Prenatal Vitamins, Are they Worth the Money?  

The healthcare business is booming, and we’re constantly being shown products that claim to make us fitter, healthier, happier, thinner, and everything in-between. When it comes to pregnancy, you only have to Google the word ‘pregnancy’ to be bombarded with products, vitamins, lotions, potions, and equipment that claim to help make this magical time easier and healthier, and it’s no surprise that so many people begin to question whether they should use such products, because obviously you want to give your child the healthiest start in life.

Prenatal vitamins are a hot topic, and there is much debate over whether they’re actually worth it or not. I guess at the end of the day it is a personal choice, and it also comes down to how healthy your diet is in the first place, any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, and the advice of your doctor, which should always come first.

There are certain vitamins that you should certainly be taking during pregnancy and before, and it’s certainly a good idea to have a chat with your doctor or midwife to make sure you’re getting the optimum and safe levels of these vitamins and minerals, in order to encourage the healthy growth and development of your baby. For example, you are advised to take Folic Acid and Vitamin D in pregnancy; in the case of Folic Acid you should ideally take this before you become pregnant, and up to 12 weeks into your pregnancy, but obviously discuss this with your doctor. For Vitamin D, you are advised to take this throughout your pregnancy, and to continue afterwards if you are breastfeeding.

You will see many products on the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets boasting about their advantageous vitamin effects, but how do you know you’re not getting too much of a particular vitamin, and how can you trust that the levels they say are correct? Basically you can’t 100%, which is why it’s always best to discuss with a healthcare professional before you decide to take any supplementation. It’s generally better to get the vitamins and minerals you need in pregnancy from the food you eat, and eating a healthier, varied diet will enable you to get most of your recommended intake, with the addition of the vitamins we mentioned above.

So, are prenatal vitamins a waste of money? It’s still a very on the fence kind of question, but it’s one that certainly requires individual consultation with trained medical staff before you decide to a) spend money on them, and b) take them.

Photo Credit: Cacaye

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