Ahh vitamins. Something I have never been great at taking consistently. I do blame my mother – being a very picky eater as a kid my mom always made sure I took my vitamins and I hated every minute. There was nothing pleasant about them – usually they were too big, didn’t have a great taste, and taken on an empty stomach definitely made me nauseas…or worse.
Vitamins take on a whole new meaning once you’re trying to conceive. It’s so important that our bodies have an ample supply of calcium, folic acid, and iron (along with other important nutrients) to avoid serious birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord. Spina Bifida can often occur when a mother does not have a sufficient amount of folic acid while pregnant. Many of these defects can occur the first 28 days after conception, which is why it’s so important to begin taking prenatal vitamins when trying to conceive.
Wondering what you can eat that contains folic acid? Green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits will help your body absorb folic acid. Of course, follow doctors recommendations and eat these foods in addition to, not in place of, your prenatal vitamin.
When I knew that Todd and I were going to try to start a family the first thing I did (other than stop taking birth control) was Google prenatal vitamins to start my baby making research.
I was overwhelmed with what I found. Conflicting reports of how many milligrams of each vitamin supplements should have, over the counter or prescription, DHA supplement or not? This was the first time I started to panic about the entire lets-have-a-baby idea…..and we hadn’t even officially tried to conceive yet. Talk about a buzz kill.
Doing research solely on my own was out of the question. About a week and a half ago, when the vitamin craziness began in the Krokowski household, I called my gynecologists office. I explained that we were ready to begin a family and I wanted to understand what steps I should be taking in preparation.
Lucky for me my annual exam is due in a few short weeks so I will be having a ‘pre-conception’ visit along with annual the week of November 15th. In the meantime, my doctors office did put together a very nice goody bag for me to pick up. The bag had several different types of prenatal vitamins to try – along with a nice brochure on pregnancy.
I was slightly perplexed as to why I needed to sample different types/brands of prenatal vitamins. Vitamins are vitamins, right? Actually, it turns out they can differ in taste, aftertaste (think burbs), pill size and could make you constipated.
I’ve been taking prenatal vitamin for a full week and happy to report that all is well. I have tried the Nestabs DHA and really do like them. There is no taste, no aftertaste and they are vegetarian – a great bonus.
Moral to this post? Call your Gynecologist when you’re ready to start trying to conceive and ask for prenatal vitamin samples. If you have questions about genetics (heredity diseases and such) then definitely make an appointment for a preconception consultation.
The great part about all of this? When I stopped by my doctor’s office to pick up my packet of prenatal samples I could not stop smiling. To me, it was the first real step in trying to start a family. It was definitely a moment that I stopped to appreciate what was happening and felt so grateful to be experiencing it.
On a side note, we had unusual weather the last twenty-four hours and have a few inches of snow on the ground. It was a bit chilly when Todd had to walk the dogs this evening, not your usual Halloween weather!