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Myths and Facts About Prenatal Vitamins

As a mother, you want the best for your child. Prenatal vitamins can help ensure that your child develops optimally throughout your pregnancy. 

Deficiencies during pregnancy don’t just impact your baby’s development, but they can also lead to major malformations and reduce the lifespan of your child. 

Under the guidance of Dr. Andrea Olanescu, our expert OB/GYN here at Medical Care for Women in Astoria, New York, you can confidently choose the right prenatal vitamins for your pregnancy. Read on to learn how to separate fact from myth regarding prenatal vitamins. 

Myth: Prenatal vitamins are only for pregnant women who follow a vegetarian diet 

A long-term vegetarian diet can lead to deficiencies in omega-3, vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and calcium, due in part to the lower bioavailability of nutrients in plants. Still, the CDC recommends all pregnant women, not just those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, take prenatal vitamins.

Although you may be able to obtain all your essential nutrients from food with the guidance of a nutritionist, supplemental vitamins offer a safe and easy way to improve the chances of your baby developing optimally. 

If you experience morning sickness or an upset stomach after taking supplements, you can opt for supplements that have a lower dose of vitamins and minerals. 

During your pregnancy, Dr. Olanescu can help you avoid deficiencies by prescribing supplements for omega-3 fatty acids, B12, folic acid, iron, and calcium. 

Myth: All prenatal vitamins are the same 

The bioavailability of vitamins and minerals varies substantially. For example, vitamin B12 supplements made from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) aren’t absorbed well by the body. 

Also, some women have trouble converting folic acid to its active form. In these cases, doctors may recommend the active form of folic acid, known as methyl folate. 

Because the average person may be unfamiliar with complex topics like bioavailability, it’s best to seek help from a medical expert like Dr. Olanescu when shopping for prenatal vitamins. 

Fact: Prenatal vitamins can prevent malformations 

Supplements aren’t designed to replace a healthy diet. However, supplements have been shown to prevent complications and malformations. 

Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is key for preventing spina bifida, a malformation of the spinal cord that can significantly impact the quality of life and lifespan of children. 

Calcium supplements can prevent bone disorders in infants, while iron supplements can halt the development of anemia during pregnancy. And an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is vital for healthy brain and eye development. 

Learn more about delivering a healthy baby 

If you’re planning a pregnancy or are already pregnant and want to ensure that your baby develops optimally, call us to schedule an appointment or book your consultation online.

Dr. Olanescu is more than happy to answer all of your questions and provide guidance throughout your pregnancy.

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