Pregnancy + Parenthood

5 Common Pregnancy Questions, Answered

4 min read
Curious about what to look for in a prenatal vitamin? What about pregnancy nutrition? Consider this the ultimate roundup of pregnancy tips—so you know exactly what to expect when you're expecting.
Curious about what to look for in a prenatal vitamin? What about pregnancy nutrition? Consider this the ultimate roundup of pregnancy tips—so you know exactly what to expect when you're expecting.

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If we talk about pregnancy a lot at Ritual—a lot, a lot—it’s only because we emphatically believe that knowing what’s going on in the body is as crucial as taking a great prenatal multivitamin. After all, our science team has combed through thousands of studies in the way of pregnancy, nutrition, and what it takes to support key nutrient needs. So when it comes to relaying the essentials? Well, that’s a no-brainer.

With that all in mind, we thought we’d do you one better by compiling a little glossary featuring some of our most popular content for parents-to-be. Wondering how much you need to change your diet, for example? How about the key nutrients to look for in a prenatal multivitamin? Find it all below.

The Question: How soon should someone start taking a prenatal multivitamin?

The Answer: Our rule of thumb is to aim for 3 months ahead of pregnancy—that way, you can feel good about getting key nutrients from the moment you conceive. In other words: If you’re thinking, trying, or it’s already time, we suggest switching to a prenatal multivitamin.*

Read more: Wondering When to Start Taking Prenatal Multivitamins??

The Question: Can I eat cheese when I’m pregnant?

The Answer: You’d be surprised how much our nutritional experts get this question—and we’re stoked to be the bearers of great news. As long as it’s made from pasteurized milk, most cheese is A-OK when expecting, says Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD.

Read more: “Can I Eat Cheese When I’m Pregnant?” And 10 Other FAQs, Answered

The Question: What’s the deal with folic acid?

The Answer: Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B-vitamin that helps support neural tube development and energy-yielding metabolism. (And FWIW, it’s still crucial when not expecting.) The thing is, up to one-third of people have a genetic variation that makes it difficult to efficiently utilize folic acid—which is why we opt for methylated folate in Essential Prenatal.*

Read more: Folic Acid vs. Folate: Understanding the Difference for Pregnancy?

The Question: On that note, what are other nutrients to look for in a prenatal multivitamin?

The Answer: Glad you asked! After combing through thousands of studies on pregnancy and nutrition, we’ve zeroed in on 12 key nutrients that we believe are worth looking for in a high-quality prenatal. (While it’s technically possible to get all the nutrients needed through diet alone, it can be difficult to actually do so, making it important to help fill those nutritional gaps with a prenatal multivitamin). And remember, it’s not just about the nutrients—their forms can make a difference, too. Get the full download in the link below.*

Read more: 12 Nutrients to Look for in a Prenatal Multivitamin

The Question: Do I seriously need to change my diet?

The Answer: It depends. If you try to eat nutritiously most of the time anyway, then chances are you won’t have to make any drastic changes for your pregnancy—outside the obvious, of course. (Alcohol and caffeine: big no-nos.) That said, some nutrients are really important for pregnancy, so a prenatal multivitamin can be key to help fill gaps. Either way, it can’t help to get the full scoop on what to aim for.*

Read more: Wondering What to Eat During Pregnancy? We Did the Research

The Question: What if I’m vegan?

The Answer: For starters, it’s definitely worth seeking out a vegan-friendly prenatal multi. While experts say that it’s possible to meet nutrient needs of pregnancy on a plant-based diet, we think it’s important to focus on three nutrients in particular: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and iron, which can be a bit tougher to consume on a vegan or vegetarian diet. (We include all three in Essential Prenatal, which is vegan-friendly.) Aside from that, you might want to check in with your doc to come up with an eating plan you both feel great about.*

Read more: What’s the Best Prenatal Vitamin for Vegans?

The Question: How do I deal with some of the annoying parts of pregnancy?

The Answer: From pregnancy-related morning sickness to fatigue, the first trimester can definitely make people feel a little “off” at times. The good news? There are a few rituals we suggest to help feel a bit better—get the full scoop below. (Reaching for a prenatal multivitamin housed in a delayed-release, gentler-on-the-stomach capsule design never hurts, either.)*

Read more: How to Deal With Early Pregnancy

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