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Prenatal vitamins - which ones to go for?

(14 Posts)
stillstanding Mon 22-Jun-09 12:03:31

I was taking Pregnacare but last time I replenished my stocks the pharmacist suggested I switch to Solgar as it apparently has a better make-up.

Am about to get more and wondered if anyone had any recommendations for the best prenatal vitamins? One friend of mine suggested Zita West's?

Any and all thoughts gratefully received!

arolf Mon 22-Jun-09 12:13:13

It really depends on what you need from them - I just went for the cheapest brand that has calcium in them, as with a decent balanced diet, it's not really necessary to take supplementary vitamins. If you are still in the early stages (i.e. up to 13 weeks) extra folic acid is also an essential component.
However, with most of them, the tablets contain exactly the same vitamins and minerals, but some are more heavily advertised than others.

At first I felt a little guilty for using the cheapest brand available, but then went and compared the components with other, more expensive brands, and realised they were exactly the same (some of the more pricey ones have omega-3 fatty acids added to them, but as those are linked with increased cranial size, I was recommended to avoid them until baby is born, then he can just get them in my milk!).

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Mon 22-Jun-09 12:54:18

I like the cheapy Tesco's ones, they are under £3 for 30, easy to swallow and seem to contain everything that matters (having compared ingredients with some of the more expensive ones)!

Also, they don't have any fussy requirements about when to take them - I switched away from one brand because it said to take them with your "main meal of the day" which was a pain for me. I prefer to have them with my breakfast as it's easier to remember and I don't miss taking them if I am out and about at lunchtime.

stillstanding Mon 22-Jun-09 14:04:17

Thanks for your replies - very reassuring. I was just looking at Zita West's website and her vits are a whopping £22.50 for a month's supply of the vitamins plus she recommends DHA oils which is another £12.50... wow!

I suspect that sticking with cheaper ones will be fine for me ... grin

jaype Mon 22-Jun-09 14:09:47

Has anyone ever come across ones WITHOUT iron in them? It tends to make me really sick, especially as many vitamin manufacturers seem to want to put 100 percent of your RDA in them (like you get nothing from your normal diet...). Bit shock about Omega 3- I have been drinking loads of chocolate soya milk which has loads of Omega 3 in it. Last thing I want is another baby with a massive head! Do you have a link???

thumbwitch Mon 22-Jun-09 14:13:28

I use Pregnacare and also Equazen's MumOmega for the fish oils.(Still do cos still bf'ing).
I looked at the Solgar ones and for the money, I think the Pregnacare ones are better value. The Solgar ones might have more bio-available compounds than Pregnacare but they were more than twice the price.

It is always better to take them with a meal because they are more likely to be digested properly than if you take them on their own or just with a biscuit.

arolf Mon 22-Jun-09 14:52:19

not sure where I heard it - I have a feeling it was in a book, but have no functional memory these days I'm afraid - however, the NIH (USA National Institute of Health) say it has no proven effect - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-fishoil.html

This paper seems to suggest that fatty acid supplementation does lead to increase in duration of pregnancy and size of baby head, but it's also fairly inconclusive - I somehow doubt that it'll have much of an effect unless you're downing buckets of omega-3 every day!
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/83/6/1337

(also, am not a nutritionist, so please don't take my word for it - I was just going on something I'd read which would appear to support my decision not to spend extra cash on dietary supplements )

arolf Mon 22-Jun-09 14:53:56

oh, and jaype - in the USA, one piece of advice was to use children's multivitamins if the normal ante-natal ones made you chuck - I think (but am not sure) that they have less iron, or no iron in them. but maybe ask your GP/midwife, as i'm sure you're not the only person ever to have that problem!

thumbwitch Mon 22-Jun-09 15:36:56

well as a one person case study taking the oils supplement (it's a mix of Om-3 and Om6)I can say that I did have a 42 week pg and had to be induced; and that DS's head was on the long side (front to back measurement) but not BIG, iyswim - and I didn't tear either so really not that big.

DS has lovely skin though!grin

stillstanding Mon 22-Jun-09 16:34:06

And is probably very brainy too!

thumbwitch Mon 22-Jun-09 19:11:53

well <preen><PFB> I wouldn't like to boast, you know grin

May67 Tue 23-Jun-09 15:55:01

I'm taking the Solgar ones, they have iron in them but supposedly a tummy friendly kind, I haven't had any probs. I was recommended them as they are 'food grade' and this supposedly makes them more natural for you to absorb. The woman in the health food shop said that if I had a good diet then I only needed half the recommended dose (one tablet a day instead of two) so they haven't worked out that much more expensive. No iron or other problems as yet (touch wood).

stillstanding Tue 23-Jun-09 15:58:10

Thanks, May. I'm glad you said that about only one Solgar tablet.

I didn't read the instructions properly and was only taking one a day because that is what you had to do with Pregnacare. I subsequently discovered I was supposed to take two and I was in a bit of a froth worrying that my folic acid intake was too low before conceiving.

But my diet is pretty good so hopefully that is ok - crossing fingers!

nickyjoli Sun 28-Jun-09 12:39:08

I know the zita west tablets are more expensive but they have much more minerals & different amounts (not just the 100% RDA) than the standard boots/pregnacare ones. I told myself that there was no difference but I have taken both and I do think there is. The main issue I have with the Zita west ones is that you have to remember to take them 3 times a day. But compare ingredients:
Zita Premium for Wks 13-28 (contents changes depending on trimester)

Vit D 500% RDA
Vit E 300% RDA
Vit C 300% RDA
Vt B1 714% RDA
B2 625%
Niacin 200%
B6 500%
Folic Acid 200%
B12 2000%
Biotin 133%
Pantothenic Acid 417%
Vit K 80ug
Calcium 62.5%
Phosphorus 31%
Iron 150%
Mag 84%
Zn 100%
Iodine 147%
Manganese
Copper
Selenium
Chromium
Beta Carotene
Lutein
Lycopene
Inositol
Coenz Q10
Choline Bitartrate
Alpha Lipoic Acid
N-Acetyl
Pomegranate extract
grapeskin extract

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