Pros And Cons Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant
There are times that women who are not pregnant tend to take prenatal vitamins. While these prenatal vitamins have a lot of nutrients and supplements, they might pose some risks. If you want to find out the pros and cons of taking prenatal vitamins when you’re not pregnant, find out as you read this article.
Pros And Cons Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant
1. Preparation when you’re expecting
Prenatal vitamins contain different nutrients but in significantly higher amounts. The nutrients include iron, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and others to aid in fetal development.
When you’re trying or expecting to become pregnant, it’s actually recommended that you take prenatal pills to aid in your early stages of pregnancy. This gives you a head start in creating a healthier environment inside your body for your baby.
Prenatal vitamin prevents birth defects in newborns. Here is a list of what each mineral can do for your baby when you’re trying to get pregnant:
Iron – prevents anemia during pregnancy
Folic Acid – prevents severe birth defects and neural-tube defects. It also helps in developing your baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – aids in the development of the fetal brain
Calcium – helps build bones of soon-to-be baby and prevents bone loss in mothers carrying the baby
Vitamin D – aids in balancing of hormones, strengthening of immune system, brain health, and bone development
2. Treating specific nutrient deficiencies
With the guidance of your doctor, prenatal vitamins may be prescribed to you when you’re not pregnant. Since this is made for pregnant women, the pill is also easy to take and has a lot of supplements already.
However, remember to ask your doctor for advice. For example, if you are vitamin deficient, taking these vitamins can help boost vitamin content in your body.
3. Supply post-delivery nutrients
After the delivery of the baby, prenatal vitamins are usually prescribed to the mother. Vitamins that solely come or is provided from the body of the mother might not be enough to cover both the baby and the mother. This is done so that during breastfeeding, the baby also gets the essential nutrients they need.
Especially for women who deliver twins, the delivery might take a toll on their bodies. So, prenatal vitamins are particularly essential even when they're not pregnant anymore for these women.
Prenatal vitamins are also recommended for post-deliver in teenagers and women who have a history of substance abuse being more likely to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
4. Complements your diet
For women who aren't pregnant and don't eat a specific food, prenatal vitamins will provide the nutrients they lack. You may not be getting the right amount of iron for your body, then you might benefit from prenatal vitamins to aid you with your iron content. It might also even aid in hair loss.
However, always run this by your doctor first to get the right prescription of prenatal vitamins.
If you are not trying or expecting to get pregnant, these prenatal vitamins might cause overdose on the nutrients. For example, since prenatal vitamins contain more iron than usual, it can cause dangerous iron buildups in your organs. As a result, this might actually hurt more than help you. Here are potential side-effects for each kind of vitamin when you take too much:
Folic Acid – Too much folic acid can cause bloating, nausea, indigestion, gas, lack of appetite, irritability, bitter taste in the mouth, and sleep disturbances.
Iron – Excess iron can cause constipation, vomiting, and nausea. Worse case is that you get liver damage from iron becoming toxic to your liver.
2. Interference with other medical conditions
Without an approval from a doctor, women who have other medical conditions should not take prenatal vitamins. These supplements might, in turn, have an interference with other medical conditions that are present. For example, if you already have a kidney problem, it’s better not to take prenatal vitamins since it might cause bleeding, anemia, and some allergic reactions.
Prenatal vitamins also have an adverse effect when coupled with specific medication. These medications include antibiotics, aspirin, and hypothyroidism. That is why you need to consult your doctor before taking prenatal vitamins even though you can easily find them over the counter.
3. Neurological Damage
Although prenatal vitamins might prevent brain damage for your baby, it might not do the same to you when you’re not pregnant. Even though prenatal vitamins contain lots of different vitamins, it does not contain Vitamin B12. Taking these supplements regularly can actually cause a deficiency in Vitamin B12.
Some symptoms that might occur are anemia, high heart rate, numbness, memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, and poor concentration. When you are deficient for an extended period of time, this can also result in neurological damages.
4. Insufficient amount of calcium in prenatal vitamins
The daily requirement for calcium intake for your body is 1000 mg. However, a typical prenatal vitamin pill only has 200 to 300 mg of calcium, which is really low for your body’s requirement.
You’ll have to take another calcium supplement if you need more calcium in your body. Prenatal vitamins just won’t do this for you, and it might even cause a false sense of security that you are getting enough calcium.
5. Potential allergic reaction
Prenatal vitamins may cause allergic reactions. For example, you might have difficulty breathing, swelling all over your face, and hives. One of the side effects is also having an unpleasant taste in the mouth. So, if you're not pregnant, and don't need it, don't take prenatal vitamins. Instead, eat food that has the minerals that you find in prenatal vitamins.
In a nutshell, if you’re not pregnant or not trying to become pregnant, you should not be taking prenatal vitamins regularly. Claims of prenatal vitamins resulting in thicker hair and whatnot have yet to be proven. One pill might not hurt you, but several might cause some severe damage. It’s always best to check in with your doctor for these things.