Ah, the prenatal vitamin. It's the vitamin of choice for many women, whether pregnant or not. Some take it in lieu of a multivitamin to fill in any nutrient gaps in their diet. Others take it in hopes of growing long lush hair and resilient nails. Still others take it because they are trying to get pregnant and want to increase their chances of conceiving.
Whatever the reason, pregnant or not, it's important to choose wisely. Here are 3 quick tips to help you when you find yourself roaming the vitamin aisle in search of a prenatal vitamin.
I know they taste good. I know they're easier to swallow than those giant horse pills, but trust me, they are woefully incomplete. Most gummies (all the ones I've looked at, but there's a chance I missed a good one) don't have any iron and very little, if any, calcium. And we all know how uber important it is for women to get enough of these two minerals.
Look at the Size and Servings
Have you ever seen a prenatal vitamin? Those things are huge!!! Many bottles show the actual size on the label so can you choose one that won't be too hard to swallow. If you have trouble swallowing pills, try a mini pill, a chewable, or a pill you can easily split in two. Another thing to look at is the how many pills you would need to take to get the full amount of nutrients listed on the label. The label may say it contains 100% of the folic acid you need in a day, but is that for 1, 2, or 3 pills?
Check the Expiration Date and Safety Seal
This one might seem like a no brainer but I constantly forget to check the expiration dates on food and supplements, sometimes to my own loss. Am I the only one? Last week I went in search of a probiotic. I spotted a brand I had heard good things about. Walking towards the register, somehting prompted me to check the expiration date. Three months expired! I went back to the aisle to find another, same thing! Check the dates ladies! And while you are at it, make sure that bad boy is sealed tight. Is there any sign of tampering? If so, grab a different bottle.
Whatever your reason for taking a prenatal vitamin or any other supplement, it's always a good idea to discuss it with your healthcare provider.
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