Ever wonder what would happen if you were to take a prenatal?
Well they won’t make you pregnant (or grow boobs, we promise). But a guy’s best use of prenatal vitamins is probably not to take them. Instead, you can score major brownie points by understanding the key nutrients an expectant mama needs.
Doctors and experts agree that folate is one of the most important nutrients for pregnant women. “We need folate to create new cells, and babies are all new cells,” says Dr. Deborah Gordon. But you’ve most likely heard more people talk about folic acid – what’s the difference? Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. In order to use folic acid, our bodies must convert it to methylfolate and research estimates that many people can’t make this conversion efficiently. Just to be on the safe side, Dr. Gordon recommends women supplement with the L-methylfolate form of folate rather than folic acid. This form does not need to be converted and taking a supplement with L-methylfolate ensures both mother and baby get 100% of the folate they need every day.
Next we have calcium topping the list of prenatal recommendations. “Calcium is essential for maintaining and developing healthy bones and teeth” says Dr. Angela Jones. “Maintenance for mom is crucial here, as she has to be strong enough to carry the pregnancy and support the developing baby.” Dr. Jones notes that calcium must also be balanced with vitamin D. In terms of what form is best, Dr. Jones says most prenatal vitamins contain a combination of calcium citrate and carbonate, but citrate is the form most easily absorbed by the body.
We don’t include calcium in our gummy vitamins because frankly, it made them taste bad and taste is one of the things we pride ourselves on. Additionally, it’s hard to get enough high-quality, easily absorbable calcium into a gummy, says Michael Cleary, PhD and head of product development at SmartyPants. According to Cleary, your best bet is to eat dairy (yum!). If that’s not an option, we recommend she talk with her doctor about additional calcium supplementation.