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Are Your Prenatal Vitamins Making You Sick?

by Katlyn Joy | March 18, 2013 12:00 AM0 Comments

One of the first important lifestyle changes you will make when you first discover you are pregnant is taking prenatal vitamins. Most often you'll be given a prescription for one at your initial prenatal visit. You are expected to take one daily.

Why Is it So Important to Take My Prenatal Vitamin?

Prenatal vitamins are not mere suggestions but rather a must for any pregnant mother. They are packed with all the important vitamins and minerals necessary to help you build a healthy baby. Most women cannot obtain through their regular diet everything a growing fetus needs. Prenatal vitamins will take up the dietary slack for you so it's imperative to be religious in taking yours daily.

What's In A Prenatal Vitamin?

While there are some differences between prenatal vitamins, in general they will contain the following:

  • 17 mg. of iron
  • 400 mcg. of folic acid
  • 15 mg. of zinc
  • 400 IU of Vitamin D
  • 10 mg. of Vitamin E
  • 200 to 300 mg. of calcium
  • 6 mcg. of Vitamin B12
  • 70 mg. of Vitamin C
  • 20 mg. of niacin
  • 3 mg. of thiamine
  • 2 mg. of riboflavin

Even women who eat a healthy balanced diet will have increasing demands of their body that necessitates the taking of prenatal vitamins.

If It's So Good for Me and My Baby, Why Does My Prenatal Vitamin Make Me So Sick?

Sometimes when something's good for you it can still have some nasty side effects and such is the case with your prenatal vitamins. It's not unusual for women to complain of nausea with or without vomiting due to their vitamins, or to have difficulties with constipation.

Typically, the culprits are iron and folic acid both of which are known to cause upset tummies. During pregnancy your blood volume increases by a third, and with all that increase will be prone to anemia so the iron in your prenatal vitamin keeps you from feeling sluggish and fatigued. The boost of folic acid while possibly nauseating to you is vital to help you develop a baby with a healthy spine and nervous system.

How to Cope with A Bad Case of Vitamin Queasiness

First of all, don't stop taking your vitamin as directed. Make some small changes to see if they will do the trick.

For instance, many women find that if they take their vitamin upon waking in the morning, it is just too early for all that bundled nutrition on their tummies. Instead, lots of women swear by taking the prenatal vitamin with dinner or right before bed when they are less prone to nausea. If you take the pill at bedtime with or right after a light snack, you may slip off to sleep before the nausea has a chance to hit you.

Never take the prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach at any time of day. It's best to take them with a full meal or at least a snack.Also drinking a glass of water with the vitamin will help. Eating food that has protein in it can help ward off nausea as well.

Do not try to add on to your vitamin with specially prepared vitamin or mineral supplements. This can lead to toxicity and may endanger your baby. Only take the prenatal vitamin prescribed to you. However don't worry about eating too many healthy foods and overdosing on a vitamin through your diet. There is no risk of this in a normal healthy diet.

If these changes don't cure your sick stomach, call your doctor and see about switching brands or formulas. You can get prenatal vitamins in liquid as well as pill form and sometimes this can make all the difference in ending nausea.

If you are having trouble with constipation, and pregnant women are prone to this condition anyway, you can try to correct the situation by staying well hydrated.You should be eating plenty of fresh fruit, drinking some juices instead of soft drinks and getting loads of whole grains now that you are eating healthfully for two. These changes should help fight off constipation, but if you still struggle then make sure you are getting regular exercise. Walking daily may be enough to do the trick.

If your fresh fruits in your diet and your whole grains don't help you go, then talk to your doctor about taking a stool softener or other safe solutions.

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