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Pregnancy

Do I Need Prescription Prenatal Vitamins?

By Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, Board Certified OB/GYN

Many women are handed a prescription for prenatal vitamins at their first prenatal visit. To be honest, this really isn’t necessary—and that’s a good thing if you are trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant and haven’t had a visit yet! You should be sure to go with a reputable brand, however, and avoid brands with very extreme doses of certain vitamins/minerals (for example, avoid vitamins that have 5,000 IU or more of vitamin A as this is linked with birth defects).

The most important ingredients in prenatal vitamins are folic acid, iron, and calcium, so be sure to check for that. You should also avoid additional herbal ingredients, as the majority of these have not been tested in pregnant women.

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