Prenatal vitamins: Why they matter, how to choose
How are prenatal vitamins different from other vitamins? Which brand of prenatal vitamins is best? How long should I take prenatal vitamins? Content Why are prenatal vitamins important? Which prenatal vitamin is best? Do I need to be concerned about other nutrients? When should I start taking prenatal vitamins? Do prenatal vitamins have any side effects?
How are prenatal vitamins different from other vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than do standard adult multivitamins. Here's why:
- Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
- Iron supports the baby's growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.
In addition, some research suggests that prenatal vitamins decrease the risk of having a baby who is small for his or her gestational age.