When to start taking prenatal vitamins
Someone on here, don't remember who, once called prenatal vitamins glorified multivitamins. I totally agree. They are safe to start whenever. It's best to go ahead and start taking prenatal vitamins when you think you're ready to start trying to conceive. Better to have a reserve of nutrients in your body before baby arrives than to try to play catch up once you know you're pregnant. I think allowing baby to start in the best possible environment can really ease worries as a mother, as pregnancy is a somewhat stressful time for most people. Anything less to worry about can be a burden lifted, especially once hormones kick in.
Plus, most (all?) prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which is highly important to baby's development. Having a good supply of folic acid before conceiving can go a long way in preventing neural tube defects. The point at which folic acid becomes important in the life of an embryo is before most women know they are even pregnant.
Albeit, there is folic acid in enriched grains (white bread, white rice, pasta, etc) but adding in more won't hurt. It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take a folic acid supplement.
Vitamins with iron in them tend to make me sick, sick, sick. So, I was ecstatic to find Rainbow Lite prenatals because I could actually take them and feel okay. They had some super-digestible form of iron in them. I don't know how that works. The label with all the good stuff takes up more than one panel of the bottle. Loved them. They weren't very expensive either. And for some reason, I REALLY loved the smell.
If you don't/didn't start prenatals prior to getting pregnant, it's not really a thing of concern, by the way. Just start taking them ASAP after finding out.
When did you start taking prenatal vitamins? Do you have a favorite brand? Why?