How can I pick a prenatal vitamin for me and my baby? How much folic acid should I take?
Prenatal vitamins usually have more calcium, iron and folic acid (vitamin
B9) than other vitamins. It's usually best to decide with your obstetrician or doctor whether
to take a prescription or over-the-counter prenatal vitamin. Although you should use a prenatal
vitamin that addresses any existing vitamin deficiency you have so you can get the daily
allowance of all vitamins during pregnancy.
Women of child-bearing years throughout pregnancy need a minimum of 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid a day. This dosage is recommended to prevent neural tube (brain and spine) defects in the fetus. Women taking certain anticonvulsants or a history of neural tube defect complications during pregnancy need to take 4 mg of prenatal vitamins a day starting one month and before through the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, if not the entire pregnancy.
If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.