What are six vital nutrients that should be in a prenatal vitamin?
Most pregnant women are taking a generic prenatal that may not contain the right form or amount of vital nutrients during pregnancy. There are also some nutrients that are not found in most prenatals.
Six Vital Nutrients in Prenatals:
1. Methylated B Vitamins: B12 must be in the active form of methylcobalamin and Folate in the active form of methyltetrahydrofolate. B vitamins prevent miscarriage, birth defects, and are important for production of our hormones and DNA. Dosage: 400mcg daily of folate, MTHFR mutation 800mcg daily. Those also with the MTHFR mutation should avoid folic acid.
2. Choline: Important for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system, as well as help transport DHA across the placental membrane. Dosage: 450mg daily. Those with the MTHFD1 mutation should be taking up to 900mg daily.
3. Iodine: For thyroid in both mom and baby, development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. Dosage: Pregnant women 220mcg daily, Breastfeeding 290 mcg daily.
4. Magnesium: Prevents morning sickness, leg cramps, insomnia and is necessary for over 300 metabolic pathways in the body. Dosage: at least 200-400mg daily. There are also different forms and some can cause diarrhea (such as magnesium oxide).
5. Vitamin D: Important for the development of the baby’s immune, pancreatic, musculoskeletal, nerve, and cardiovascular systems. Studies have also shown it can prevent preeclampsia. Dosage: Varies but studies recommend 4000-5000 IU daily. Most prenatals usually contain only about 400 IU.
6. DHA: An important omega 3 fatty acid for the development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system. Pregnant & breastfeeding women need 300mg daily. For those who are plant based, look for algae sources of DHA.
Before taking prenatal vitamin especially with higher doses, I recommend following up with a Functional Medicine Practitioner to assess your nutrient levels and recommend the best prenatal for a healthy, nourish pregnancy for you and your baby. Be sure to share with those trying to conceive and who already are pregnant.
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