Folic Acid And Vitamins

14 Replies
Purplehaze - May 23

Hi I have a question about taking folic acid and other vitamins prior to pregnancy. I am scheduled to go and see the nurse next week and wondered if there is anything I should ask about. I read that you should start taking folic acid at least 3 months before you concieve? Also I am vegetarian and wondered if I should start taking iron tablets? Just seeing what others are taking or doing in preperation for pregnancy. Thanks x

 

linds99 - May 23

You don't necessarily need iron pills. If you are a vegetarian, you can get the same-if not more iron- from dark leafy greens...As for prenatal vitamins, they will probably give you a prescription at the doc's office...automatically. But, it sounds like you are healthy, doing and eating all the right things, prenatal vitamins will likely fill the gaps of minerals and vitamins in which you may need more though to carry a baby...sit back and enjoy your husband and make a baby!

 

oz - May 23

My dr said just to take folic acid prior to falling preggo then to swap to a prenatal vitmain if i wish. She said she really only recommends folic acid and said when falling pregnant you should maintain a healthy diet and should gt all the vitamins you need from that. Here in Australia you can buy folic acid and pregnancy vitamins at the supermarket and they are pretty cheap - we dont need a prescription or anything.

 

Purplehaze - May 23

Thanks for the responses. I try to eat healthly and eat lots of veg and fruit. I have always been ok with my iron levels but I was worried incase I need to think about adjusting what I eat for when I have a baby (I think I will start adding more spinich into my diet). We are starting ttc in a few months and I'm really excited. I think that I can get folic acid from the Chemist but I thought that I would see the nurse and see if she suggests anything and if I can get it on prescription. x

 

Emma2 - May 23

My take on it is....take whatever you like .It can only help but I would consult your dr. before taking iron pills. Good Luck

 

linds99 - May 23

One more thing, believe it or not, folic acid is also high in pasta...yum!

 

Purplehaze - May 23

Thanks Emma2 I'll see what they say at the doctors. Linds99-Thats good because I eat lots of pasta :-) I just googled it and it's also high in peanut b___ter yay I love peanut b___ter. are you ttc? and are you taking anything in readiness?

 

linds99 - May 23

I'm on Citrical, yes I am TTC, I'm about 13 days post ovulation, so we shall see if it happened. Anyway, I also don't eat a lot of meat, used to eat/drink a lot of soy based products, which I was told has estrogenic effects..So my advice to you is to lay off soy if you are on it (as a meat subst_tute) until you get preggers...cause the soy may lengthen your follicular phase like it did mine. I stopped it, and sure enough, it shortened my cycle by 5 days...and I ovulated during a normal time. I say prenatal vitamins are good because unless you are eating and watching and counting everything you eat and drink, the vitamins help you maintain somewhat of a balance (and if you don't need something, your body just pees it out...)

 

jeanette - May 23

Folic Acid (400mcg/day): Over and over again, women are told to take folic acid to help prevent birth defects, but did you know that you should start taking folic acid as soon as you start thinking about getting pregnant? In addition to helping prevent serious birth defects like spina bifida, it has also been shown to improve fertility. But it’s not just women who need to up their intake, men also need folic acid to maintain the quality and number of their sperm. Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, are a great source of folic acid. ****Vitamins B6 (up to 50mg/day) and B12 (up to 50mcg/day): Along with folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 help make up part of the B-complex family. All of these vitamins are essential to good reproductive health. B6 in particular has been shown to increase fertility in women, while B12 helps men with low sperm counts. ****Vitamin C (1,000mg/day): Lack of this antioxidant can cause sperm to clump together, obviously not ideal behavior for sperm when you’re trying to conceive.Vitamin C has also been found to help women on the fertility medication clomiphene increase their chances of conceiving. Citrus fruits and juices are a fantastic source of vitamin C (one medium orange contains 70mg), as are sweet peppers (half a cup of red peppers has 142mg), broccoli (a half cup contains 62mg) and strawberries (five have 51mg). However, because so much vitamin C is recommended to aid in fertility, it might be a good idea to complement your dietary intake with a supplement. Zinc ( ONLY 15 – 30mg/day): This mineral is important for maintaining the production of testosterone in men. Low levels of zinc can also affect sperm count and motility. ----> In women, zinc helps the body use estrogen and progesterone more efficiently. Meat and seafood are the best sources of this mineral but since you are a vegetarian, it can also be found in whole grains and wheat germ. As important as this mineral is, it’s vital that you don’t take too much!! High levels of zinc can be toxic as well as counterproductive in your efforts to aid conception. A well-balanced diet is usually sufficient to maintain zinc levels. However, if you are thinking of taking a zinc supplement, consult your doctor first so that you can be sure you receive the correct amount. ****Selenium (55 – 100mcg/day): An antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals, selenium can help minimize the risk of birth defects as well as increase sperm counts in men with a low sperm count. Some good sources of selenium include red meat, tuna, chicken, and enriched pasta and whole grain breads. ****Vitamin E (15mg/day): Although experts aren’t sure why, vitamin E has been found to aid in conception. Men often receive vitamin E when their partners are undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment. Increasing the intake of this antioxidant has been found to increase a couple’s chances of IVF being successful by 10%. However, this vitamin should not be taken if you are using anticoagulants. You should always check with your doctor if you plan to exceed 500mg/day. Wheat germ oil is an excellent source of vitamin E (one tablespoon will provide you with your total daily intake) as are almonds and sunflower seeds and oil. Broccoli and spinach also provide some vitamin E. ****Take a Prenatal Supplement Aside from eating a healthy diet, you should take prenatal vitamins to ensure you are receiving all of the vitamins and minerals in the correct dosage. Your doctor will most likely recommend you take a prenatal supplement as a part of your pre-pregnancy preparation. Even if you are confident that you already follow a healthy diet, there’s no harm in taking a daily multi-vitamin, just to be on the safe side....................hope this helps!! =D

 

Purplehaze - May 23

Good luck and I hope that this month is the month for you x. Thats interesting about the soy I have quite long cycles which do vary but on average I'm around 35 days. I'll lay off it and see if it makes a difference. Thanks

 

jeanette - May 23

Wanted to also add this------Talk to your doctor about how much you need before and after you conceive. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, so your body will flush out the excess if you consume too much. For some women, there's an exception to this rule: Getting too much folate may hide a B-12 deficiency, sometimes a problem for vegetarians. Ask your doctor or midwife if you think you may be at risk. Folic acid is required for the production of DNA, which is necessary for the rapid cell growth needed to make fetal tissues and organs early in pregnancy. That is why it is important for a woman to have enough folic acid in her body both before and during pregnancy. Folate and folic acid are different terms for the same B-vitamin. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, we make some distinctions between them. Folate is the B-vitamin form found naturally in foods. Folic acid is not found in natural food sources. Folic acid is the synthetic B-vitamin form that is used in vitamin supplements and added to fortified foods. Synthetic folic acid is absorbed better than natural food folate. Most of the folate found naturally in foods has a more complex structure than the synthetic folic acid that is found in fortified foods and vitamin supplements. The more complex structure affects the intestine's ability to process and absorb food folate. The body can absorb and use the folic acid found in vitamin supplements and fortified foods more efficiently than it can convert the food folate into a usable form. Synthetic folic acid is about twice as absorbable as naturally occurring food folate.

 

Purplehaze - May 23

Wow thanks Jeanette thats lots of helpful information. My friend is a midwife and we were talking about ttc and she said that I should start to take folic acid now. It got me thinking about what other things I should be eating/taking to give my self the best chance of concieving and having a healthy baby. I will have to make sure my husband starts to take more care of himself as well. It is a great starting point and you have provided lots of ideas that I had not even considered. Thanks again x

 

Steff - May 24

Hi Purple Haze (and everyone else)! I started taking a prenatal as soon as I got off the pill. It's good to have folic acid in your system because it is the most benifcial in the very early stages of pregnancy (so I've heard). Also, my boday got used to them so they didn't make me sick. I am now 9 weeks along and everything seems great so far! :)

 

Emma2 - May 24

I was taking prenatals and my dr. told me to stop taking them until i reach my 2nd trimester because I had severe nausea.....Im gonna start taking them again soon.

 

Celia - May 24

This is a little off topic but after you get pregnant check to see if your prenatals have calcium in them. Alot of prenatals don't include calcium due to the affects it has with iron absorbtion. I know you can get most of your calcium needs through diet but I was sick 24/7 and couldn't drink milk or keep anything down and was relying on my prenatal for all my vitamin needs. I just a__sumed it would have everything in it.

 

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