to wonder if you should take them even if you aren’t expecting or trying to get pregnant. But for the most part, if you aren’t thinking about bringing a little one into the world, the majority of your nutrients should come from your diet — not a vitamin.
Here’s a look at the risks and benefits of taking prenatal vitamins.
The vitamin aisle at your local pharmacy contains a huge assortment of vitamins for different genders and ages. Prenatal vitamins are specifically geared toward women thinking about becoming pregnant or who are pregnant.
The concept behind prenatal vitamins is that some of a women’s nutritional and vitamin needs increase with pregnancy. A baby especially needs certain nutrients to develop. Expectant moms don’t always take in enough nutrients in their daily diets. Prenatal vitamins are meant to bridge the nutritional gap.
It’s important to remember that prenatal vitamins are a supplement to a healthy diet for expectant moms. They aren’t a replacement for a healthy diet.
Lots of different prenatal vitamin types are available on the market. While there’s not a specific formulation for all prenatal vitamins, you’ll likely find that prenatal vitamins contain at least these key nutrients:
Calcium. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant and adult women need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily. Prenatal vitamins typically have between 200 and 300 mg of calcium. This contributes to a woman’s calcium requirements but doesn’t account for all of her daily calcium needs. Calcium is important for all women because it keeps their bones strong.
Folic acid. Taking in enough folic acid is linked with reducing neural tube defects like spina bifida. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women (and those trying to get pregnant) take in 600 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day from all sources. Since it may be difficult to get this much folic acid from foods alone, a supplement is recommended.
Foods that have folic acid (also known as folate) include beans, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, and broccoli. Many fortified foods including cereal, bread, and pasta have folate too.
Iron. This mineral is necessary to create new red blood cells in the body. Because a woman increases her blood volume during pregnancy, iron is a must-have. According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women need 27 mg of iron a day. This is 8 mg more than women who aren’t pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins often contain other vitamins and minerals. These could include:
omega-3 fatty acids
Always talk with your doctor before starting to take prenatal vitamins. If you’re trying to conceive or are pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend that you take them.
While you can buy prenatal vitamins over the counter, doctors can prescribe them too. Women who are carrying multiples, pregnant teenagers, and pregnant women with a history of substance abuse have a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Prenatal vitamins are particularly important for these women.
Doctors often recommend that women who are breastfeeding also continue taking prenatal vitamins after delivery. Prenatal vitamins can serve as a further supplement to lactating women who need plenty of nutrients to make breast milk.
Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, you still might want to take a folic acid supplement. That’s because half of the pregnancies in the United States aren’t planned. Because the brain and spinal cord are already forming at the early stages of pregnancy, folic acid is vital. Women of childbearing age could also eat more folate-rich foods as an alternative to taking a supplement.
Prenatal vitamins are specific to the needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. They’re geared to make up the common nutritional deficiencies a pregnant woman could have. But they aren’t really intended for women (or men) who aren’t expecting or lactating.
Taking too much folic acid each day can have the adverse side effect of masking a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Excess iron can be a problem, too. Getting too much iron is associated with health problems like constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.
Excess amounts of nutrients like vitamin A taken from synthetic vitamins could be toxic to a person’s liver.
Again, it’s better if you get these nutrients through your diet instead of a pill. For these reasons, most women should skip prenatal vitamins unless their doctors tell them otherwise.
Many women claim that prenatal vitamins affect hair and nail growth. Some claim that taking prenatal vitamins makes hair grow thicker or faster, and that nails could grow faster or stronger too.
But according to the Mayo Clinic, these claims haven’t been proven. Taking prenatal vitamins for better hair or nails likely won’t bring the desired results. They could also have adverse side effects.
If you’re considering taking prenatal vitamins and aren’t pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive, evaluate your diet first. Most people who eat a balanced diet don’t need to take a multivitamin. A balanced diet includes lean proteins, low-fat dairy sources, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and veggies.
But keep in mind that there are always exceptions to why you may need to take a vitamin or mineral supplement. Maybe your doctor found specific nutrition deficiencies in your diet. In this case, it’s usually better to take a supplement designed to treat your specific deficiency.
Being aware of potentially adverse symptoms can help you determine if you’re experiencing the side effects of excess vitamins or minerals.
Rachel Nall is a Tennessee-based critical care nurse and freelance writer. She began her writing career with the Associated Press in Brussels, Belgium. Although she enjoys writing about a variety of topics, healthcare is her practice and passion. Nall is a full-time nurse at a 20-bed intensive care unit focusing primarily on cardiac care. She enjoys educating her patients and readers on how to live healthier and happier lives.
Vitamins and pregnancy - articles from the specialists of the clinic "Mother and Child"
Albitskaya Elena Vladimirovna
Clinical hospital Lapino-1 "Mother and Child"
One of the most frequent questions that pregnant women ask their doctor is what vitamins should be taken during pregnancy? Let's say right away whether expectant mothers need to drink pharmaceutical vitamins or not - there is no unequivocal answer to this question. Some doctors believe that the necessary nutrients should be obtained from natural products. Others are in favor of taking pharmaceutical multivitamins. It can only be said unequivocally that vitamins and microelements must necessarily enter the body of a pregnant woman. We will tell you which of them are most important for the expectant mother.
Other names for this vitamin are vitamin B 9 or B c . This vitamin is necessary for cell division and reproduction, so it is especially important in the first trimester of pregnancy, when all organs and systems of the child are being laid. Folic acid plays an important role in the synthesis of hemoglobin, and with its deficiency, anemia can develop. And folic acid also helps to reduce the likelihood of spinal defects in a child, takes care of the correct formation of his psyche and intellect. It is better to start taking folic acid three months before the planned conception, since a small supply of this vitamin will only be useful for both the expectant mother and the baby. If the pregnancy has come unplanned, then folic acid must be taken as soon as the woman finds out about her situation. On average, the dosage of this vitamin is from 0.4 to 0.8 mg per day.
An expectant mother needs about 1200–1400 mg of calcium daily, while an ordinary woman needs 800–1000 mg of this trace element. Why? During pregnancy, the amount of calcium in the body of the expectant mother is significantly reduced, since it is also spent on the growth and development of the child. Especially a lot of calcium is needed in the third trimester, when the baby's skeleton is calcified. But calcium is needed not only for the growth of bones and teeth of a child - with its help, his nervous system, his heart, muscles, skin tissues, eyes, ears, hair and nails are formed. A pregnant woman needs calcium for the full functioning of the kidneys, the prevention of muscle pain, constipation, osteoporosis, caries and toxicosis. In addition, this trace element protects the expectant mother from stress and nervous overload.
This vitamin is involved in the process of tissue respiration, it helps oxygen to penetrate into every cell of the body. At the same time, vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant: it protects cells from the formation of free radicals that can provoke various diseases. This protective function is especially important at the stage of embryo formation. In addition, vitamin E helps to normalize the hormonal balance of the body. In the early stages, it participates in the formation of the placenta, and also protects against abortion. The dose of vitamin E during pregnancy is 15 mg.
Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, not less than this vitamin in lettuce, tomatoes, rose hips, parsley, spinach and peas. Some vitamin E is found in meat, eggs and milk.
Magnesium is involved in all metabolic processes, helps to cope with stress, normalizes the functioning of the cardiovascular system and blood pressure, keeps blood vessels in good shape. Due to a lack of magnesium in the body, cramps in the muscles (usually in the calves) may appear. And since the uterus is also a muscular organ, with a lack of magnesium during pregnancy during gestation, the excitability of the myometrium increases, which leads to active uterine contractions. Therefore, with hypertension and the threat of abortion, magnesium is often prescribed.
Magnesium is found in whole grains and whole grain breads, figs, almonds, seeds, dark green vegetables and bananas.
Pregnant women are usually prescribed iodine in the first trimester. Up to 16 weeks of pregnancy, the development of the child and the laying of all its organs and systems are "under the protection" of the mother's thyroid gland. And if a woman has little iodine, then this means that some system or organ of the baby may suffer. And even when the child’s own thyroid gland is formed and starts working, she can still take iodine only from the mother’s body. Its daily dose is 250 mg per day.
Iodine is most easily obtained from seafood and sea or iodized salt. A lot of iodine is found in sea fish, seaweed, squid, persimmon, feijoa, dates, dried figs, dairy products and meat. However, iodine is destroyed by temperature effects, which means that after heat treatment, the amount of iodine in the products decreases sharply.
Iron is needed primarily to prevent anemia. After all, it is part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body of the mother and child. In addition, iron is involved in protein synthesis, which is involved in the formation of muscle tissue. And iron deficiency can lead to increased uterine tone. The average daily dosage of iron is 30–60 mg. In some cases, if the woman's iron supply was initially reduced, the dosage may be higher.
Iron is found in meat, especially in veal, turkey, hare, pork and beef. There is iron in plant foods, but from there it is absorbed much worse. Iron is best absorbed when taken together with vitamin C.
If a pregnant woman eats properly and varied, eats a lot of fruits and vegetables, then she may not need an additional complex of vitamins for pregnant women. It may be necessary to drink some vitamins separately, but this should be determined by the doctor. If, before pregnancy, a woman had signs of vitamin deficiency, she eats incorrectly or poorly, then multivitamins cannot be dispensed with.
Vitamin B 9 (folic acid) found in animal liver, spinach, asparagus, lentils, Brussels sprouts, beans and wholemeal flour. However, it is absorbed very poorly from food, no more than 50%. That is why it is prescribed to almost all pregnant women
At one time, our body will not be able to absorb more than 500 mg of calcium. Therefore, you should not try to get the entire daily norm of this trace element in one meal. Try to eat foods containing calcium in small portions several times a day
To increase magnesium concentration in tissues, vitamin B 6 (pyridoxine) is needed, which facilitates its absorption and acts as a conductor of magnesium into the cell. Therefore, magnesium and vitamin B 6 are often prescribed together.
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What vitamins should pregnant women take
Despite the fact that pregnancy is a natural and normal state, a woman’s body during this period experiences a serious load. So, he needs support in the form of vitamin complexes. Getting the right amount of them from food is not always possible. It is better to choose the right complex. What useful supplements do pregnant women need in our article.
What are vitamins and what are they for?
Vitamins include substances of different chemical nature that perform important biological functions in the body. Most often, they act as catalysts for biochemical reactions, regulators of various metabolic processes and the functioning of tissues and organs.
With rare exceptions, most of them enter the body with food. Due to the fact that their content in plant and animal products is small, these substances are classified as micronutrients. Modern medicine distinguishes 14 such substances, which, according to their chemical nature, are divided into two large groups:
These include water-insoluble but fat-soluble chemicals. These are vitamins A, D, E, K
They include highly water soluble chemicals. These are B vitamins (B1, B2, B4, B5, B6, B9, B12), C, PP and H
Due to chemical characteristics, fat-soluble biologically active substances can accumulate and eventually cause overdose symptoms. Water-soluble forms are easily excreted by the kidneys, and their overabundance can only be obtained if a large dose of them is taken from food.
Vitamins belong to the group of micronutrients. They perform important biological functions and are responsible for metabolic processes and the normal functioning of tissues.
Insufficient intake of these substances with food is called hypovitaminosis, excess - hypervitaminosis. With a deficiency, metabolic processes, tissue regeneration are disrupted and a life-threatening condition develops. The most famous of hypovitaminosis is scurvy, a lack of ascorbic acid, which occurred in sailors.
With hypervitaminosis, these substances begin to have a toxic effect on the body and, in fact, cause its poisoning. An overabundance is most often found in fat-soluble vitamins, since water-soluble ones are easily excreted in the urine. The norms of these substances depend on the age, gender and type of human activity.
What are the consequences of vitamin deficiency during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the need for biologically active and mineral substances increases by 30-100%. They are needed both to maintain the mother's body, and for the normal formation of all systems and organs in the fetus. With insufficient intake from food, the risk of developing diseases in the mother and malformations in the baby increases.
In women, bone tissue and teeth primarily suffer, the level of iron in the blood decreases, which causes iron deficiency anemia. Also, the nervous and cardiovascular systems may be involved in pathological processes, placental blood flow, toxicosis, preeclampsia, problems with pregnancy and some others may be disturbed.
In a child, insufficient intake of these substances can lead to the following malformations:
neural tube defects
developmental pathology of the brain
pathologies of the cardiovascular system
disorders in the formation of the skeleton
congenital endocrine disorders
lag in physical development
Hypovitaminosis is especially dangerous in the early stages, when the main tissues are being formed. Therefore, to prevent these conditions, pregnant women are prescribed special vitamin-mineral complexes or separate useful supplements.
Despite the fact that these substances are not medicines, a doctor must select their dose and prescribe a specific drug. Do not self-medicate and take them on the advice of friends. Our doctors will tell you which vitamins can be taken without harm to health, and which ones are better to be tested before taking.
What vitamins are needed at different stages of pregnancy
Let's figure out when and what vitamins are needed at different stages of pregnancy - from the moment of conception to the birth itself.
When planning a pregnancy
The intake of complex supplements should be started already at the stage of pregnancy planning. The fact is that some of them are involved in the processes of ovulation, fertilization and implantation of the zygote into the endometrium of the uterus. With a deficiency, this process can be disrupted, which leads to spontaneous abortion at an early stage.
What should be taken during this period?
vitamins A and D;
Also, a gynecologist can prescribe vitamin and mineral complexes that are suitable for women planning pregnancy and help the body prepare for this period in life. All substances and drugs are prescribed in prophylactic doses.
Important! Vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies are most common in women who eat a vegetarian diet. With such a diet, it is necessary to take synthetic analogues of these substances.
In the first trimester, it is especially important to maintain a woman's health. After all, right now all the main organs and tissues of the unborn child are being laid. And any failure in this process can lead to serious pathologies. Also at this time, pathologies can develop, for example, anemia in pregnant women.
The list of useful supplements during this period includes:
vitamins A and E;
If a woman does not have symptoms of hypovitaminosis (fatigue, insomnia, convulsions, and so on), you can use preventive complex preparations for pregnant women, which contain all the substances necessary for mother and baby.
The second trimester is the time of active growth of the child and the formation of his main organs and tissues. During this period, it is very important that the mother receives all the necessary vitamin and mineral complexes with food and in the form of supplements. Her diet should be complete and varied. It should be 30% more calories than normal.
However, even with a varied diet, it is necessary to take prenatal vitamin supplements. They should contain the same substances and in the same dosage as in the first trimester.
If the doctor suspects a lack of a particular substance, he prescribes tests to determine the required dose of biologically active or mineral substances. In this case, the control of key indicators at a certain interval.
Also at this time, the diet can be slightly adjusted. Foods that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients or cause them to be washed out are excluded from the diet. For example, from the second trimester, pregnant women are advised to completely eliminate coffee and caffeinated drinks.
Symptoms of a lack of essential vitamins can be attributed to the usual ailments of pregnant women. However, if insomnia, convulsions, mood swings appear, you should definitely consult a doctor.
The prenatal period is characterized by the growth of the fetus and its active preparation for the upcoming birth. The body of the mother at this time is also under great stress. Therefore, in the third trimester, it is also necessary to take vitamin complexes for pregnant women.
If there is no serious deficiency and health problems that vitamin supplements can solve, they are prescribed in prophylactic doses. If a pregnant woman has symptoms of a lack of certain substances, they are prescribed in therapeutic doses. However, the schedule of admission and the dose is determined by the doctor, based on the condition of the woman.
Caution should be taken when taking calcium in late pregnancy. On the one hand, it is necessary for the formation of a normal child's skeleton. On the other hand, its excess can lead to premature fusion of the bones of the skull, which will result in problems during childbirth.
Important! Deficiency of B vitamins in the prenatal period can cause preterm labor and placental abruption. It is important to monitor its sufficient intake throughout pregnancy.
What vitamins to take during pregnancy?
During this period, vitamins A, D, E and group B, as well as iodine, calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron, play a particularly important role. The necessary dosage (prophylactic or therapeutic) is determined by the doctor. It depends on the condition of the woman and the duration of pregnancy.
Vitamin complexes for pregnant women which is better?
The best vitamin complex for pregnant women is the one that covers the daily requirement for the main biologically active substances. The doctor can choose it based on the collection of anamnesis and tests. In some cases, it is necessary to take these substances in therapeutic doses or injections.
Why do you need magnesium magnesium when planning a pregnancy?
A normal level of magnesium is necessary in order to prevent early tone, which prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall. In early pregnancy, he is responsible for the normal development of the fetus.
Why is vitamin D needed during pregnancy?
This substance affects fertilization and implantation of the zygote into the uterine wall. It also affects the development of the fetus and the health of the mother. Its deficiency can lead to toxicosis, gestational diabetes and other problems.
What role does iodine play during pregnancy?
Iodine supports the functioning of the thyroid gland, which experiences additional stress during pregnancy. With insufficient production of thyroid hormones, the development of the fetus is disrupted, congenital malformations and endocrine disorders of the fetus are formed.
Why is vitamin B6 needed during pregnancy?
This beneficial substance plays a key role in the development of the child. Its deficiency leads to interruptions in the early stages, malformations of the nervous system and brain of the child. Its deficiency leads to convulsions in pregnant women.
We publish only verified information
Menshikova Maria Viktorovna obstetrician-gynecologist