Plan your pregnancy with prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are essential vitamins which are often neglected during pregnancy.

It can be noted that even though mothers who have engaged in taking prescribed prenatal vitamins do not always receive the required vitamins their bodies require during pregnancy.

This is a result of on-shelf brands excluding essential supplements from their formulas. With this in mind, it is advised that you remain wary as a parent or parent to be and try to buy from reliable brands.

Therefore, before start taking them is it advisable to review which ones are the best prenatal vitamins available in the UK and what does include each brand in their supplements.

What’s in prenatal vitamins

Being a mother to be, it is only natural that you would want to know exactly what are you putting into your body.

You would definitely want to know what’s in prenatal healthy vitamins, as you will be taking these as a daily supplement before and during your pregnancy.

Vitamins during pregnancy typically contain Folic Acid, Iron and other essential multivitamins including:

  • Omega 3 – fatty acids which help support fetal brain development during pregnancy)
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins A, B6, C, D, E
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Biotin
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • DHA – which contributes to the normal development of brain and eye in a breastfed infant

(ingredients found in – One A Day Women’s Prenatal Multivitamin)

What are prenatal vitamins & why are they essential? 

Prenatal vitamins contribute to the health and wellness of your baby even before they have been conceived.

It is even recommended that these essential prenatal vitamins are taken before conception, as this practice will reduce the likeliness of Neural Tube Defects (explained further along in this article). Of course, it is important to always take the advice of your medical health practitioner on such matters

Folic acid

It is advised that before and during pregnancy, mothers should intake at least 400mg of folic acid.

This vitamin alone reduces brain and spinal cord and brain abnormalities such as Bifida, Anencephaly and Chiari malformation which will be explained further below.

While folic acid may be obtained from leafy green vegetables, some breakfast cereals and margarine, there is no guaranteed consistency and quality control of the natural intake of these vitamins.


Other key ingredients include Iron which supports your babies development in the womb.

Once again, while lean meat, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts contain iron, there is no guarantee of your natural intake meeting the daily requirements needed in order to keep your baby healthy.

This simple vitamin intake also aids in the prevention of conditions such as anaemia.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, another addition to general prenatal vitamins and often found in daily multivitamins.

Protect babies cells and helps their overall health. Another vitamin, which while occurring naturally in food such as milk, cheese yoghurt etc, cannot be guaranteed for your babies healthy development during the pregnancy.

>> Find our here if you are lactose intolerant <<

Have a good diet and avoid vitamins intake during pregnancy

It is important to note that diet plays a very large note in your babies health and wellness.

There are a number of foods and beverages which will have to be omitted from your diet during this time to ensure babies safety.

It is best that your health care professional advises you on a diet which is suited to your own health guidelines.

For those mothers who are vegetarians or vegans for their own health reasons, additional supplements may need to be taken to promote a healthy and safe pregnancy.

If you are in this category it is advisable that prior to taking any prenatal pill vitamin you get to know which foods and other items you are intolerant.

>> Vegan and Vegetarian test <<

Avoiding neural tube defects in pregnancy 

What is a neural tube defect? – A birth defect during the development of the babies brain and spinal cord during the initial first month of pregnancy.

Bifida, anencephaly and chiari malformation are possible results of neglecting to take the correct preventative nutrients during your pregnancy. Please take a brief look at the consequences of these defects below.

  • Bifida – You Baby spinal column does not close properly and this causes nerve damage and even leg paralysis.
  • Anencephaly – The Babies brain and skull do not develop properly. These babies are often stillborn or pass away shortly after birth.
  • Chiari Malformation – Causes brain tissue to extend into the spinal canal.

These defects may be diagnosed before the baby is born however there is no cure or remedy for these neural tube defects. There are only some measures which may prevent further damage and aid with reducing additional complications.

It is important to note that you are also at further risk of causing a neural tube defect in your child if you are obese, have poorly controlled diabetes and are taking antiseizure medications.

The preventative measures for these neural defects include but are not limited to, maintaining a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle and engaging in the correct prenatal vitamin intake.

It is advised that you consult with your healthcare professional during your pregnancy, who will advise you on the best prenatal vitamin supplements, diet and healthy lifestyle for your pregnancy.

You are of course an individual and you may need to adjust your life depending on your own conditions as a mother.

pregnancy prenatal vitamins

When to start taking prenatal vitamins? 

It is important to know how long to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy /after giving birth because it is during this time in which your babies Neural Tube is developing.

It is therefore important to take your prenatal supplement during the time you are trying to conceive, as well as up to the completion of the development of the neural tube which occurs at around 12-weeks into pregnancy.

This is not, however, a decision which should be made lightly, and your medical professional should be advising you on the correct pregnancy vitamins, lifestyle and diet during this time.

Remember that there is an amount of time before and during pregnancy which is used to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. This is why it is recommended that prenatal vitamin intake begins as early as two months before conceiving.

>> Pregnancy Calculator <<

Good prenatal vitamins for pregnancy

Some of the best Prenatal Vitamins include:

  • One A Day Women’s Prenatal 1 Multivitamin – A very affordable and popular brand with many of the essential vitamins needed for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Nature Made Prenatal + DHA 200 mg Multivitamin – Has an extra boost of DHA Fatty acids for Fetal brain development.
  • Mama Bird Prenatal Multivitamin – Contains methylated folate which is used for mothers with genetic conditions that prevent them from converting folic acids (very necessary for Neural Tube Health) into something that the body can use.

These are just a few of the best prenatal vitamins listed in the Uk.

Are there any side-effects to Prenatal Vitamins?

Side-effects of prenatal vitamins may include nausea and constipation however these reactions can be different in the individual. It is important that in the event that you experience any side-effects that you contact your medical professional.

They will be able to advise you on alternative prenatal vitamin brands to curb or remove these side-effects.

3 Frequently asked questions about prenatal pills 

1 – Can anyone take prenatal vitamins?

NO! Prenatal Vitamins contain vitamins which when taken excessively may have adverse effects on your health.

2 – Can guys take prenatal vitamins?

NO! Prenatal vitamins are designed to accommodate for the nutrients needed by pregnant women. In taking these vitamins in excess as a male may cause adverse effects. All medication intake should be regulated by your medical professional.

3 -Can I take a multivitamin and prenatal vitamins?

No, it is not advised to take multiple multivitamins unless these have been prescribed by your medical professional. Taking more than one multivitamin may cause an overlap in intake which can result in a vitamin overdose. This is very dangerous for you and your baby. Please listen to your medical professionals on any and all supplemental intake and food intake during pregnancy.

Please note that this article about pregnancy vitamins and pills is not intended as medical advice.


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