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The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

So let's talk a little bit about prenatal vitamins. It's important for a woman to start

taking the prenatal vitamins before she gets pregnant. I usually recommend about a month

before they go off any kind of birth control so there's an overlap.

The most important component of the prenatal vitamin is the folic acid. It helps prevent

neural tube defects. What you want to look for on the back is make sure it has at least

800 micrograms of folic acid, and then that's a good prenatal vitamin. The prenatal vitamins

that you buy in the store that label themselves prenatal vitamins have a lot of extra stuff

that's probably unnecessary. The most important part is the folic acid.

Once you're pregnant it's important to add something called DHA, or omega-3 fatty acids.

And a lot of prenatal vitamins have it, but a lot of them don't. So you have to read the

label and make sure it has it. Or buy it separately and start taking it as soon as you're pregnant.

And in that one you should stay on it while you're breastfeeding, too. The folic acid

is really better before you're pregnant and the first trimester.