PrimaCare is used for filling in any nutritional gaps in a pregnant woman's diet. It is a prenatal supplement that contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are important for a healthy pregnancy. The vitamin is specifically designed for pregnant women, so there are no approved PrimaCare uses for children, men, or elderly people.
PrimaCare® and PrimaCare One are prescription prenatal vitamins (vitamins specifically designed for pregnant women). They are used to fill in any nutritional gaps in a pregnant woman's diet. Even women who usually eat well-balanced and nutritional diets may be prone to having nutritional gaps during pregnancy due to morning sickness or other problems.
PrimaCare products may also be useful for breastfeeding women and women trying to conceive. Because it is important to get enough folic acid prior to pregnancy and during early pregnancy (including the early weeks before you even know you are pregnant), your healthcare provider may recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin while trying to get pregnant. In fact, since so many pregnancies are unplanned, it is a good idea for any sexually active woman of reproductive age to take a prenatal vitamin or a multivitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid.
PrimaCare prenatal vitamins (including PrimaCare One) contain a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are important for a healthy pregnancy. Most importantly, these products both contain folic acid, which is essential to prevent certain birth defects. They also contain iron, calcium, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. However, like most prenatal vitamins, PrimaCare products do not contain the full recommended amount of calcium, since calcium is a bulky mineral and including the full recommended amount would make for very large prenatal vitamins.
Unlike older prenatal vitamins, PrimaCare and PrimaCare One both contain a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, including:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Linoleic acid (LA).
Omega-3 fatty acids provide a wide variety of health benefits. There is some evidence that they may decrease the risk of preterm birth (having a baby prematurely), improve brain function, and improve vision. In the mother, omega-3 fatty acids may lower the chance of postpartum depression and may be important for bone and heart health. Fish are the main source of omega-3 fatty acids, and the typical American diet is usually deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, since many pregnant women are instructed to limit their intake of certain fish due to risks of mercury toxicity, it is likely that many pregnant women are not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids.
PrimaCare (but not PrimaCare One) contains docusate sodium, a stool softener that can help relieve constipation (which is common during pregnancy and can be made worse by prenatal vitamins). Also, omega-3 fatty acids have some activity as a stool softener.