Physician assistant Mary Ann explains which prenatal vitamin a woman who is trying to conceive should take and shares if it is too late to begin taking prenatal vitamins after becoming pregnant.
Well there are a lot of actually good prenatal vitamins on the market right now, over-the-counter even. One thing that a patient should do is look at the folic acid concentration. So, we want the patient to be taking a prenatal vitamin that has at least 800 mcg of folic acid, also DHA or omega-3 fatty acids is a good thing to take if you are planning to become pregnant and some of the newer prenatal vitamins have those additives in them, but we recommend that if our patients aren’t getting those kinds of prenatals to take a fish oil capsule because that is a good source of the DHA and omega-3 fatty acids.
Any woman of childbearing age should be taking prenatal vitamins if she is not preventing pregnancy. The reason a woman should be taking prenatal vitamins if she intends to become pregnant soon, or if she could become pregnant is because the folic acid is a very important part of that prenatal vitamin. It helps prevent early miscarriage by supporting the baby’s spine and brain development.
It’s absolutely not too late to start taking prenatal vitamins after the baby has been being conceived. Ideally we’d like the patients to be on it beforehand, but if you just find out that you are pregnant you can start prenatal vitamins. If it’s going to be a while until you can get to your provider, you know it’s easy to pick those up over-the-counter and there are lots of good ones out there.
About Mary Ann Shostek, P.A.-C.:
Mary Ann is a Physicians Assistant. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Medical Science, graduating from the Physician Assistant Program at Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona in 2004. Mary Ann’s experience is in Women’s Health – specializing in fertility.