What’s Your Prenatal Vitamin IQ?
When it comes to your baby, you want the best—but all the new instructions, restrictions, and recommendations can get a little confusing. With something as important as prenatal supplements, you need to get it right. Find out if you’re in the know.
Question 1 of 11
Prenatal vitamins are:
Prenatal vitamins are completely necessary for your baby's health. These vitamins combat brain and spinal cord deformities, boost bone density, and promote blood and muscle cell development. Many women who feel they eat a diet rich in the nutrients provided by the prenatal vitamins think they don't need to take supplements; however, studies show that the synthetic form of certain nutrients is actually more effective.
|Optional. (They can't hurt, right?)|
|A ploy designed by pharmaceutical companies|
Question 2 of 11
Folic acid is particularly important because it:
|Gives your baby the best chance to be intellectually advanced|
|Ensures your baby is born with an appropriate pH level|
|Increases the chance that your baby will enjoy eating his greens|
Contributes to Baby's neurological development
Taking folic acid while pregnant is critical to the normal development of the fetus. Baby's proper neurological development is promoted by the intake of folate, and an insufficient amount could lead to neural tube defects such as spina bifida and brain malformation.
Question 3 of 11
It's best to start taking your folic acid:
|Whenever you realize that you're pregnant|
Two months before you conceive
You should start taking folic acid two months prior to conception. You want to get your body into the best possible shape for pregnancy. If your pregnancy was unplanned and you have only just discovered that you are pregnant, don't worry: Start taking your prenatal supplements immediately and talk to your doctor about the best way to provide your baby with important nutrients.
|Precisely at the moment of conception|
|Two months after you conceive|
Question 4 of 11
So, what exactly are in these vitamins?
|Sugar and spice|
|Lots of things, but primarily magnesium oxide, sodium chloride, and potassium iodide|
Lots of things, but primarily folic acid, iron, and calcium
You should be taking a vitamin that has primarily: Folic acid for brain and spine development, calcium for strong bones and teeth (for you and Baby!), iron for blood and muscle cell development. In addition to folic acid, iron, and calcium, prenatal vitamins typically include vitamins A, D, E, C, and B-12; thiamine, riboflavin, zinc, pyridoxine, copper, and niacinamide.
|The equivalent of a loaf of bread and a quart of milk|
Question 5 of 11
When selecting the brands of prenatal vitamins:
Read labels to determine what’s right for you
The primary difference between brands of prenatal vitamins is in the dosages. Talk to your doctor about what dosages are right for you and make sure to read the labels to determine how much of each nutrient is being offered.
|Always go with the most expensive brand|
|It doesn’t matter—just get whatever’s cheapest|
|Close your eyes and point randomly—the pregnancy gods are looking out for you|
Question 6 of 11
When it comes to vitamins:
What you take depends on the particular vitamin—each has a recommended dose. You should discuss with your doctor how much to take
The appropriate dosage of your vitamin depends on your specific needs. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby, but the amount of folic acid in regular (non-prenatal) vitamins isn't enough to boost your baby's neurological development. Talk to your doctor about the proper dose for each vitamin, and make sure that you read labels before making your purchase. Also, some women can't tolerate the high doses that are provided by prenatal vitamins, so make sure you discuss this in detail with your healthcare provider.
|The higher the dose, the better|
|The lower the dose, the better|
|You can play around with dosages to find out what works for you|
Question 7 of 11
If your prenatal vitamin makes you nauseous, you should:
|All of the above|
|Stop taking it immediately. This is a sign that it’s wrong for you|
|Suck it up—you got a lot more pain comin’ at you, Mama|
Talk to your doctor
Definitely talk to your doctor if your prenatal vitamin is making you nauseous. A little bit of nausea is to be expected, and you can lessen your queasiness by taking your vitamins at night, taking them along with a snack, taking chewables instead of tablets, or chewing gum right after swallowing. In some cases, however, nausea may be an indicator that prenatal vitamins are not right for you. Ask your doctor if you should not be taking vitamins and discuss alternatives.
Question 8 of 11
What's better: prescription or over-the-counter prenatal vitamins?
It depends on your particular need
Whether you should choose prescription or over-the-counter vitamins really depends on your particular need. Although there is a standard dosage for each prenatal vitamin (that will typically be covered in a prescription pill), different women have different needs. Sometimes the high dosages in prescription pills are too much for certain women to tolerate. Talk to your healthcare provider about what's right for you and your pregnancy.
|Neither! Order them online|
Question 9 of 11
|It doesn't really matter|
Should continue to take prenatal vitamins
Breastfeeding women are often encouraged to continue to taking prenatal vitamins to boost their babies' health. Again, this is dependent on whether your body responds well to the vitamins, so pay attention to how you feel and discuss any concerns, pains, nausea, or other troublesome side effects with your doctor.
|Should stop taking prenatal vitamins immediately|
|Should cut the dosage in half|
Question 10 of 11
Is there a prenatal vitamin a man can take to increase your chances, as a couple, for conception?
|There's no pill, but there is a prenatal syrup|
There are prenatal vitamins for men but no conclusive evidence that they work
Unfortunately, no: There aren't any prenatal vitamins available to men, but if you're trying to get pregnant, encourage your man to eat a fertility-promoting diet for him that may improve your chances!
Question 11 of 11
The side effects of prenatal vitamins may include:
All of the above
You may experience all of these—thickening hair, constipation, and nausea—as side effects when taking your vitamins. Prenatal vitamins will often cause your hair and nails to thicken, but there is also a potential down side. Folic acid may trigger nausea, and iron may make you constipated. Drink plenty of water to combat these, but if your symptoms are acute, talk to your doctor.
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