The Best Way to Take Prenatal Vitamins

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Each year, thousands of women try to get pregnant, and thousands more successfully bear children. Taking a prenatal vitamin can greatly increase the chances that a baby will be born healthy and without any defects. For maximum effectiveness, the vitamin should be taken according to a routine and in the way that best matches your situation.

Take at Night

Take prenatal vitamins at night instead of in the morning if they seem to cause nausea. For many women, morning sickness tends to calm down during the evening hours, so it can be easier to take the vitamin then. Taking the pill first thing in the morning also can be problematic because, like any supplement, prenatal vitamins can cause an upset stomach if not taken with food.

Divide the Dose

Divide the prenatal vitamin dose in half and take at two separate times of the day. For some women, the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the supplement is simply too much for the body to handle all at once, so splitting up the dose can help. This doesn’t mean that the overall daily dose needs to be lowered; it just means that the body has trouble getting so much at one time. Consult with a physician before trying this, since it may run contrary to what is recommended on the bottle.

Take With Food

Take the supplement when you eat. As with other supplements, the absorption of the prenatal vitamin contents is aided when the vitamin is ingested with other foods that need to be digested. Additionally, taking the supplement with food decreases the chance that the vitamin will result in nausea.

Take a Smaller/Liquid Dose

Take a smaller pill or a liquid dose of the prenatal vitamin. Some women have problems swallowing pills, so a smaller version can be more palatable. Liquid doses can be mixed with other liquids and therefore be easier to take, and liquid doses also tend to be absorbed better by the body.

Follow Directions

Follow the directions for the specific prenatal vitamin that is selected. Not all prenatal vitamins have the same ingredients, and not following the directions can therefore make a person sick or decrease the effectiveness of the vitamin. Always consult with a physician if it is necessary to do something different than what is recommended—a doctor can recommend a different prenatal vitamin if needed.

Establish a Routine

Always take a prenatal vitamin at the same time of day, whether it is the morning, after lunch or at night. This will help the body get used to receiving a dose of the vitamin. It also helps reduce the chances that the prenatal vitamin will be forgotten if taking the vitamin is part of a routine.

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