Prenatal Vitamins are the first thing that a woman looks for when she sees a positive pregnancy test and they’re one of the only standard recommendations in the US for women who are newly pregnant. If women have the ability to plan ahead before their conceptions, I recommend that every woman planning on conceiving in the next year actually get on a prenatal, with a minimum of 3 months on a high quality prenatal before conceiving, if possible. Here are the top reasons why starting a prenatal before you conceive is a good idea.
It takes around 3 months for your eggs to undergo their final maturation process before being ovulated.
While it’s true you’re born with all the eggs you’ll ever have, they remain in an immature state until about 3 months before possible ovulation, at which time they are recruited to the maturation process. This process is nutrient intense, and eggs with the best nutrients will have the best chance at not having a mistake happen and being the best quality. It’s during this time that chromosome errors can occur and eggs can receive too many or too little of the chromosomes they need. Chromosomal mismatches are estimated to be a big reason for early miscarriages, so having good quality eggs that develop properly before they’re ovulated and fertilized can help reduce the risk of miscarriage.
It may be a few weeks into your pregnancy before you find out you’re pregnant.
On average, the earliest a woman could find out she’s pregnant is about 3 weeks along, or 1 week after she’s ovulated. For many women, even if they’re testing at home, it may take longer because implantation occurs on average 6-12 days after ovulation and HCG levels need to rise before they can be detected by at home tests. Most women who are testing early, will be able to confirm around the day of their missed period, but it may take much longer for some women. At that point, your baby’s cells have already begun dividing and growing, and that’s a nutrient intense process. By having the nutrients READY to go during that period, you may be able to avoid certain pregnancy complications or baby development complications like neural tube defects.
Baby gets priority in pregnancy for the nutrients.
During pregnancy, your body figures that you can survive alright without some nutrients, so if they are scarce due to diet and lifestyle, your body will prioritize giving them to the baby. That’s great news for the baby, but during the postpartum phase, it can mean that you may struggle even more with complications since your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs—it so generously gave them to baby!
Nutrient deficiencies can be a cause for infertility and pregnancy complications.
Nutrient deficiencies can prevent a couple from being able to conceive. Nutrients are needed for so many of the processes that help build our hormones and maintain the integrity of our reproductive system. These nutrients include selenium, iodine, vitamin B12, iron, Vitamin D, amino acids, choline, folate, and so much more. By correcting any existing deficiencies with diet and proper supplementation, you may be able to reduce the time it takes to conceive, while also reducing the risk for infertility, pregnancy complications, and improper development of baby.
Prenatal vitamins help fill in gaps in our diet.
Prenatals can’t replace a nutrient dense diet, but they can help fill in some gaps that we have. Even if we ate whole foods every day, our soil’s nutrients have become depleted through modern agriculture and some food today, like fruits and vegetables, are not as nutritious as what your great grandma ate. We also have modern stressors that rapidly deplete our nutrients like magnesium so our daily nutrient needs may be greater.
There are other reasons that taking a high quality prenatal can benefit your and your future baby’s health, but this is a good highlight of some of the main reasons. However, not all prenatals are created equal and it can be confusing knowing which ones are the best. If you’re struggling with choosing a prenatal that’s right for you, check out my free quide to what to look for in prenatal nutrients. You can access it by signing up for my email list on the right of this page.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below or by contacting me through the contact page. Or if you’re looking for more help on your motherhood journey and want to optimize your and baby’s health, schedule a free 20 minute call with me from the home page.