The Vitamins

A lot of you have been saying vitamins are a good idea to find beforehand. I have a friend who told me she took a prenatal pill every day at the same time she took her birth control. I thought that was one of the strangest things I had ever heard. Why in the world would she DO that? Wouldn’t one cancel out the other? Well now that I’ve been thinking more seriously about turning the BMM on, I thought I’d look up a good time to start taking those things.

Naturally, I thought it’s a good idea to do it at the same time I get rid of the birth control, but I came across an article that said it’s actually a good idea to start taking some things 2-3 months before you start doing the deed for real. So now I’m looking into what kinds of pills/supplement stuff I may want to get when it comes to being that close in time.
It looks like folic acid, and iron are two things that are a big deal to have. It would be nice to find an all-in-one multivitamin that I could take and not really have to worry about what I’m getting and not getting. I know too many multivitamins can be too much so I’d like to just take one. Hopefully this will be another good habit I can form before it’s baby makin’ time. Right now I have a hard time taking the calcium pills I need (I don’t drink milk)!

I went out the other day just to see what was out there and I found these, 100 tablets for $4. You only have to take 1 a day. It has calcium, folic acid, iron, all that good stuff and more. Hubby was shopping with me and I was a little reluctant to put them in the basket. I tried to be discreet but he caught on.

“Are you trying to hide that or something?” he asked.
“No… But the name on the bottle might freak you out a little.”

I guess that was his cue to check it out. I waited for the freak out… It didn’t come. He only asked if it would cancel out my birth control… “No”… Eer, I hope not. Just in case I don’t think I’ll take them for a while.

I’m hoping I can find a different multivitamin that’s like pre-prenatal, but I’m not sure they make those.

I’m a little paranoid about the side-effects. I hear some people get insomnia, have a hard time getting them down, get nauseas… I don’t need people thinking I’m pregnant yet.

Do you ladies have any recommendations for specific supplements you like? Any particular brand or kind you may want one day? I read it’s good for hair, nails, and just all around health.

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  1. I use Nature’s Plus Ultra Prenatal. You can usually get them at the Vitamin Shoppe (they have them here in Austin). They are head and shoulders above the rest, I think. Plus you only have to take one (but it’s a big one, I’m just warning you.)

    I always took them at night so I wouldn’t be queasy from them (vitamins always make me feel barfy.)

  2. Vitamins are a MUST before you get pregnant.

    I am one of those people who, if there is a side-effect, I will get it. HOWEVER, I found these vitamins and started taking them 3 months before I got pregnant (luckily) and they were great.

    They are specially made for women and have just the right amount of everything. They won’t cancel out your birth control and my doctor specifically recommended them. Once I started taking them, I felt the best I’ve ever felt; it was AMAZING!!! I had so much energy, my skin was better, my nails were better, and I just “felt” healthier. I DEF. recommend them!

    They’re called Women’s One-A-Day Vitamins, and here’s a link: . All their vitamins are great, but these are specially made for women.

  3. I really like Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System. They’re food-based (rather than made synthetically). You do have to take 6/day though. Rainbow Light also makes a 1/day prenatal if you can’t remember to take vitamins twice a day. I also take fish oil capsules twice a day when I take my vitamins.

  4. I took the kids Flintstones vitamins…. I didn’t start anything before I got pregnant, and all the prenatals I tried I threw up before they even started to disolve in my stomach. So I took triple the dose of kids vitamins and it worked pretty well. Plus they tasted super good!!

    Oh, and since the prenatals are super high in iron, it makes doing #2 pretty hard… at least it did for me.

    And prenatals won’t cancel out your birth control. It is just giving you some extra vitamins and nutrients your body needs anyway, but also preparing you for being pregnant. So, don’t worry!

  5. My doctor told me when I was about 17 to start taking prenatals. I was a little shocked but she explained that for a woman of child bearing years it’s the best type of vitamin for us. Just look at it this way, before you get pregnant its just a really good supplement for your body. It also gets you in a habit of taking them before it becomes imperative that you do. Then when you pregnant….well that’s self explanatory. I just got the generic one from Walgreens. I spoke to the pharmacist there and compared the labels to one of the brand names and the amounts of all the important stuff were the same and all the not so important stuff was close enough to not have to pay 3 times as much. Another vitamin I took when I was pregnant was Expecta Lipil DHA supplements. Supposed to help create smart babies. We’ll see but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take it and could only help.

    Just know that taking a prenatal vitamin IS NOT GOING TO GET YOU PREGNANT or in anyway cancel out your birth control. It’s a vitamin not a fertility drug. Tell your hubs he can breath again.

  6. I’m actually working on a post about prenatal nutrition/vitamins that I’ll be publishing pretty soon here…but here are a few high points.

    3/4 of the prenatal vitamins out there are crap. Sorry, but they are. Read the ingredients–if they are long chemical-y sounding words, then guess what, they are highly-processed forms of the vitamins, and *your*body*cannot*digest*them very well. You would essentially be buying expensive urine because that is where almost every bit of that vitamin will end up. I’m not kidding. Don’t get the cheap ones. (Most of them will probably make you gag to boot.)

    The vitamins I have heard the most highly recommended are whole foods vitamins. That means that when you read the ingredients they say stuff like ‘carrots’ and ‘spinach’. Hey, I can pronounce those! These are a lot pricier, but the vitamins are absorbable. On the other hand, if you are good about eating your carrots and spinach then you can very validly consider not bothering with a prenatal multivitamin at all. Women have been having healthy babies for centuries without taking multivitamins–but of course they weren’t eating junk foods.

    I have researched the nutrients that are important for pregnancy and there is only one that’s not readily available from a balanced veggie-friendly diet, and that is folic acid. (Iron, protein, calcium, magnesium, and a certain amount of fat are all important for pregnancy, but the are all pretty easy to get from a good diet.) So I do take a folic acid supplement–FA is VERY important because it contributes to proper brain stem development. You need to be taking FA starting as soon as you conceive, and since you probably won’t know that you’ve conceived until a couple of weeks after the fact, you should start taking FA as soon as you turn on the BMM, just in case.

    Of course, if your regular diet leaves something to be desired, then a vitamin can help fill in the spaces…but recent research indicates that having a balanced diet is much better than trying to just make it all up with a multivitamin, no matter how good the vitamin is.

    Vitamin B (especially B-6) tends to help with morning sickness, however if you’ve ever tried to take a B-complex you’ll know that they taste like barf. I’m not joking, they are awful. So most pregnant women have a hard time getting them down…the prenatal vitamins tend to include B so they can be helpful in that regard, or there are special pregnancy B supplements available (which I’ve ordered some and will blog about them as soon as I get a chance to try them!)

    Potassium and magnesium help with muscle cramps, iron and salt are vital to increasing blood volume, and yes, you need a certain amount of fat in your diet to have a healthy pregnancy. I happen to take an herb that has some of those things as well as is a good uterine toner, but it’s not a multivitamin, and I don’t expect it to replace my vitamin needs if that makes sense. It’s an extra…
    Like I said, blog post comin soon. ;D

  7. I also take the Nature’s Plus Prenatals and I love them. The only reason women get sick when they take prenatals is because of the iron. It tends to be harsher on your stomach than most people are used to. I’ve been told that a woman should start taking prenatals up to a year before she plans to conceive. It’s nothing more than a specialized multi-vitamin so you should have no qualms about it canceling out your BC. I’ve been taking birth control and prenatals for two years now, and no baby 🙂 Plus, my hair, skin and nails are fantastically healthy and I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the prenatals.

  8. By the way, I don’t drink milk either. I just don’t like it. There are LOTS of other good sources of calcium–other dairy of course (yogurt, cheese, etc), as well as a lot of veggies. Yeah, it keeps coming back to the veggies, doesn’t it?! (And I’m not remotely vegetarian, by the way.)

    And yes, most iron supplements will make you constipated…another good reason to eat veggie sources. Broccoli and spinach will not clog ya up, I promise!!

  9. Your prenatal pills won’t cancel out your birth control. Taking prenatals is the same as taking a multi-vitamin except the amounts are focused on what’s best for mommy and baby instead of just mommy. The best place to get them is from your doctor. Most insurance companies will cover the cost. If you’re worried about getting clogged up just eat more fiber. I love raisin bran and that worked great for me. Find something you love with fiber. Oh yeah…unless you’re allergic to vitamins or minerals you shouldn’t have side effects. I never had a problem with the iron.

  10. Love, love, love this blog. You ask questions I always wanted to know but were afraid to ask since I’ve never tried to get pregnant.

  11. My friend took them since she was 14 because she wanted pretty hair she says. She’s been married for 3 years, no babies yet. I think people have a hard time swallowing them because they are kind of big, not an issue for me, but an issue for some.

  12. Hi! I came across your blog from the Little Bits of Heaven giveaway. So I thought I would finally pipe in and say hello. 🙂

    I am not going to be much help with the vitamin subject though. My husband and I weren’t planning on getting pregnant, so I wasn’t taking any vitamins yet. And I couldn’t take them during my pregnancy because I was so sick. So I apologize for the lack of info. But I will be checking back soon to see how your journey is coming along! 🙂

  13. My wife took prenatal pills for a while before she was pregnant, had no issues. They’re just vitamins, nothing in them cancel birth control. Costco sells tons of different vitamins.

  14. The prenatal vitamins that you bought should work well. As long as they have iron, folic acid and calcium then they will help your body get into what I call “mommy mode.”

    I agree that you should wait until you stop taking your birth control before you start taking your vitamins.

  15. You are silly! It is just vitamins- it cant cancle out the BC! hahaha too funny! If you want long hair and long thick nails- go for it! Beware though- because even though you can handle them just fine when you are NOT pregnant, they can make you sick to your tummy when you are! Weird I know!

  16. I got my prenatals from my doctor, but before hand I just used whatever kind I found at the store.
    Oh yeah, be careful cause they might make you sick to your stomach when you first start taking them(when you really are pregnant) I just asked to switch to a different brand and that seemed to work.

  17. Holy Crap I had a good laugh, no the vitamins won’t affect your BC in anyway way sort or shape.
    Antibiotics can tho, but I’m sure you are aware of that already.

    Folic acid is SOOOOO important because helps protect against congenital malformations, mostly neural tube defects (spine, skull and brain) issues, like spina bifida (opening in the spine). Also can help protect against congenital heart defects, cleft palate, limb defects and urinary tract anomalies.

    Yes you still need to EAT food high in folic acid but make sure you are getting at least RDA recommendation
    400 mg if not pregnant, 600-800 mg if you are pregnant.

    I’ve taken the Gummy Flintstones (4 a day) when I was sick with morning sickness so bad I couldn’t handle the vitamins. Currently I’m taking the Women’s One a Day prenatal. I’ve had prescribed vits, and OTC.

    I really don’t worry to much, but to make sure I take them everyday. I DO however try to eat a lot healthier. And make sure to tell your Dr. that you don’t drink milk so they are aware and can advise you properly.

  18. Like others, the prenatals were too big for me to swallow and the large amount of iron in them made me very ill. So, at my doctor’s request, I took 2 Flinstones every day and 1 slow-release iron pill. It worked for me!

  19. You should be taking both folic acid and fish oils (omega-3 dha and epa) daily before, during and after pregnancy. In fact the CDC recomends that women who expect to get pregnant take at least 400 mcg of folic acid evey day.

    Be a little wary of paying bottom dollar for a bottle of supplements though. There are many that are cheap for a reason and consequently won’t be effective. Working in the vitamin industry, I can tell you that you truly get what you pay for in this industry.


  20. Eew. Like Julie said, fish oils are great, I agree. If you don’t take them before, then def take while preggers.Just let me give you a warning for when you take those. Everytime time you burp, it tastes and smells like fish. So not a turn on.

  21. I totally ran and took pictures of my vitamins so I can post them here. My Vitamin Pics. I never could figure out whether it was more beneficial to take the prenatal vitamins over a multi-vitamin. I decided to stick with a multi-vitamin and folic acid because I didn’t like having to take 6 prenatal pills per day. I also added a seperate iron supplement since my husband and I share the multi-vitamins. Great post Jenn!

    Blog: My Business Adventures – A Mom’s Real-Time Journey Starting a New Business.

  22. If you’re eating healthy real food, all you need are regular vitamins. A multi – a calcium with magnesium and D, C, & E. The most important part is eating healthy. You might as well get used to it now. It’s the best for you and your baby.

    As far as all the career stuff – I waited until I was 35 and ‘settled’. Had a great job, a house, yada, yada, yada. Got divorced, lost the house, my career that I had been in for 20 years disappeared with the telecom crash.

    Don’t wait for those reasons. I was always the oldest mom in the group – which I don’t care – I run circles around all those girls. Just saying that all that stuff can be gone in an instant. It’s better for your body to do it sooner, so I hear. I can’t imagine having a baby past 35. Once you get over 50 it gets tough – mentally. Like you’re ready for the kids to be grown and being able to do your own thing. Late 20’s, early 30’s are probably good, because you’re not feeling like you’re missing out on parties and night life and stuff, you’re content to be a good parent. I hope that made sense…

  23. Last year, I went out and bought New Chapter Organics prenatal pills to begin taking JUST IN CASE we got pregnant. Since then, ive learned a lot about proper nutrition and have switched my eating over to almost 100% organic, so ive havent really taken those pills in a long while. Nowadays, i’d much rather get my vitamins and nutrients from nutrient-dense foods that my body knows how to assimilate rather than a synthetically made vitamin that my body might not know what to do with. And when i say that, just ask any waste management water treatment worker, they will tell you that MOST vitamin pills come OUT the SAME way they came in LOL!

  24. OH, i almost forgot, there is a really good book coming out in April that talks about proper nutrition for women about to be pregnant, are pregnant or are new moms. Its called “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck.


  25. The comments on this are fascinating — should have known you get what you pay for, but I’m such a cheapo person, I would have thought “sweet, $4!”

  26. Cheap is great when it comes to the pocket book, but not when it comes to your health. You don’t have to get the most expensive thing, you just need to read the ingredients.

    With each of my pregnancies, I’ve taken different things because I’ve learned new things. I think I took a regular old prenatal with my first from GNC or something like that. I honestly don’t remember what it was like. With my second, it was probably the same. After my second I had severe PPD and learned fish oil/flaxseed oil can help with that. i started taking it and things got so much better!

    With my third I took the fish oil or flaxseed, I rotate, and a prenatal, I think. This time around I finally started doing the B complex. The brand is Sublingual B Total. Seriously, it doesn’t taste the best, but I got used to it. I have energy. I haven’t thrown up as much as with the previous three. I’m not as sick. It’s done wonders! I told my dh I will continue taking this after I’m done having kids because I actually want to do things!

    I’m also taking a vitamin C and my fish oil. Anything to help me not have PPD again. I didn’t have it with my third.

  27. There is such a thing as a pre-prenatal vitamin, they’re usually called conception supplements or something similar.

    Although my own doctor said just to take folic acid and not bother with anything else. Don’t know how accurate that is, but there you go.

  28. Hi Jennifer

    I don’t know how I found your blog but I love it. I’m also an AA Mormon and mother of 4 children. My husband and I have been LDS for 7 years. Check out my blog at

    I just wanted to mention that I am sure you can agree if you are taking a vitamin you want to make sure that you are absorbing the nutrients and not wasting your money. For example those that take a Centrum or One A Day Vitamin are only getting about 10% of the nutrients. This is true for most vitamins. If there isn’t a patent on the delivery system of the vitamins then the vitamins are just passing through your body. My family uses Melaleuca vitamins and they have a prenatal line that supports the baby’s brain development.

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  31. A good prenatal before birth is the most crucial part to any pregnancy. Studies show that the minimum requirements for calcium intake is 1,000 mg per day. Omega 3 fish oil pills are crucial for cognitive and visual development for your growing baby. Magnesium intake should be at 350 mg per day as well. Most prenatal vitamins on the shelf don’t have any the daily requirements in them and that’s why they are inexpensive. Although I was able to find one brand that really has it all and acts as a complete everyday vitamin for women. The brand is called Forté Elements and their prenatal+ product is in my opinion the best available prenatal I could find. The whole company is based on science and medical journals which is a neat touch. Another cool thing they have is a postnatal product which I have never seen before. I have attached the link below for all to take a look for themselves.

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