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A lot of people think you only need to take prenatals once you get pregnant. But here’s the thing – some of the most important time to take them is actually before conception happens! 

This goes for both partners, not just women.

Here’s why: research shows that women who could get pregnant often don’t get enough key nutrients their bodies need for a healthy pregnancy. We are talking iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, B6, vitamin D, E, and folate. When you get pregnant your body needs more of these! Even if you eat healthy, today’s soil is nutrient depleted. Also, stress, meds, and other factors make it hard to get what we need from diet alone. We also know certain nutrients like folate and antioxidants improve men’s fertility too. When nutrients are low it can affect both men and women’s ability to conceive. Prenatals can help fill those gaps.

And since almost half of pregnancies are surprises, it’s smart for women who could become pregnant to take a prenatal regularly.

Here are 4 reasons why taking prenatals before pregnancy is important: 

  • It builds up a nutrient reserve and sets the foundation for growth. We like to think of it as getting your garden soil ready before planting! Depleted soil grows weaker plants. Fertile soil grows strong, resilient plants. The 3-6 months before conception is your chance to get nutrients robust so the baby can thrive.
  • It supports long-term health. What happens in the womb impacts a child’s physical, emotional and social health for life. The foods and supplements you take before conception affect your baby now and for decades to come.
  • It influences gene expression. Your health and nutrition before pregnancy can literally change your future baby’s DNA – and that of generations to come! This is called epigenetics. Foods and nutrients turn genes on or off and send messages to baby from day 1. So your choices now impact your family for generations.
  • It improves egg and sperm quality. Even though many think egg/sperm quality is fixed, research shows supplements, diet, lifestyle and stress reduction in the months before conception can improve quality. Better quality eggs and sperm make healthier babies.

While some fertility factors are beyond your control, lifestyle, diet, stress management, and supplements make a big difference. It’s never too early to start getting your body ready for a healthy pregnancy. But those 3-6 months before are crucial for nurturing a healthy mom, dad, baby, and future family. We recommend WeNatal, since its the most comprehensive prenatal focused both on men and women’s fertility. 

For more information head over to wenatal.com

GLW Contributors - Professionals in their field. Contributing to Girls Living Well their knowledge, experience and advice.

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