A prenatal vitamin is sometimes needed as per the advice of your OB-GYNE to help develop your baby’s health. Vitamins should be taken with the advice of a health professional and should be according to the instructions, so you just can’t self-medicate all the time.
There are different kinds of vitamins out there – some can be taken anytime while others require you to at least eat something. These vitamins, however, do have good effects on your baby and your overall health.
The most common prenatal vitamin is iron, which is needed for blood health. Another common prenatal vitamin would be calcium, which can help in your body’s bone structure, as well as your baby’s bone health and development. Folic acid is also often taken for pregnant women to help their baby grow just fine when it comes to brain development.
But one can wonder: what exactly is the best time to take prenatal vitamins? This article may be the answer to your question.
What is the Best Time to Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Generally, the best time to take such prenatal vitamins is before you eat your lunch meal. This is because your body can absorb their full potential if they are taken on an empty stomach.
For instance, iron isn’t really absorbed that much if you already ate something, such as dairy products. On the other hand, if you already take anything with vitamin C, you can actually increase your iron absorption, so it’s best to have breakfast with orange juice or fruits.
Additionally, there are also different types of prenatal vitamins, and here are the best times for you to take each, along with other explanations:
1. Fat-soluble vitamins. These include vitamins A, E, D, and K and can usually end up in the liver. Since they are fat-soluble, they should be taken when you eat anything that has fat in it.
For instance, the best time would be with your dinner meal, since you will most likely eat something with fats by then, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and the like.
If your doctor recommended any of these vitamins, it’s best to take them while you’re eating any greasy or fat-filled food.
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2. Water-soluble vitamins. These include vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B-complex. The best time to take them is about 2 hours after a meal or half an hour before breakfast.
Vitamin C and the like work best on an empty stomach, since they can be easily dissolved in water. They don’t really stay in your body system all the time since you have to pee and they’ll probably exit out. This means that it could also be ideal to take these water-soluble vitamins with other supplements as advised by your physician.
3. B-vitamins. Although we did mention about B-vitamins above, there’s also a separate rule for them. They are best taken on an empty stomach right before your breakfast. They boost your energy and can also help relieve stress that you’ve been feeling for a while. Included in the B-vitamins family are B-12, B-6, and B-2.
Precautions when Taking Prenatal Vitamins
While taking prenatal vitamins is definitely beneficial for you and your baby’s health, there are some certain precautions you need to know about to avoid any bad things from happening, such as the following:
1. Avoid overdosing. It is possible to overdose on any vitamin, so make sure you don’t go over what is recommended by your physician.
A common mistake for most pregnant women is that they take too much vitamin A or retinol, which can stem from excessive supplements. The same is true for excessive iron intake. Therefore, you should know the limits as to which vitamin should be taken only on a certain amount to make sure you don’t get the side effects of each.
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2. Some vitamins have certain reactions to prescription drugs. Always let your physician know first if you are taking certain prescription medicine before you go with vitamins for prenatal use. This is because some of these vitamins do have some adverse reactions to such medicine.
3. Always buy from reliable sources. Make sure that the supplement that you want to buy is FDA-approved and safe for pregnant women. If it hasn’t been inspected by the FDA, ask your physician as to which supplement works best, as it can be dangerous to decide without the word of a medical expert.
To wrap it up, prenatal vitamins can be essential for you if you’re recommended by your physician to do so. However, you should take note of the rules and schedule as to when to take the supplements the best so they can be absorbed by your body much more and they can be worth your money overall.
It’s also important that your prenatal vitamin is taken in the right away and not overdosed. Proper scheduling is important when you want to plan your prenatal vitamins so that you and your baby stay healthy and safe.