If you Google “What should I do when I become pregnant”, or what
can I take when I’m trying to become pregnant, you’ll find “take prenatal
vitamins” in basically every result.
When I became pregnant, I was also Googling things like “Can I
still run a 21km?” and “Will highlighting my hair be bad for my foetus?” and
“How do I get rid of nausea?”, but certainly health was always at the top of
mind. And, as a result, sushi, G&T and wine became bottom of mind.
To be honest, I do not remember what vitamins I took during my
first pregnancy, way back in 2009 (sometimes I feel I have preggy brain even to
this day). I knew I took folic acid during all my months trying, and then
switched onto prenatal vitamins when I became pregnant.
When I was pregnant with Rebecca, I was seeing a dietitian at the same time, trying to lose the pregnancy weight from years before (I’m still yet to lose it), and I went to her just days after finding out I was pregnant. I was hoping she could tell me I could start eating for two and up my carbs, but alas, this wasn’t the case.
What she did recommend was PregOmega Plus, which she explained would give me all the necessary supplementation, especially since during those early weeks I was basically just eating toasted cheese and couldn’t stomach any fruit, veg or protein (one time a restaurant was taking “too long” in getting me my toasted cheese and I was on the verge of tears, and about to have restaurant range. Luckily they got it to me in time).
So, what’s the deal with prenatal vitamins, and why are they recommended for those trying to become pregnant, and for pregnant and breastfeeding moms? Firstly, they contain more folic acid than regular multivitamins, because folic acids helps prevent neural (brain and spinal cord) abnormalities in the foetus.
They also contain a good level of iron, to support the baby’s growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anaemia, where blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.
A prenatal multivitamin has calcium, important for foetal bone formation and bone density. It also has vitamin D, to enhance immune function and brain development, and vitamin B to assist with morning sickness and depression associated with pregnancy.
Not all prenatal vitamins contain omega-3 fatty acids, but, just as its name suggests, PregOmega Plus does have them, which are critical for neural development, and can protect against allergies.
I’m not a dietitian or gynaecologist, but all the experts will
say that a prenatal vitamin is not a substitute for a decent diet, and you
still need the good stuff. Fortunately in my case, I stopped craving the daily
toasted cheeses after the first trimester!
You can find PregOmega Plus at Dis-Chem, Clicks, and select pharmacies and retail stores. They have a good pregnancy resources on their website, and a great pregnancy guide too.
PS: I used to take my vitamins at night as I felt so nauseous on everything during the day (except my toasted cheese!)