Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Weigh-in on Prenatal Vitamins

Many of us already know that we should be taking folic acid before trying to conceive. In fact, Jill Stovsky, exercise physiologist and dietitian says that taking folic acid for at least one month before conception reduces the risk of neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida, by up to 70 percent.

But what about prenatal vitamins? I had a friend recommend that I start taking them. So I did a little bit of research. I looked a blogs and comments to questions on certain websites. The results varied. Some women didn't start taking prenatal vitamins to well into their pregnancy. Others started earlier.

An article at babycenter.com said the following:
If you're very tuned in to nutrition and regularly eat a broad range of foods, including meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, your diet will provide almost all the nutrients you and your baby need. Realistically, though, most women — especially those in the throes of morning sickness— can benefit from taking a prenatal
vitamin and mineral supplement, preferably before they start trying to conceive. Think of it as an insurance policy to make sure you're getting the right amount of certain important nutrients during pregnancy.

It went on to say however, that too much can be a bad thing. I've had a tendency to get bad nosebleeds when taking a lot of multi-vitamins and up through college always choose a children's chewable over your standard OTC vitamin.

The article mentioned that often times a physician will recommend or even prescribe a certain type of prenatal vitamin. There is no FDA guidelines of prenatal vitamins so each brand has includes different doses of each vitamin and mineral.

I decided that for me, I think it will be best to wait a little bit on the prenatal vitamins. I'm taking folic acid and a regular multivitamin. I'm also a healthy (and rather hearty) eater, so I think I'm well covered when it comes to nutrition. But, I might re-evaluate things in a few weeks.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Can you plan a pregnancy?

I frequently wonder when is the best time for us to have a baby. Do I want to try to have a spring baby? Should I try to avoid major holidays like Christmas or New Year? Wouldn't it be terrible to be 9 months pregnant in August?

Today I read this interesting article on webmd called "Can you Time Your Pregnancy?". It seemed to say over and over again that you can't necessarily just get pregnant the month you want to. I had a friend tell me one day that even under perfect conditions, you're only 20% likely to get pregnant on any given month. While I don't know how true that particular statement is, the article explains that it is not uncommon for it to take several months to get pregnant.

I'll have to remind myself of that over the next few months.