How Does Citranatal Work?
Citranatal contains vitamins, minerals, and (for all products except Citranatal B-Calm) DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. These nutrients are important for a healthy pregnancy, and many pregnant women may not get enough of these nutrients, for various reasons. Most importantly, these products contain folic acid, which is an important nutrient that helps to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Citranatal products also contain iron, calcium, and various other vitamins and minerals.
Unlike older prenatal vitamins, Citranatal DHA, Citranatal 90 DHA, Citranatal Harmony, and Citranatal Assure all contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. DHA provides a wide variety of health benefits. There is some evidence that it may decrease the risk of preterm birth (having a baby prematurely), improve brain function, and improve vision.
Fish are the main source of DHA, and the typical American diet is usually deficient in DHA. Additionally, because many pregnant women are instructed to limit their intake of certain fish (due to the potential risks of mercury toxicity), it is likely that many pregnant women are not getting enough DHA.
These prenatal vitamins (except for Citranatal B-Calm) also contain docusate sodium, a stool softener that can help prevent or relieve constipation.
When and How to Take It
Some general considerations for when and how to take these prenatal vitamins include the following:
- Citranatal Harmony comes in the form of a single gelcap that is taken once daily.
- Citranatal B-Calm comes with one prenatal vitamin and two additional vitamin B6 tablets.
- Citranatal DHA, Citranatal 90 DHA, and Citranatal Assure come in packages with both softgels and tablets. The tablets contain the vitamins and minerals, and the capsules contain the DHA. One tablet and one softgel are taken once daily (it does not matter if you take them together or at different times).
- Citranatal products can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. The iron in these products may be better absorbed on an empty stomach, but most women find that taking prenatal vitamins with a little food usually helps with stomach upset.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have trouble keeping Citranatal products down or if they cause significant nausea. Your healthcare provider may have some useful suggestions or may recommend a different prenatal vitamin.
- For the vitamins to work properly, they must be taken as prescribed. They will not work if you stop taking them.