Friday, March 25, 2011

Pregnancy Advice: Prenatal Vitamins

My grade school friend told me yesterday that she's pregnant too, just a little behind me, and has been reading my blog for an idea of what to expect. I was so happy to hear that someone likes the blog! Then it made me think that even though I have a bunch of friends who are moms, I have even more that are not quite there yet.  So in the interest of being helpful, maybe I could share some newly acquired knowledge.

The very first thing to deal with when you're going to get pregnant is buying prenatal vitamins. You should be taking these before (some say as early as three months before), during, and after pregnancy.  My first bottle was the generic CVS prenatal vitamain because I was at CVS and it was the cheapest one. I bought these instead of using the prescription for the super vitamins my previous doctor had written me. Apparently they were really pricey and maybe insurance would pay. Um, no thanks. But the CVS ones left a bit to be desired. They were a little big for swallowing and colored pink. Why do I need red #40 and yellow #6 and a bunch of preservatives in my vitamins? I'm trying to eat organic food without preservatives during the pregnancy, so why should the vitamins be my downfall?

Prenatal Vitamins

So here are the best 3 brands I found, for all different reasons. Vitasmart is available at KMart (I know shopping there is liberal crime but there's one in Penn Station and I ran out of vitamins), it's cheap and it's very thin and easy to swallow. It suffers from being colored pink, but for someone who has trouble swallowing pills, it's a good choice.

Trader Joe's is my official recommendation, if you're lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe's. It's reasonably priced, has no food coloring, and keeps random chemicals to a minimum. That greenish color is the actual color of the stuff in it, so it sort of looks like food. It's main drawback is that it's regular prenatal vitamin size which is a little tough to swallow.

Finally, I tried Prenate Essential because I got free samples at my doctors office. Given that it's big and colored blue it wouldn't even be worth discussing, except it's deliciously flavored like vanilla, and it contains a dose of fish oil which will make your baby smarter. Of course you can just take a separate fish oil pill with the other prenatal vitamins, but I'm too lazy to do that most of the time. I just hope I eat enough actual fish that I make up for it that way.  I have no idea how much this vitamin costs, but my guess is that if they're giving samples to the doctor, it's pricey. But I do love it.

On top of the prenatal vitamin my doctor told me to take fish oil everyday, and a calcium pill every day.  This is quite the vitamin cocktail, and most days it doesn't happen. At this point though, I drink so much milk and consume so many Tums that I'm definitely not worried about the calcium. Maybe I'll try a little harder to take everything for this last leg of the pregnancy.

Any moms have a different favorite?

Update: For my second pregnancy I only took the yummy gummy vitamins that Anna recommended. Yum!


kclou said...

Also important is actually consuming the vitamin

eralon said...

I am trying.

Rachel said...

I used prescription ones when I was pregnant with Isaac, until I had to send them away for mail-order for my insurance to cover them. Then I just switched to generic store brand ones, mostly Target. That's what I took with Eleanor too - when I took them - I wasn't very good about remembering... Both kids seem okay so far though ;-)

Anna C.L. said...

I just discovered BellyBar chewable prenatals this pregnancy and they are wonderful. I plan on taking them through breastfeeding and amazon both carry them.

eralon said...

Ooh, maybe I'll try those next time!

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