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Is It Safe to Take Prenatal Vitamins Without Pregnancy?


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Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

When most people see a pregnant woman eating so much food, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is oh well, she’s eating for two. while a pregnant woman might not need more calories than she took while she was not pregnant, she needs more nutrients for both herself and her baby.


With the increase in nutritional needs of pregnant women, they seek ways to get all the essential vitamins and minerals, and that explains why prenatal vitamins are in high demand. Over the years prenatal vitamins have been connected with reducing the risk of pregnancy complications such as anaemia and neural tube defect.

With all the many benefits pregnant women can get from taking prenatal vitamins it is effortless to find people wondering if it’s OK to take them when you’re not expecting. However for the most part, if you’re not thinking about getting pregnant anytime soon, the bulk of your vitamins shouldn’t come from a prenatal vitamin but your daily food. Let us take a look at the risks and benefits associated with taking prenatal vitamins.

What are prenatal vitamins?

Prenatal Vitamins

If you take a journey down the vitamin aisle of your local pharmacy, you will notice an assortment of different types of vitamins for different sexes and ages. Prenatal vitamins are created especially for women who are thinking about getting pregnant or who are already pregnant.

The reason while prenatal vitamins were created is because of the idea that a pregnant woman requires more vitamins and minerals than a woman who isn’t expecting especially for the healthy development of the baby in her womb. Because expectant mothers do not take in the right amount of nutrients, in their daily diet prenatal vitamins are there to help bridge the gap.

It is vital that you bear in mind that prenatal vitamins are only in supplements for nutrients and not a replacement for a pregnant women’s healthy diet.

What is the difference between prenatal vitamins and traditional multivitamins?

There are different types of prenatal vitamins available in the market. While there is no particular formula used for the production of all the different types of prenatal vitamins, most prenatal vitamins usually contain three vital nutrients.

Calcium: according to reports from the mayo clinic adult women and pregnant women need a daily intake of exactly 1000 milligrams of calcium. Most of the time prenatal vitamins contain at least 200 or 300 mg of calcium which is not the total daily requirement for a woman.

This means that it is only there to supplement the calcium a pregnant woman gets from her food. Calcium is vital for everyone because it keeps the bones strong so when a pregnant woman takes it, it not only helps to strengthen her bones and teeth it also helps the baby develop strong bones.


Folic acid: the sufficient intake of folic acid has been linked with reducing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have recommended that women trying to get pregnant and women who are currently expecting should take at least 600 mcg of folic acid daily from various sources. It is evident that getting such a quantity of folic acid from food alone will be difficult thus prenatal vitamins work to supplement the one derived from food.

Some foods that are rich in folic acid include asparagus beans leafy green vegetables and broccoli. Many fortified foods like bread, breakfast cereal, and pasta contain folate too.

Iron: Iron is the mineral necessary for the creation of new red blood cells in the human body. Because the blood volume of a woman increases when she’s expecting a baby, Iron is compulsory. According to the mayo clinic, pregnant women require a daily intake of at least 27mg of iron. this 27-milligram requirement is 8 milligrams above the daily needs of women who are not pregnant.

Asides these three major nutrients, prenatal vitamins also contain other valuable elements such as; Copper, omega-3 fatty acid, zinc, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, and vitamin-E.

When is the right time for me to take prenatal vitamins?

Make sure to always consult with your doctor before taking prenatal vitamins. If you are already pregnant so trying to conceive your daughter will most likely prescribed prenatal vitamins for you. while it is very possible that should buy prenatal drugs across the counter, doctors can also prescribe them for you.

Pregnant teenagers women who are carrying more than one baby in the womb and women who have a history of substance abuse and more likely to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Prenatal vitamins are especially essential for women in the categories above.

Also for women who are breastfeeding, doctors might suggest that they continue to take prenatal vitamins because these vitamins act as a supplement to lactating mothers who require lots of nutrients to produce breast milk for their children.

Even if you are not currently trying to make babies it is not a bad idea for you to take vitamin supplements because more than half the pregnancy is in the united states are unplanned. The spinal cord and brains of a child are already forming at the early stage of pregnancy thus adequate intake of folic acid is essential during this period.

If women of childbearing age do not want to take the supplements, they can also decide to take folic acid rich foods to meet up their daily requirements of folic acid.

Can I take prenatal vitamins if I’m not looking to get pregnant?

Prenatal vitamins are explicitly created to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers, expecting mothers, and ladies trying to get pregnant. While prenatal supplements to created to make up for the deficiencies of vitamins in pregnant and expecting women, it is not advised the people were not looking to make babies or lactating take this supplement.


When your daily in Chico folic acid is in excess, there is a high chance that you experiences side effects the masks did efficiency of vitamin B12.

Having an excess daily intake of iron as well can lead to some uncomfortable side effects such as constipation, diarrhoea, and nausea. Similarly, an excess intake of vitamin-A from and synthetic source can cause damage to a person’s liver.

Additionally, it’s best to have your daily dose of nutrients from the food you eat instead of from pills because the nutrients you get from foods are entirely natural. That is why doctors would advise women who are not trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant to focus on getting their daily dose of vitamins from natural foods instead of supplements.

Misconceptions about prenatal vitamins

Some women have made claims that taking prenatal vitamins have helped to improve their hair growth and also the growth of their fingernails. They have been no scientific proof to back up the screens but taking prenatal vitamins for the sole purpose of growing thicker hair and longer nails is not advisable as results cannot be guaranteed. Also, taking prenatal vitamins can have side effects, so it’s best to avoid them.

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