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If I’m thinking about getting pregnant, should I take a vitamin every day?

ANSWER

If you're thinking about getting pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. It helps prevent birth defects called neural tube defects.

But don't take handfuls of megavitamins or supplements. Too much vitamin A, for example, is linked to problems in a growing baby.

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

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