Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
184 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

What are the side effects of taking prenatal vitamins?

Hi, My name is Marfea Marshall. I'm a student at Humber College here in Toronto, enrolled in the CYW (Child and Youth Work) program. I'm doing some research for a paper on Prescription Medication, during the prenatal period. My question is what are some of the side effects of taking prescribed prenatal vitamins? Not just the effects listed on the packages. Long term effects on both mother and child. You can include information resources and even a direct quote. These I will site on reference. Thanks.
Tue, 11 Feb 2014
Report Abuse
OBGYN 's  Response
In my opinion prenatal vitamins (PNVs) are less important in the first world, than in areas where fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, or when a blanched diet is not consumed. In a country like Canada, the most important component of prenatal vitamins is the folic acid. Folic acid prevents defects in spine and nervous system development. It is found in abundance in green and leafy vegetables. Deficiency and the resultant developmental problems like spina bifida, an incompletely developed spinal cord, can occur before a woman knows she is pregnant which is why some contraceptive pill makers include folic acid in the blank pills. It also is added to many cereals, breads and other foods as a public health measure.
PNVs don't require one to be for or against. Side effects are relatively minor. Some contain iron which helps make extra blood needed in pregnancy, but can cause constipation. B vits, esp 6 can cause mild fatigue but helps in fetal development and to decrease morning sickness. Some people may be sensitive to binders like lactose, a milk sugar some have difficulty digesting. That does not mean they are harmful. Risks are far outweighed by benefit, especially folic acid if taken early. I encourage all reproductive age women to eat healthy, use reliable contraception if pregnancy isn't desired and to take folic acid daily if not utilized.
I find this answer helpful

1 Doctor agrees with this answer

Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
This is a short, free answer. For a more detailed, immediate answer, try our premium service [Sample answer]
Share on
 
What are the side effects of taking prenatal vitamins?

In my opinion prenatal vitamins (PNVs) are less important in the first world, than in areas where fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, or when a blanched diet is not consumed. In a country like Canada, the most important component of prenatal vitamins is the folic acid. Folic acid prevents defects in spine and nervous system development. It is found in abundance in green and leafy vegetables. Deficiency and the resultant developmental problems like spina bifida, an incompletely developed spinal cord, can occur before a woman knows she is pregnant which is why some contraceptive pill makers include folic acid in the blank pills. It also is added to many cereals, breads and other foods as a public health measure. PNVs don t require one to be for or against. Side effects are relatively minor. Some contain iron which helps make extra blood needed in pregnancy, but can cause constipation. B vits, esp 6 can cause mild fatigue but helps in fetal development and to decrease morning sickness. Some people may be sensitive to binders like lactose, a milk sugar some have difficulty digesting. That does not mean they are harmful. Risks are far outweighed by benefit, especially folic acid if taken early. I encourage all reproductive age women to eat healthy, use reliable contraception if pregnancy isn t desired and to take folic acid daily if not utilized.