What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin
Folic Acid: 400 mcg per day
Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects which develop in the first 28 days after conception- this is often before you even know that you’re pregnant! A reason to start a prenatal vitamin if you are trying to conceive or at least take a daily multi-vitamin during your child-bearing years.
Some foods that contain folic acid include leafy greens, nuts, beans/legumes, citrus fruits, orange juice and many fortified grain products such as breakfast cereals.
Iron: 30 mg
Did you know 30-50% of pregnant women are anemic? The need for iron increases by 3x during the 2nd and 3rd trimester due to your growing fetus, placenta and other maternal tissues. Low hemoglobin values are associated with the risk of premature delivery, low birth weight, and can affect the amount of iron stores that your baby is born with. Inadequate iron stores can particularly affect the developing brain causing cognitive and motor function delays.
Some foods that contain iron are beef, pork, chicken and fish. Vegetarian sources include iron-fortified cereals, lentil and beans, baked potato, tofu, dried apricots, and pumpkin or sesame seeds.
**Most gummy prenatal vitamins DO NOT contain iron. Be sure to read the label to make sure you are taking one that has iron.
Iodine: 150 mcg
Iodine is lacking in many diets due to the decrease of salt intake. Another reason is the use non-iodized salts such as sea salt or kosher salt. It’s an extremely important supplement for proper fetal neurodevelopment. Your baby depends completely on your iodine intake for thyroid gland development, increasing your needs during pregnancy and lactation.