Thursday, 25 April 2013

#atozchallenge - Vitamins

When I first started thinking about having a baby, suddenly my body didn’t seem quite like my own anymore. I became a lot more conscious about what I was eating and wondering about whether or not I was getting all the bits and pieces I should to keep everything super healthy. I’ve never been a super health conscious sort of person, but I did start taking vitamins.

The main one that you should be taking is folic acid; a nurse at the NHS hospital told me that any woman who has regular unprotected sex should take it. It helps to prevent neural tube defects which can cause serious problems for a developing baby. I’ll admit, I didn’t start taking this right away, but I think I was on a multivitamin which included it by about our second month of trying.

I started off on a pill called Pregnacare from Well Woman. Apparently it’s designed to provide the body with all the extra vitamins and minerals that it might need when you’re trying to conceive. It includes the daily recommended allowance of folic acid and has a delightful side effect in that it turns your pee luminous yellow. There are whole threads on forums for trying to conceive dedicated to discussions about the marvellous pee-changing qualities of these pills. I went with them partly because they’re also safe to take when you are pregnant, and they do have a pill you can then go onto once you’ve conceived.

Of course at £10 a pack (for a month’s supply) they were quite costly, so when we got a chance we saw the doctor who prescribed folic acid for me instead. As I could get the regular folic acid for free I stopped taking the Pregnacare, but I’ve now reached a stage where the NHS has provided me with enough folic acid for three pregnancies and I kind of feel a bit guilty about it. I must be costing them a fair bit already and we’ve not even started NHS IVF yet!

The way the prescriptions work here has changed recently. I used to get 100 pills which lasted me for just over three months. When I got to the last strip of 28 I would order my repeat prescription (as this could sometimes take me two weeks to remember to do it mean I had plenty of time before I would run out). Now they’ve introduced a new policy to prevent drug wastage which seems a little bit backwards; just in case I suddenly stop needing the folic acid that I’ve been taking for the last three years, they’ll only supply me with a month’s worth. I can understand the need to save money, but it’s definitely backwards when they’ll give me 100 pills of a painkiller I’ve never had before which gives me terrible mood swings so I have to stop taking it after three days, but won’t give me a decent supply of something I’m supposed to be taking regularly.

That coupled with my local chemist seeming to forget that I have actually been registered with them for my prescriptions for the last couple of years has led to me returning to the Pregnacare. Mr Click actually started taking the Wellman version himself a little while ago in the hopes that it would help to keep his little swimmers healthy, so now we’re able to buy a combined pack which has both of our vitamins in it. This helps us to remember to actually take the pills as well; when we had individual packs sometimes we’d forget, this way if we’ve got an even number of blank spaces, we’re on track.

The Pregnacare pills are a bit different to the teeny tiny folic acid ones I was taking. These are big and pink (Mr Click’s are black), but I think that they definitely make a difference, aside from the pee thing. I just wish they tasted a little nicer!

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