I love my chewy vitamins. Every day after lunch, I make sure I take a One-a-Day supplement to achieve my daily doses of nutrients. As a vegetarian, I feel that a supplement is especially important to make up for specific dietary deficits. For the same reason, vitamins are important during your pregnancy. Pregnancy causes a deficiency in most nutrients because your baby will be extracting the vitamins he or she needs from your daily diet. However, it’s also extremely important that you don’t take too many supplements during pregnancy. It’s easy to overdose since there is so much you feel like you’ll need, but never exceed the recommended dosage on any vitamin. Doing so could cause serious health problems for you and your baby.

Studies show that you should stop taking your usual daily vitamin once you begin a regimen of prenatal vitamins. Too much of a good thing is most definitely a bad thing in this case. While folic acid is important in preventing any chromosomal abnormalities for your baby, too much of it could cause complications or even birth defects. If you’re not sure how much to take, make sure you talk to your doctor before you even begin the regimen. Recommended daily doses during pregnancy are often different than those for otherwise healthy adults. Your doctor will be able to tell you how many milligrams of each supplement you need on a daily basis, and if you bring your vitamins to the appointment he or she might even be able to recommend specific brands and doses that will allow you to cut down on how many different kinds you’re taking.

Many women assume that the more vitamins they’re taking during pregnancy, the better off their baby will be. This is untrue, so never mix your usual vitamins with your prenatal variety. After you’ve delivered, you can go back to your normal dosage of daily vitamins. Depending on your diet, your doctor might not even recommend a prenatal vitamin with a high volume of nutrients. Combining a healthy diet with the appropriate supplements is an excellent way to keep your baby healthy through the delicate stages of development during pregnancy. Folic acid and iron are two of the most important supplements, though many more might be required for your individual deficiencies. Everyone’s body is different, so talk to your doctor about which kind might be right for you.

Source: DJ Nelson. Prenatal Vitamins: Helpful or Harmful? Midwifery Today Volume 98 Issue 16 Summer 2011