Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins

It can be difficult to consume all the necessary nutrients that our body requires in our daily diet, even if we pay close attention to what we eat and try and eat the right foods. For many women who are trying to conceive, it is common for them to take a variety of vitamins as a way of boosting their fertility. In food form, a nutrient like folic acid is not well absorbed by our bodies, however in supplement form it is consumed perfectly well.

Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins

The subject of Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins is a controversial one. Certainly, because this is an area of medicine that is largely unregulated, it does mean that finding the right pill can be hard. Many women choose an “all-in-one” tablet for their prenatal vitamins. On paper, this would seem the most obvious and logical thing to do. However, even this simple choice can come with its own problems.

We have found that not all prenatal vitamins contain all of the recommended nutrients. In some, Iodine can be missing. In others, Iron. The levels can also vary dramatically. For example, The amount of Vitamin B12 Pregnacare Conception is 20 µg. In Seven Seas Trying for A Baby is 1.5 µg.

Reading the packets is actually much more important than you would imagine. We advise you to take a look at the small print and check exactly what you get in each tablet.

So Which Nutrients Are Important?

Below are some of the nutrients to consider when you are planning a pregnancy. Most prenatal vitamins should contain all of these nutrients in the correct quantities for daily consumption.


A prenatal vitamin contains high amounts of iron, usually about 14mg, which is an excellent amount for a mother who wants to conceive. Iron is important since it is used to make the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells known as haemoglobin.

Both Pregnacare® Conception and Seven Seas Trying for a Baby Vitamins contain 14mg of Iron.


An ample amount of around 800mg of calcium should be consumed by women of 19-50 years of age whether pregnant or not.  No pill can provide this level of calcium, most offer 300mg at most, so you will need to add calcium on your diet and not to depend on the calcium pills alone. The best foods to provide you with the calcium are dairy products, especially milk, and leafy greens, cereal, bread orange juice, canned fish and some nuts.

Fertilcare Female Fertility Supplement has been specially formulated to contain the calcium your body needs when trying to conceive.

Folic Acid

It is recommended that all women of childbearing age should take 400 mcg of folic acid daily, regardless of whether or not they have the intention of getting pregnant

Trying to conceive Women need to take folic acid since it lowers the risks of neural tube defects and pre-term labour. This is important since it plays an important role in brain and neural tube development in the foetus. This takes place in the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy, the time where many mothers are not aware of their pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant should be taking between 600 and 800 mcg of folic acid per day.

Both Pregnacare® Conception and Seven Seas Trying for a Baby Vitamins provide 400mcg folic acid, the exact level recommended by the Department of Health for all women who are trying to conceive.

NB: Other than vitamins, there are other nutrients like Omega-3 which is significant for the well-being and the brain development of your baby. You can get this from fish such as salmon, walnuts or by taking it in a supplement. Other important supplement vitamins and nutrients to consider are

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Copper

Taking care of your body prior to conceiving is important. Eating healthy and exercising should help you to create a suitable environment for your baby. Make sure you have the above-mentioned nutrients in your diet, regardless of whether you get them from food or supplements.

Photo by Daily Nouri on Unsplash

This post first appeared in 2014 and has been updated since.

Zoom Baby is a leading supplier of Pregnancy Tests and Ovulation Test Kits

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