When to Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins: Good Habits Start Early

By Madhavi Gupta, M.D.

 

In this article:

What trimester are prenatal vitamins most important?
Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy
Key prenatal vitamin ingredients
How long to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy?
Prenatal Vitamins Vs. Fertility Supplements

Children change the way we look at things in so many ways. The very idea of getting pregnant begins to adjust your focus. Suddenly your nutritional needs matter more than ever as you consider how to best support your fertility goals. You know that every lifestage requires specific nutrition, but when do you make that transition to taking prenatal vitamins?


The short answer is as soon as you begin to think about trying.

 

Start Strong

You want to go into this life stage as consciously as possible. By focusing on wellness first, you can improve the entire journey. It’s impossible to predict how long it will take to get pregnant and every pregnancy is unique. Taking prenatal multivitamins 3-6 months beforehand can help you shift your mindset as well as your body and set up good habits that will serve you well as you enter pregnancy.

 

What trimester are prenatal vitamins most important?

Some of the most important development happens in the first few weeks after conception, often before you even know you are pregnant. When you start taking prenatal vitamins before you conceive, you are preparing your body to be ready with all-important nutrients that can support fetal development immediately.

 

Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

The next best time to take prenatal vitamins is as soon as you learn you are pregnant. As your baby grows and develops, different parts of their brain and body rely on specific nutrients to reach their full potential. It’s challenging to achieve all the nutrition you and your baby need with diet alone. The question is not only when to start taking prenatal vitamins, but what they need to include. Not all prenatal vitamins are created equal.

ingredients for prenatal vitamins, folate, vitamin B12, choline, DHA, egg yolk, methylated vitamins

The Best Ingredients Make the Best Vitamins
We believe how they work is just as important as when you choose to start taking them. That’s why all our products have methylated vitamins. We handpick each ingredient for its optimal nutrient level and its bioavailability. Here are some of the most essential ingredients for this critical lifestage and the role each plays.
Folate
Folate is critical for brain health and supports healthy neurodevelopment. During pregnancy, folate supports a baby’s healthy neural tube development and is especially important in the first four weeks. 
An important distinction:
Your doctor may recommend a supplement with folic acid, but, to get an active folate that the body can immediately use, look for methylfolate. Methylfolate is the active form found in our bodies. When you take methylfolate, your body can use it immediately because it doesn’t have to convert it to anything else. Why give your body extra work to do when you’re pregnant? 
Vitamin B12 
Vitamin B12 is important for brain and central nervous system development. It promotes the making of red blood cells and is necessary for the creation of DNA. It also improves production of SAMe, which is involved in healthy immune function. We use methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two active forms. It is especially important for vegetarians and vegans to supplement with vitamin B12. 
Choline
A growing body and mind needs choline to support prenatal neurodevelopment. Choline makes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the most common chemical messenger needed for cell to cell communication. It plays an important role in attention and memory. A woman needs more choline during pregnancy and breastfeeding to help her baby grow brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain where learning and memory happen.
DHA 
DHA is incredibly important during pregnancy for both you and your baby because DHA plays a big role in early brain growth and development and supports a healthy immune system. DHA makes up over 90% of the omega-3 fatty acids in your brain. It is vital for your baby’s neurodevelopment, and for boosting mom’s mood. Unfortunately, women must limit their consumption of fish during pregnancy due to mercury. As a result, many moms-to-be struggle to get the DHA they and their babies need through diet alone. 

Our One Fish, Two Fish™ Prenatal DHA is crafted for pregnant and lactating mothers, providing purified omega-3 made from real triglyceride oil—the form naturally found in fish, and the form your body most easily absorbs.

 

pregnant woman drinking juice, What time of day is best to take prenatal vitamins?

What time of day is best to take prenatal vitamins?

When it comes to the best time of day to take prenatal supplements, the best answer is whenever you’ll remember to take them. Our Mama Bird® prenatal multivitamins offer the option of a convenient once-daily formula that is easy to remember or a twice-daily AM/PM Prenatal formula so you can spread the absorption of potent vitamins throughout the day. We do recommend taking the once-daily multi+ in the morning due to the potency of methylated vitamin B12. The most important thing is to listen to your body’s rhythms and create a routine that helps you remember so that you do take them daily. 

 

How long to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy? 

Another question is how long to take prenatal vitamins or when to stop. Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+ is designed to support you and your baby’s growing needs at every stage of pregnancy. Continue taking a prenatal multivitamin throughout your pregnancy and even beyond, or transition to a postnatal vitamin like Mama Bird Postnatal Multi+ which is designed to nourish you post delivery and support healthy immunity and neuro-development for babies during breastfeeding.

 

Prenatal Vitamins Vs. Fertility Supplements

The sooner you start prenatal vitamins, the better. If you are even earlier in your journey, you might consider a fertility formula like Ready, Set, Go!™ Fertility Formula for Women to promote vibrant health as you pursue your fertility goals. Ready, Set, Go! is a complete 3-in-1 formula of herbs, antioxidants, and a prenatal multi+ with methylated folate. Other fertility supplements might be one or two of the above, but not necessarily all three, and not often with methylated vitamins. A fertility supplement like Ready, Set, Go! is ideal for preconception, although taking a prenatal multi+ like Mama Bird is also fine.

 

We’ve been thinking about the importance of prenatal vitamins since day one. Prenatal vitamins are truly at the heart of the Best Nest Wellness story

Our neurologist-formulated products are safe and as natural as we can make them. All our products are food based and crafted to be non-GMO, and vegan, with no artificial colors or flavors, no dairy, soy, nuts, or gluten.

Our Mama Bird Multi+ line of vitamins are crafted with organic herbs, probiotics, and a digestive enzyme blend to be gentle on the stomach and ease nausea. This is so often a challenge with other prenatal vitamins. 

Learn more about the importance of advanced nutrition during pregnancy and find other support to help your growing nest.



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