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I am trying to get pregnant and was wondering if I should take pre-natal vitamins or Geritol?
This is a very good question because you are right that it is important to consider pre-conception health if you are trying to get pregnant, and this includes not only routine vitamin supplements but also considerations of any other medical issues you may have. It is very important for you to discuss these concerns with your primary care physician or OB. Overall, the most important supplement in any pre-natal vitamin is the folic acid or folate supplementation, which is important for ensuring proper formation of the developing spinal cord. Unfortunately, the growth of the spinal cord occurs very early in fetal development (within the first few weeks) and is often nearly complete by the time most women find out they are pregnant. Taking extra folic acid at that time will thus have no beneficial effect. It is for this reason that physicians advise that any woman planning a pregnancy take a prenatal vitamin that will include a higher dose of folic acid. Most prenatal vitamins also include additional iron to reflect the increase in blood volume during pregnancy, but this is not crucial in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Overall, the best thing for you to do in this situation is to make an appointment with your primary care physician or OB to discuss preconception counseling. Your doctor can go over your health risks and make sure you are on the right vitamin supplementation to assist with a healthy pregnancy in future.
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