(Closed) Prenatal vitamins may not be safe to take before pregnancy?

posted 7 years ago in TTC
Post # 32
11163 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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@cmbr:  This, absolutely.

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@Equine_Breeder:  I work for a dietary supplement manufacturing company and I have taken pre-natals for about 1 1/2 years now. Most doctors recommend that you begin taking it prior to TTC to ensure that your body is healthy and ready to meet the requirements once you concieve.

There are literally thousands of options you can take for multivitamin formulations. Some people need more of one thing than others. For example a women multivitamin will contain more iron, folic acid and calcium than a male multivitamin. Often multivitamins towards men contain crucial ingredients for prostate health. If I take a male multivitamin I’m not going to explode or die it just isn’t meeting my full potential for nutrition.

The same applies to a prenatal. You may find that regular adult multivitamins have higher doses of Vitamin A, Iron, Calcium etc. Some prentals don’t have vitamin A at all. Does that mean you are going to suffer? No. Taking one over the other really isn’t going to be a crucial issue unless your doctor indicates that you need an abundance of a single nutrient or collective group of nutrients to address a specific concern.

Furthermore to break it down:

Folic Acid: most prenatals contain 800 mcg of Folic Acid (mine does). The RDA is 400 mcg however the limit daily is 1,000 mcg. Either way you are just fine.

Iron: The RDA for Iron is 18 mg however if you take with food the maximum daily amount is 60 mg. On an empty stomach it is 45 mg. 

Calcium: To get ALL of your calcium requirements in one pill would be impossible. That pill would be too big to swallow with just straight Calcium. Throw in other ingredients and you would choke! Most supplements contain around 600 mg of Calcium (plus Vitamin D which aids with absorption). If you were to obtain all 1,000 mg (max limit is 1,500 mg) of Calcium from pills you would likely have to take two-three depending on the source of the Calcium etc.

Most dietary supplements are just that, supplements. You cannot gain 100% of your nutritional requirements just from eating so the supplements are there to aide with your nutrition…not to make up for lacking in proper eating habits.


Post # 33
11532 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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@AB Bride:  I’ve read things and spoken to one pharmacist who indicated that there could be problems with taking too much folic acid. My doctor didn’t seem to concerned about it, however.

One of the prenatal vitamins I considered purchasing had 1200 mg per pill.  That seemed too high to me, so I started looking for a brand that offered a lower dose. The ones I have been taking have 800 mg.  I’ve also deliberately avoided cereals that say they provide anything higher than 25 percent of the daily requirement for folic acid per serving, since a full bowl of cereal is more than one serving. On days that I decide not to take one of the vitamins, I’ve allowed myself to eat whatever cereal I want, however.

Post # 34
1352 posts
Bumble bee

You need a certain amount of each micronutrient during pregnancy to ensure a healthy you & child. But most healthy women in developed countries meet these requirements without trying. There may be some exceptions like folic acid. But I suggest you evaluate your diet and maybe even do a blood test to see if you’re missing anything. If you are, take supplements or eat more of the food that contains that lacking micronutrient. If not, there’s nothing to worry about.

Overdoses of certain micronutrients (especially fat-soluble vitamins and trace metals) can be VERY harmful to your body and to child development. That’s why supplementation can be harmful for already-healthy people.

Post # 35
3562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I saw my GYN last week and told her that DH and I are planning to pull the goalie next year.  She told me to go ahead and start taking pre-natals now.  I already had been taking them to help my hair for the wedding, and she said that was fine too.  

Post # 36
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m taking them now and I’m not pregnant but I do hope to become pregnant sooner rather than later.  My doctor said it was fine.  Additionally, my friend told me that she started taking them while TTC because her doctor told her to.    

Post # 37
1938 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Most prenatals are just multi vitamins with extra folic acid… so why would it be that harmful?? My doctor and nutritionist were both thrilled to know I took prenatals prior to conceiving… 

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