Most people understand the importance of taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy and even during breastfeeding. However, a much less common occurrence is to take prenatal vitamins before even becoming pregnant.
In this post we will discuss two important reasons why you should consider taking prenatal vitamins for a time before you even start trying to become pregnant.
One of the most commonly cited reasons for prenatal supplementation is to avoid neural tube defects such as spina bifida. What many people don’t realize however, is that the neural tube is already formed by the end of the 4th week of embryonic development (the 6th week of pregnancy measured from last menstrual period). For someone who has irregular periods or isn’t testing regularly, the neural tube could be completely formed before they even know that they are pregnant. For this reason, it is imperative that everyone who is planning to become pregnant start taking their prenatal vitamins before they even start trying.
Another consideration for taking prenatal vitamins before conception is the fact that many people who experience nausea during pregnancy find it difficult to take vitamins during the early weeks of their pregnancy. Regularly taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy could help reduce the risk of being deficient in vital vitamins and minerals during early pregnancy.
If you decide to take a prenatal vitamin before conception, always be sure to follow the dosage directions for pre-pregnancy to avoid potentially dangerous overdoses.