Healthy Happy Blog

by Richard Smith

Prenatal Vitamins and Regular Vitamins -- What Is the Difference

Many women, especially mothers to be, are asking about the difference between prenatal vitamins and regular multivitamins. Most are wondering if the special prenatal tagging is only designed to market the product. Are they simply the same because the components are actually very similar?

There are reasons why special supplements are tagged as prenatal vitamins and why others are not. As you may know, pregnant women have different or special nutritional needs. Of course, they need to consume all the necessary micronutrients and macronutrients to keep their bodies and their babies healthy. But they require higher amounts of these micronutrients in order to ensure that their bodies will get adequate supply of vitamins and minerals.

Pregnant women are prone to nutritional deficiencies. This is particularly true for those who are not following a completely balanced and healthy diet, source zipsor. The baby in your womb needs to be nourished too. And he or she gets the necessary nourishment from the food you eat. To make sure that no deficiency may occur, you have to eat right and at the same time fortify your diet with prenatal vitamins.

A Closer Look at Prenatal Vitamins and Regular Vitamins

A prenatal multivitamin may contain different doses of certain micronutrients if compared to regular multivitamins for adults. For instance, a prenatal supplement is very rich in folic acid, calcium, and iron because these minerals are needed by pregnant women. Standard or regular vitamins have slightly lower doses of these micronutrients.

On the other hand, prenatal vitamins have slightly lower vitamin A content compared to regular multivitamins. This is important because an overdose of vitamin A could have dire consequences for the baby in the womb. It could become toxic if consumed in higher doses. So to protect the mothers and the unborn babies, the vitamin A content of prenatal vitamins are slightly lower.

The Right Time to Take Prenatal Vitamins

You should start taking prenatal multivitamin supplement once you confirmed that you are pregnant. However, you need to wait for the advice of your doctor before supplementing your diet with special vitamins for pregnant women. Some doctors will evaluate your regular supplement if it contains the right dosage of vitamins and minerals.

For example, some regular multivitamins already have 400 mcg of folate. This is the recommended amount of folate that should be consumed by pregnant mothers. If this is the case, then your regular vitamin could be enough to give you the right supplementation. Besides, your regular vitamin may be comparatively cheaper than special prenatal vitamins.

But if your doctor advised you to take a special prenatal supplement, then it would be wiser to follow such recommendation. Taking a prenatal supplement that is recommended by your doctor will not harm you. It could actually help you to get the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals.

Remember, prenatal vitamins and regular vitamins are different. A prenatal supplement has slightly different doses of essential micronutrients compared to your regular multivitamins. It usually has higher doses of calcium, folic acid, iron and zinc and may contain lower dosage of vitamin A.

15 May 2017 author: Richard Smith