As beneficial as prenatals are, it’s important to know the potential prenatal vitamin side effects.
Knowing this will make it easier to treat (and even prevent) the side effects, setting you up for smooth sailing supplementation.
And “easier” is a word we want MUCH more of when it comes to pregnancy!
Luckily, the majority of mamas who take prenatal vitamins as directed by their doctor or OB/GYN have little to no side effects from them at all.
So no need to get discouraged!
And if you’re not sure what prenatals are, bounce over to “What Are Prenatal Vitamins?” to get the full scoop.
Now let’s go over everything you need to know about these side effects so you’ll have one less thing to worry about!
What Are Common Prenatal Vitamin Side Effects?
Your body is going through a lot of changes as it’s creating a tiny new life.
So much so that it might be hard to differentiate between side effects from prenatal pills and pregnancy symptoms.
Let’s see the most common side effects of prenatals:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Constipation or cramps
- Low appetite
- Dark stools (Usually due to iron supplements, but effect is harmless)
- A change in urine color or odor (another harmless effect, usually due to the presence of B-Vitamins)
How To Treat Prenatal Vitamin Side Effects
Image via Livestrong
These side effects are usually temporary and will typically disappear once your body adjusts to your particular prenatal supplement.
But even if they’re temporary it doesn’t mean taking them feels like a walk in the park.
They may put up a fight but you can win!
Thankfully, there are simple solutions to treat these side effects right away.
1. Negate Nausea
Sometimes prenatal vitamins can aggravate morning sickness.
And the last thing we need is more nausea!
The good news is there are a few easy remedies to kick nausea’s butt.
First, always take your prenatal with food. Taking it on an empty stomach is a big no-no!
But if you’re already nauseated, just the thought of food can make you squirm.
It doesn’t have to be a lot but make sure you take it with a bit of something.
Yogurt or smoothies tend to go down well.
Second, split up your daily dose between the morning and evening.
This will help make each dosage more manageable.
If you’re still feeling queasy, take your vitamin at night or right before bed.
This way you’ll be asleep before any nausea kicks in.
2. Combat Constipation
Oh, constipation… It’s one of the most common (and uncomfortable) side effects of prenatal vitamins and pregnancy as a whole.
During pregnancy, we release more of the hormone progesterone. It relaxes smooth muscle and in turn slows down our digestive system.
When it comes to prenatals, we have iron to thank for the lovely constipation.
Prenatal supplements contain this crucial mineral, which helps your body make hemoglobin to carry oxygen in your blood and nourishes baby and placenta.
To combat constipation, drink plenty of water.
Aim for 10 8-oz cups of water or liquid per day. This is crucial to keep things moving!
Drinking a daily glass of fruit juice, especially prune juice, also helps.
Another tip is drinking a warm liquid (such as warm water with lemon) first thing after waking up in the morning. This acts as a digestive kick-starter.
Eat a clean, unprocessed diet full of fresh fruit, veggies, and high fiber foods like beans, whole grains, and brown rice.
Keep active by exercising regularly. Yoga, swimming, walking, and riding a stationary bike are all great ways to ease constipation.
You can also ask your doctor if a probiotic supplement containing gut friendly bacteria is right for you.
BONUS Tips For Handling Prenatal Vitamin Side Effects
Having a baby on board means you need to be extra careful about what you put in your body.
For instance, certain foods, drink, and medications should be avoided.
So, how can you safely treat these side effects?
It’s actually quite easy!
For low appetite and nausea:
Image via American Pregnancy
- Sip on peppermint, raspberry leaf, or anise tea.
- Grate or cut fresh ginger root and mix with hot water, then drink as a soothing tea.
- If tea isn’t your thing, you can buy ginger root as a supplement.
- Ginger chews and crystallized ginger also help with nausea.
- Drink room temperature ginger ale.
- A few drops of peppermint oil under your tongue, on the soles of your feet, or on your belly helps stop nausea almost instantly.
For stomach pain, bloating, or cramps:
Image via Parents
- Take a warm bath with about 2 cups of Epsom salt to help soothe cramps and muscle aches along with smoothing skin, reducing stress, and aiding digestion.
- If able, aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. Adding a brisk walk or yoga routine will help keep things moving.
- But don’t forget to sit down and put your feet up, literally. Remember to relax and listen to your body.
- Make a beneficial belly rub: Mix 1 drop of peppermint oil with 3 drops of Chamomile oil. Use a damp, warm towel and rub your belly with the oils.
Remember to always take your prenatal vitamin as directed, no more, no less.
Prenatal vitamins are so important but they do sometimes cause side effects.
But you have enough going on; you don’t need to be bombarded with icky side effects.
Show those side effects whose boss and use these tips to negate and prevent them.
Before you know it, you’ll be back to good and fantasizing of holding your baby close in your arms!