Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What to Expect When You're Expecting: Really Expensive Prenatal Vitamins

I don't know what's in Prenaissance Plus Oral.  The basics seem to be calcium, iron, DHA, folic acid, and DHS.  Somehow, the magic formula of those over-the-counter supplements seems to run about $50 for a 30-day supply.  What the eff?

WebMD says Prenaissance Plus is comparable to CitraNatal 90 DHA*, described on its website as "a comprehensive prenatal vitamin with increased amounts of iron. It has now been reformulated with a patented dual iron combination of ferrous gluconate and carbonyl iron.  The formulation contains calcium citrate and ascorbic acid, which enhance iron absorption."  Moreover, the site says, "CitraNatal® 90 DHA also provides docusate sodium, a gentle and effective stool softener that protects against the discomfort of constipation."

I don't know what any of that means.  Prenatal vitamin + extra iron + calcium + ascorbic acid + stool softener?  I know we can get prenatal vitamins anywhere, and I know iron, calcium, and ascorbic acid are all on Walgreens' supplement shelf.  The sassy black lady in those commercials uses Phillips as her preferred stool softener; why can't Heather?  (FYI, I am now concerned that my searches for this product will affect Google's opinion of me.  Do the sacrifices never end?)

What's ridiculous is that this $50 wonder pill isn't even enough!  We still have to get folic acid on the side.  Expensive, high-dosage folic acid.  Folic acid in such an enormous dose that it takes two of the high-dosage pills to...  I don't even know.  I thought pregnant ladies were just supposed to eat a lot of broccoli and leafy greens, so why does it take horse pills to support this particular (hypothetical) fetus's health?  And did you know that you have to take prenatal vitamins in the morning-- either an hour before or two hours after eating, with a full glass of water-- and the folic acid twelve hours later-- several hours before bed, with a full glass of water?  My beloved's response: "Wait, was I supposed to be doing that all this time?"  Yeah.

"Little pink bows...  Little pink bows..."  Heather is across the room crooning to herself about crib bedding, because somehow it struck her to research these things.  "Sheepies!"  Her face went all solemn when she considered how she would manage decorative themes if we had twins.**  "You know it would end up being a boy and a girl!  How would we do that??"  Would the sheep be sacrificed, or would it be toyland?  Would there be a wall down the middle?  What if the twins wanted to co-sleep?

So you can see that all the business about not getting your hopes up is out the window.  My friend Sarah asked me what the chances were with IVF, and I said I thought they were about 50% but higher with ICSI and assisted hatching in the mix.  Fifty percent doesn't sound very certain, yet here we are discussing musical mobiles with this attitude of inevitability.  Years ago, I was talking to my therapist about the crush I had on my speech professor; she said, "Well, Rachel, try not to get too invested.  It sounds like there are a lot of difficulties in the mix."  You're right, I said, but that ship has sailed.

* WebMD also refers to DuetDHA, but I stopped taking it seriously when the home page of their website exhorts physicians to "please call us not."  Fuck you.

** Per the Nashville folks, the chance of multiples hovers at about 40%.

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