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Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy

You undoubtedly know about prenatal vitamins—those usually large supplements that are handed out to pregnant women at their first prenatal checkup. But now many doctors are advising women who know they want to be pregnant soon to start taking the vitamins even before they conceive.

Regular one-a-day type vitamins, which contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid will work fine, or you can opt for one of the prenatal vitamin formulas that are now sold over-the-counter (without a prescription). Folic acid is especially important, since it helps prevent some devastating birth defects that can occur very early in pregnancy, before many women even realize they’ve conceived.