If you are pregnant, or still trying to conceive, your Obstetrician and Gynecologist or OB-GYN may prescribe you with prenatal vitamins. You can consider your prenatal vitamins as an added boost needed to keep up with the increasing demands of nutrients for both the pregnant woman and the baby in the womb.
Most women do not experience any aversion toward taking one; if they may have any side effects, these side effects are often minimal. Some of these side effects may include:
- Constipation and dark stool
In some sporadic cases, prenatal vitamins may leave you feeling constipated, or you may notice that your stool is of a darker color. This change in your body excretion is necessary due to the presence of iron in it.
Iron is one of the most substantial and most prominent compounds of any prenatal vitamins, as it is also the most important to be supplemented. However, you need not fret too much, as this side effect may only be minimal, and can be resolved quickly. Your body needs time to adapt to this added nutrient in your body.
- Rashes and itchiness or swelling
Rashes, pimples, and itchiness of the body can arise due to changes in your body’s hormonal system and also because you may not be used to take vitamins. If your rashes are only minimal and are not frequent, you don’t have to be bothered too much about it. You can even let these rashes heal on their own without applying topical creams.
However, if they make you feel uncomfortable, or are getting worse and more prominent, then it might be a good idea for you to consult your OB-GYN about it.
- Nausea and dizziness
Dizziness is a normal feeling amongst pregnant women, especially during the first trimester. For some women, taking prenatal vitamins can escalate this nauseous feeling to higher degrees. You might also experience occasional vomiting, especially when taken after specific food that you may be sensitive to during your pregnancy.
- Change in urine’s color and smell
Like how your stool changes in color, your urine can also have the same effect. When you are taking prenatal vitamins which give you a supplement in Vitamin B, your urine will naturally change in color. However, like the effect on your stool, these changes are also generally harmless.
- Nutrient overdose
Nutrient overdose is possible, yes, but in rare instances. No matter how healthy vitamins may be, anything in excess is never good. Therefore, keep your intake to moderation. To avoid any possible nutrient overdose, it is recommended not to take two of the same components of it, such as two multivitamins that both offer folic acid.
If you need more of the required dose, your doctor will be the one to prescribe you with such, depending on your body’s needs. Hence, during your first consultation with your OB-GYN, it is crucial that you are transparent about any pre-existing medical condition that you may have.
- Headaches and migraines
Just like taking any other medicine or vitamins, one of the most common side effects is having headaches. In more extreme forms, this can show up as a migraine. This symptom is also one of the most common complaints of pregnant women. However, be careful about taking any other medicine to combat your headache.
If you can tolerate it without taking anything, then that is much better. If it gets uncontrollable, then do seek the advice of your OB-GYN first, before taking your over-the-counter pills.
- Unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth
Any pregnant woman who has also taken prenatal vitamins before will tell you that an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth is pretty common. Prenatal vitamins, especially those that are full of iron and Folic, taste quite bitter, and this aftertaste can stay long in your tongue. If you are sensitive to this aftertaste, taking a sweet fruit juice, or even ordinary water can wash off any of this.
These side effects listed are not meant to scare you, these are only intended to keep you aware of what you should immediately expect after first taking prenatal vitamins. Remember that doctors will not prescribe anything that is harmful to you, or if the benefits do not outweigh the risks tremendously.
As you are carrying life inside you, the nutrients that you have from your meals may not be enough for the both of you; hence these prenatal vitamins can supply you with so much more than you need, such that the baby in your womb will be adequately nourished as well.