5 Best Prenatal Vitamins of 2022 – Forbes Health
A prenatal vitamin is a supplement designed to provide the nutrients and minerals necessary for a healthy pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that taking a prenatal vitamin and eating nutritious foods should provide a person with all the vitamins and minerals they need during pregnancy.
A prenatal vitamin is important for pregnant women because the growing fetus needs certain nutrients that may be difficult to obtain through diet alone.
“Fetal development is rapid and requires a lot of metabolism — it depends on the proper amount of amino acids and nutrients,” says James Grifo, MD, Ph.D., Forbes Health Advisory Board Member and OB-GYN, program director at NYU. Langone Fertility Center in New York and Chief Medical Officer of Inception Fertility.
ACOG recommends that pregnant women consume certain amounts of calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, iron to help red blood cells deliver oxygen to the fetus, iodine and choline to help brain development and folic acid to help prevent birth defects. Additionally, he recommends vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D, which offer benefits ranging from promoting healthy skin and eyesight to the formation of red blood cells. Although most of these nutrients can be obtained through a healthy diet, a prenatal vitamin provides the added assurance that your daily nutritional needs are being met, no matter what’s on the menu.
Getting the recommended amount of certain nutrients, especially folic acid, can be difficult, even if you have a healthy diet. For example, ACOG recommends pregnant women consume 600 micrograms of folic acid daily during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Although some folic acids can come from foods such as fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables, ACOG recommends supplementing with a prenatal vitamin to ensure you’re getting the recommended amount.