By Dr Rick Robbins
Gummy prenatal vitamins – and the truth they do NOT contain iron!!!
As you likely know, prenatal vitamins are supplements to your diet – and recommended by almost all folks involved in prenatal care.
As you also likely know, most prenatal vitamins contain minerals, including iron.
Why? Because during the 9 months of your pregnancy, you and your growing baby need about 1000 mg of iron. As an aside, the daily requirement after 4-5 months months is about 6X the requirement of the first half of your pregnancy.
What you may not know is Gummy Prenatal vitamins and Gummy vitamins in general do not have iron. And, at Roswell ObGyn, we have seen severe iron deficiency anemia in our pregnant patients on Gummies.
Why would a manufacturer sell Gummy Prenatal vitamins if they have no iron? Because the iron in vitamins makes them larger AND often lead to stomach upset.
IF you have side effects on a typical prenatal vitamin that has iron, then especially in the first part of your pregnancy you should consider taking a daily Gummy prenatal vitamin.
BUT, beyond about 20 weeks, you need to switch to a prenatal that has iron, OR add a separate iron tablet, OR make sure you get plenty of foods that have well-absorbed iron (aka red meat). Notice I did not tout green leafy vegetables. It stinks, but green leafy vegetables can have a lot of iron, but also chelating agents that make it difficult to absorb the iron.