A Case For Prenatal Vitamins

I want to spend a little time today encouraging women out there to take prenatal vitamins even when they are not pregnant. Let’s face it, unplanned or surprise pregnancies happen all the time. Even if your pregnancy is planned, waiting until you see those little pink plus signs can be too late to start taking proper vitamins.

One of the most important parts of a good prenatal vitamin is the Folic Acid. Folic acid, or folate, is typically found in leafy greens like spinach and is essential in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects (NTD). The neural tube is the part of the baby that will become the spinal cord and the brain. The reason I am calling attention to this today is that all these things begin developing (and birth defects such as Spina Bifida are caused) within the first 28 days, usually before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are not the only ones that contain folic acid. Simply check the label of whatever multivitamin you are taking and make sure it had at least400 micrograms or 0.4 milligrams.

Here are some statistics.

  • Only 7% of women know they should be taking Folic Acid before pregnancy
  • 50% of pregnancies are unplanned
  • Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States
  • If all women of childbearing age got enough Folic Acid as many as 70% of NTD would be prevented

So go check and see if you are getting enough folic acid right now. Seriously, check. Why are you still sitting here reading this?

Published in: on May 10, 2011 at 11:01 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I just got up, went to the kitchen, and took a prenatal vitamin…thanks for the reminder…I need one every day! πŸ™‚

  2. My doc told me that I should take a prenatal during my childbearing years since it has everything my body needs. I’ve been taking them for years before I was even trying and now after I’m done having kids.

  3. I totally agree. Unless one eats all the things they should ALL of the time.. taking a prenatal vitamin doesn’t hurt. I take a daily women’s multivitamin cuz I know I sure don’t get the food groups on a daily basis that I know I should. Butttt… I remember looking at the label on my prenatal vitamins when I was pregnant.. it has like 200% of each thing that we need.. only thing that was hard for me was swallowing the darn horse pill! I would gag soooo bad just trying to get it down each day. So I’m sticking to my regular women’s multi vitamin. To all those that can swallow the horse pill.. more power to ya πŸ™‚ Plus like you said… not all pregnancies are planned.. doesn’t hurt to always have those good vitamins and what not running through your body πŸ™‚

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