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5 Common Pregnancy Questions, Answered

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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.

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 your body is as crucial as 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 both you and baby. 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 nutrients you should look for in a prenatal? Find it all below.

The Question: How soon should I start taking a prenatal vitamin?

The Answer: Our rule of thumb is to aim for 3 months ahead of pregnancy—that way, you can feel good about giving your body nutrients it needs from the moment you conceive. In other words: If you’re thinking, trying, or it’s already time, you should consider switching to a prenatal.

Read more: When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?

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 you’re 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 you’re not expecting.) The thing is, up to one-third of women have a genetic variation that makes it difficult to efficiently utilize folic acid—which is why we opt for methylated folate in our prenatal.*

Read more: Folic Acid vs. Folate: Which Is Better for Pregnancy?

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

The Answer: Glad you asked! After combing thousands of studies on pregnancy and nutrition, we’ve zeroed in on 12 nutrients that we believe are worth looking for in a great prenatal. (While it’s technically possible to get all the nutrients needed through diet alone, it can be difficult to actually do so. It’s 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. 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 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. While experts say that it’s possible to maintain a healthy pregnancy on a plant-based diet, it’s important to focus on three nutrients in particular: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and iron, someof which are a bit tougher to consume on a vegan or vegetarian diet. (We include all three in our 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 you feel a little “off” at times. The good news? There are a few rituals you can engage in to help yourself feel a bit better.

Read more: How to Deal With Early Pregnancy

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