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Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Prenatal Vitamin Basics?

Why do I need prenatal vitamins? How do I pick out the right one?

First of all, the best time to start taking care of baby is before you even conceive. Why? Because you’ll provide your body with essential nutrients that’ll not only help you conceive, but also have a healthy pregnancy.

Folic acid is crucial because getting enough now can vastly decrease the risk of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) as baby develops. Folic acid is so important that experts recommend all women of childbearing age (even those not TTC) get 400 mcg of folic acid a day.

Make sure to choose a formula that also contains zinc, which can actually increase fertility. And, research shows that women who take vitamins with at least ten mg of vitamin B6 before they conceive or during the first few weeks of pregnancy reduce the likelihood of morning sickness. (And that’s a pretty convincing reason to take your  vitamins right there!)