15 Unexpected Side Effects Of Prenatal Vitamins (And 5 That Are Not Normal)

Most doctors will say that from the second mom-to-be starts thinking that she wants to become a mom, she should start prepping her body. After all, mom's body acts as a safe haven, incubator-like place for her precious little human(s).

When future mom gets really serious about wanting to have a baby, things like exercise and eating right have to take priority over having a few drinks or hanging out at the local bar. But above all, almost every baby doctor around will advise mom to begin taking prenatal vitamins as the perfect compliment to her lifestyle changes and as a necessary boost to her health needs once she is with child.

Many have heard of the wonders that these vitamins can do for a mom's hair and nails, but rarely does anyone mention the side effects. And boy, are there some side effects! So mom-to-be, concerned about what sort of weird effects these new vitamins will have? Read on.

20 Nausea


Feeling nauseated? Many women think it's just another part of pregnancy, but surprise surprise, it may actually be due to that prenatal vitamin you've been taking. We know it may sound crazy since prenatals are supposed to help reduce the rather unpleasant effects of pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, "some women feel queasy after taking prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you, take your prenatal vitamin with a snack or before you go to bed at night."

19 A Little Backed Up


Guess what happens sometimes when mom consumes just a bit too much iron? Constipation. *insert sad face here* Sorry mom, too much iron can leave you backed up. That plus pregnancy can leave you feeling pretty, well, crappy. Pun intended. The Mayo Clinic says that iron consumption during pregnancy is some pretty serious business, "During pregnancy, the recommended intake of iron is 27 milligrams (mg) a day. If the iron in prenatal vitamins contributes to constipation. To prevent constipation drink plenty of fluids"

18 Acne


Urgh! The dreaded pregnancy acne. Eeek! But you know what else can add to that pregnancy acne formula? Prenatal vitamins. Whether it's just too much of a good thing, or if the vitamins themselves cause an even higher uptick in hormone production or maybe it's just the biotin–scientists are still unclear–but pregnancy acne is a thing and it's not fun. According to Mother Magazine, recent studies say it's biotin.

17 Change In Consistency


Prenatal vitamins can give mom to be the runs.  The health website, Share Care says that "some prenatal vitamins have a stool softener such as docusate sodium added to them. This may cause loose bowel movements." This can really help out those moms who have problems going since most pregnant women have slowed intestinal movement. For those who don't talk to your doctor and see if a different brand will help.

16 Low Appetite


Prenatal vitamins can make mom lose her appetite, unfortunately. Another health site says that loss of appetite is quite a common side effect of prenatal vitamins. Prenatals on their own unfortunately do not account for all the vitamins and nutrition your baby needs, mom still needs to have a solid intake of good food in order to keep that baby growing.

15 What's That Smell?


Funky pits? Haha just kidding mom, but really, if you notice a change in body odor or odor of any other kind, know that it's not your fault. Body odor, just like everything else on this list, can really fluctuate not only due to pregnancy but because of the elements found in those vitamins to help mom maintain a healthy physique during pregnancy can seep out moms pores and cause an unpleasant odor, depending on what they're mixed with. Things like soap or deodorant can actually make the smell worse, according to Livestrong.

14 A Rainbow Of Color


Now, for something really unexpected but a fun surprise is colorful urine. That's right mom, prenatal vitamins can make going to the bathroom all those times a rainbow-like experience. Prenatal vitamins—B vitamins, in particular—could be the contributing factor, causing moms pee to look very different than how it normally does. Though these are harmless changes, says The Bump.

13 Extra Hair


You may have heard that post-pregnancy many women lose their hair, and during pregnancy, many women grow long luxurious manes. Unless, of course, you factor in prenatal vitamins. All that hormone shifting plus those prenatal vitamins can cause noticeable hair growth, even on mom's chin. Try not to worry mom, this too shall pass, just do your best to keep those tweezers handy.

12 Toss One's Cookies


Ready for one more really not so welcome side effect? This one might make you lose your lunch. Vomiting is one of those prenatal vitamin effects that would make most moms think twice about trying them if this side effect was featured on the bottle. It's okay though, some brands may act differently.

11 Loss Of Comfort


Stomach discomfort, also known as upset stomach, is a normal yet unexpected side effect when it comes to prenatal vitamins. It's not quite nausea and not quite cramping, but somehow mom just doesn't feel just right. To combat feelings of discomfort WebMD advises mom to drink fluids and avoid spices.

10 Fish Aversion


Not all prenatal vitamins come equipped with the omega 3 oily acids, but those that do tend to smell like fish, that may make mom not want any fish for a while. But the oily acids are good, that's what helps babies brain grow and function properly. So if the vitamins make you want to lay off the fish, don't worry those effects shouldn't last too long.

9 Vertigo


Most prenatal vitamins advise women not to lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking their vitamins since they can cause vertigo when they rise again. Baby Center says that moms should consider taking vitamins with meals in order to lessen the effects of dizziness. However every mom is different, so a change in brand could do the trick too.

8 Rapid Release


Crushing or splitting the prenatal vitamin unless recommended by the doctor can either decrease absorption or cause a rapid release of all the vitamins, which could cause a combination of side effects on this list. Best to avoid crushing the vitamins, if you really don't like the whole thing, try the gummies.

7 Belching


Mom burps are definitely a prenatal vitamin thing. During pregnancy the release of the hormone progesterone slows digestion and makes mom way more likely to burp, but so can her vitamins. The larger intake of iron has pretty much the same effects and can make mom gassy. To help with this kick up the fiber intake, says Livestrong. 

6 Yellow Skin


Carotene in many prenatal vitamins can cause *gasp* yellow skin? Okay, we know that sounds a bit alarming, especially since other things on this list are already causing mom's normal functions to change a lot. But believe it or not, this is quite normal. So is paleness. Try not to fret, what's nine months, right?

5 Not So Normal: Cramping


If you notice some abdominal cramping linked to your prenatal vitamin consumption it's probably best to contact your OB. Chances are that is not normal. You really don't want to put you or your little one at risk. Med.net suggests not taking the vitamins after consuming dairy or combining the vitamins with other vitamins as it could have adverse effects.

4 Osteoporosis


Relying on prenatal vitamins for calcium is not good and can lead to osteoporosis. Because prenatal vitamins are intended to supplement calcium you get in your eating habits, they generally contain only 200 to 300 mg of calcium. If you rely on prenatal vitamins to meet your calcium needs, you likely won't get enough, raising your risk of osteoporosis and other health problems.

3 B12 Symptoms


When someone is getting too much folic acid, symptoms mimic that of being vitamin b12 deficient, like vision loss, pale skin, smooth tongue, numbness, and muscle weakness. If you are experiencing any of those things, it may be because of your prenatal vitamin. Call your doctor to see if another brand may be better suited for you.

2 Tiredness


Of course, you will be tired when growing a tiny human, but if you notice it's excessive it could be due to your prenatal vitamins. Excessive tiredness is not a good sign, it could mean that something is wrong. Having trouble getting out of bed or going for short walks are all signs that you need to call the doctor.

1 Small Baby


Prenatal vitamins are supposed to combat a baby that is too small for his or her gestational age. But, if mom notices that the baby isn't growing on track it may be because of the prenatal vitamins are not providing all the additional vitamin boosts he or she needs. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.

References: Med. Net, Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Mother Magazine, Livestrong, The Bump

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