Preconception vs Prenatal Vitamins: What’s the Difference?
PreconceptionDuring the 4-month preconception period, the aim for women is boosting nutrient levels. In particular, folate, vitamin B12, choline, iodine, iron and zinc which are crucial nutrients to a healthy conception and pregnancy. It is possible that you may need additional supplements than those found in a preconception multi, especially in the case of iron if you have a deficiency. A blood test, specifically a ferritin test which is your iron stores, will give you more information about your iron status. The aim for men should be creating healthy sperm and the 4 crucial nutrients here are vitamins B12, C, E and zinc. However, a comprehensive men's preconception multi should contain nutrients that help support healthy testosterone levels and sperm health. Extra antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, which recycles CoQ10, are helpful here.
First Trimester of Pregnancy
When it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, your needs vary throughout. The crucial time for folate supplementation is one month prior to conception and until the 6th week of pregnancy when the neural tube closes. A woman should consume at least 500mcg of folate daily at this time. Quatrefolic is a type of active folate that has superior absorption to other types of folate. It is also 150 times more expensive than folic acid and so it will only be found in premium supplement brands like NaturoBest. Studies have shown that vitamin B12 may be just as important as folate in the prevention of birth defects and is often found in a 1:1 ratio to folate. In the first trimester, up to 85% of women suffer from morning sickness. This can impact her ability to tolerate some supplements including iron, which often makes a woman feel more nauseous. Other nutrients that can make a woman feel nauseous include high dose zinc and B vitamins. Prenatal Trimester One was designed with the sensitive tummy of a newly pregnant woman in mind and can be taken until her morning sickness subsides. This is usually around week 14 to 16 of pregnancy. Sometimes a woman may struggle to swallow capsules at a time when her gag reflex is sensitive. This is where a capsule rather than a tablet comes in handy as you can open up the capsule and add to a smoothie or yoghurt.