Prenatal Vitamins: Why They Matter

Prenatal Vitamins: Why They Matter 

Firstly, let’s clarify what a prenatal vitamin is.  Prenatal means during pregnancy, in other words it is a pregnancy vitamin.

Preconception vitamins are taken by both men and women during the 3-4 months prior to conception.  This helps to boost nutrient stores prior to conception and increase your chances of a successful conception.

There are a few things you may want to consider when choosing the right prenatal vitamin for you. Nutritional needs vary each trimester of pregnancy so it’s best to choose a prenatal that is specific for the trimester you are in.


Is It Necessary to Take Prenatal Vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins during pregnancy and breastfeeding provide key nutrients to help support a healthy pregnancy alongside your pre-pregnancy diet and lifestyle. 

Prenatal vitamins contain nutrients such as folate, iodine, choline and vitamin B12 to help prevent birth defects and abnormalities.

Choline is an important nutrient for foetal brain development. High choline concentration in breast milk has been shown to support brain development in babies. 

Iodine is a key nutrient for both maternal and foetal thyroid function and growth. 

Iron is an essential nutrient during pregnancy for both mum and bub.  During the second and third trimesters, iron demands significantly increase. A process called haemodilution naturally occurs (increase in blood volume) and can cause anaemia. Many women will become iron deficient, so a prenatal that contains a dose of absorbable iron can be beneficial.

Iron can aggravate morning sickness, so it is important to build up your iron stores before pregnancy.

Some women make the mistake of stopping their prenatal multivitamin as soon as they’ve given birth. Nutrient demands increase when breastfeeding, so it is important to take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding. Nutrition influences breast milk supply and quality, so ensuring your intake is adequate is important for your baby’s health, as they rely heavily on your breast milk quality.

If you aren’t breastfeeding, it is also a good idea to continue taking your prenatal multivitamin. Your own nutrient stores are likely depleted from pregnancy and birth. Optimising your nutrition is an important part of recovery in the postpartum period to help you avoid feeling fatigued and depleted.


How to Choose Your Prenatal Vitamin 

With so many choices out there, many women wonder how to choose the best prenatal vitamin.  Morning sickness is common during trimester one, so choosing a prenatal that also provides morning sickness relief is important. 

Morning sickness impacts a pregnant woman’s nutrient intake and ability to tolerate a prenatal multivitamin. 

This is why our experienced fertility naturopath Nikki (founder of NaturoBest) formulated Prenatal Trimester One with Ginger with clinically trialled doses of vitamin B6 and ginger for morning sickness relief. Nikki also shares her tips on how to reduce morning sickness here.

NaturoBest’s Prenatal Trimester 2 & 3 Plus Breastfeeding has been specifically formulated to support a healthy pregnancy and foetal development for the later stages of pregnancy, containing higher amounts of the nutrients vitamin D, iodine, iron and choline.

Another consideration when choosing your prenatal, is that the form of nutrient is just as or more important than the amount of the nutrient. 

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is commonly used in prenatal vitamins. Active folate is ideal for people who have genetic difficulties with folic acid metabolism (which many people have). This is why we choose to use Quatrefolic® in our prenatals. Quatrefolic reduces homocysteine, which is also important for preconception health.

Iron bisglycinate is the most well tolerated and absorbed form of iron, which is why we use Ferrochel (iron bisglycinate) in NaturoBest’s Preconception Multi for Women, Prenatal Trimester 2 & 3 Plus Breastfeeding  and Iron & Brain Support.  

Choline is important for baby’s brain development, especially in the last half of pregnancy, so choosing a prenatal that contains a high dose of choline is ideal.  Prenatal Trimester 2 & 3 Plus Breastfeeding. contains a whopping dose of 400mg of choline in a daily dose!


Is It OK to Take Prenatal Vitamins If Not Pregnant?

It’s not just OK, it’s recommended! 

Waiting until you fall pregnant to start taking a prenatal vitamin is not ideal. Your egg and sperm quality are important factors for a healthy conception and pregnancy and are nourished in your body long before they are released during the conception process. 

We recommend both partners take a preconception vitamin 3 to 4 months prior to trying to conceive.

Supporting your nutrient status in the three months before trying to conceive, can help prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. It takes 90 days for eggs and 72 days for sperm to fully mature, so your diet, lifestyle and nutrient status are important during this time.

Debunking common misconceptions about preconception is important in understanding why taking a preconception multivitamin is beneficial in preparation for a baby. 

Not everyone can meet their nutrient intake with diet alone. In Australia, only 6.1% of adults ate the recommended amount of both fruit and vegetables. This statistic reflects most Australians don’t meet their nutritional needs, even when they might believe they are.

Sperm accounts for 50% of the embryo’s DNA.  Ideally, men should optimise their sperm health during the preconception period.  Taking a preconception multivitamin can significantly improve sperm health. 

Men’s multivitamins should contain high doses of the antioxidants zinc, selenium, lycopene, vitamins A, B12, E and C for optimal sperm health. NaturoBest’s Preconception Multi for Men contains all of these nutrients as well as 100mg of CoQ10 which is a great antioxidant for sperm health and motility.

NaturoBest prenatal and preconception multivitamins aim to be the cleanest in the world and are ultra-low in excipients. They are Vegan Australia Certified and are hypoallergenic.  They are free from gluten, dairy, nuts, wheat, soy and other common allergens.


Learn more about NaturoBest


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