Pregnancy Home > Prenatal Vitamin Warnings and Precautions
Before taking prenatal vitamins, warnings and precautions should be reviewed to minimize potential risks. For example, you should talk to your healthcare provider (before taking prenatal vitamins) if you have anemia, kidney stones, or any allergies. Because prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, they may mask certain types of anemia if too much is taken. Also, prenatal vitamins may contain certain nutrients derived from fish oil, which may cause problems in people with a fish allergy.
Prenatal Vitamins: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking prenatal vitamins if you have:
- Kidney stones
- Hemochromatosis (an "iron overload" disease)
- Wilson's disease (a "copper overload" disease)
- A bleeding disorder
- An allergy to fish
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings for Prenatal VitaminsSome of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking prenatal vitamins include the following:
- In some people, calcium can make kidney stones worse. If you have a history of kidney stones, check with your healthcare provider before taking a prenatal vitamin (because most prenatal vitamins contain calcium).
- Some of the newer prenatal vitamins contain omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA). High doses of omega-3 fatty acids can increase the risk of bleeding, although this is not expected to be a problem at the recommended dosage. However, if you have a bleeding disorder, please discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking a prenatal vitamin with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Some prenatal vitamins contain omega-3 fatty acids that are derived from fish oil. Check with your healthcare provider before taking a prenatal vitamin with omega-3 fatty acids if you are allergic to fish.
- Prenatal vitamins can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Prenatal Vitamin Drug Interactions).
- Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which can mask certain types of anemia. This means that if you take enough folic acid, certain types of anemia may not show up on blood tests. However, this does not apply to all types of anemia. If you have anemia, check with your healthcare provider before taking prenatal vitamins.
- Prenatal vitamins are usually considered safe for women who are breastfeeding (see Prenatal Vitamins and Breastfeeding). In fact, many healthcare providers recommend that pregnant women take prenatal vitamins.