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How To Read A Prenatal Label When TTC

You shouldn’t need a PhD to read a prenatal label. Our fertility nutritionist breaks down what to look for (and look out for) on a prenatal label.

Taking a prenatal is one of the easiest things you can do before getting pregnant to help improve your fertility — and reduce the risk of neural tube defects in a developing baby. But finding one that has all the ingredients (in the right forms) that you need can be tricky.

Here's why.

A. Metrics are Not Standardized

As a metric for the amount of Vitamin A, for example, you might see mcg, IV, or RAE and they each have different conversions.

The FDA has issued new quidance to standardize units, but you'll find that many brands have yet to implement it.

For the brands we've vetted, we've done the conversions so you don't have to.

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B. Formulas Often Don't Include Critical Nutrients

This prenatal doesn't have choline, which is critical for the development of your baby's brain and spinal cord.

Plus, the recommended daily intake amount is half as low as what science suggests it should be.

We'll make recommendations that will make sure you've got everything you need.

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C. Not All Nutrient Sources Are Created Equal

This product contains folic acid, which is a key ingredient to prevent neural tube defects.
However, emerging research suggests that bioavailable nutrient forms may be better utilized by your body.


We can help you consider a prenatal vitamin that will maximize your body's use of these important nutrients.

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Need Help Finding A Prenatal You Can Trust?
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As part of our programs, we'll help match you with a prenatal we've vetted on the market that contains the right amount of the things you need — based on science, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences (price, pill count, dietary restrictions, etc.).
D. You Don't Always Know Who The "% Daily Value" Is Referring To

You'd think a label on a prenatal vitamin would be using the dietary reference intake (DRI) for pregnancy as it's point of comparison, right?

Unfortunately, not necessarily. Brands sometimes compare their prenatal vitamin's nutrients against the DRI for non-pregnant, pregnant, or lactating women (and sometimes, even a mixture of the three)!

We've taken away the confusion and done all of our analysis using the DRI intake for pregnancy.

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E. Brands Often Lag Behind Leading Science

Dietary reference intake (DRIs) are important, but thev can take a long time to reflect the latest research. Some brands are proactive, and others aren't.

The most recent research on Vitamin D during pregnancy, for example, suggests that amounts higher than the DRI are required to achieve the benefits.

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