Yes, and use a prenatal formula from your doctor. In fact, it may be the most important time of your life for using a Multivitamin and Mineral formula (MVM) because by the time you find out you’re pregnant, the child’s development has already started and you don’t want to miss any nutrients during this crucial first trimester development period.
Proper nutrition is vital to a healthy pregnancy and often poor diet is the main cause of multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Not only does it affect the status of the fetus, but the mother as well. Inadequate nutrient intake can cause complications and deformities in the child. The nutritional status of the mother must be sufficient to fulfill the needs of her baby and to maintain her own health starting at conception. Iron, folic acid and calcium are three of the key nutrients often deficient in women’s diets. Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin required for the manufacture of blood cells, the genetic material DNA and RNA, and proper cell division. This nutrient is especially important during the first trimester as a deficiency in this vitamin is associated with an increase in neural tube defects and other malformations, which form early in the fetus. Extensive research has found that adequate intake of folic acid leads to fewer malformations, especially neural tube defects (approximately an 80% reduction). According to the CDC, folate and folic acid supplementation among women of reproductive age is still lacking, especially in specific ethnic groups. Everyone should always be taking a daily MVM but switch to a prenatal MVM formula when pregnant or trying to conceive. After the baby is born, be sure to talk to your doctor about when to switch back - they may want you to also use the prenatal while breastfeeding, depending on your iron status.