VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Your baby relies on the vitamins and minerals you supply for their growth. These essential nutrients – such as calcium for healthy bones and iron for healthy blood – will help your baby to get a good start in their development. This is the main reason you’re advised to enjoy a varied diet during pregnancy; a wide selection of foods will, in theory, provide a wide selection of vitamins and minerals.

This section looks at the importance of the vitamins and minerals that are recommended during pregnancy, why they’re recommended and which foods are considered good sources of those vitamins and minerals.

Pregnancy vitamin supplements

Ideally, food should provide your main source of vitamins and minerals but there are some supplements that are recommended in pregnancy; folic acid and vitamin D. Supplements can also be helpful during the early stages if you’re finding it difficult to keep food down because of morning sickness. Later on they’ll help to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients required. Just always make sure they’re pregnancy-safe.

Prenatal vitamin supplements

Taking individual supplements

If you’re taking individual vitamins, the following are essential:

  • Folic acid to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. You are advised to take 400mcg per day of folic acid from conception through to the 12th week of pregnancy
  • Vitamin D is needed for healthy bone growth and a 10mcg supplement should be taken each day throughout pregnancy and when breastfeeding

Choosing a combined prenatal supplement

There are also prenatal supplements available which are designed for women who are trying to conceive or are already pregnant. It’s important to choose one that’s designed especially for pregnancy or conception as it will give you the right balance of nutrients recommended without those that could cause you or your baby harm. An ordinary multivitamin may contain potentially high levels of the vitamins you should be avoiding, such as vitamin A.

As well as folic acid and vitamin D, pregnancy supplements also usually contain vitamin C, E and some B vitamins, like B6 and B12, as well as zinc, iron, calcium, iodine and selenium. If you are unsure about a supplement then ask your healthcare professional for advice before using them.

You may also need to take a vitamin B12 supplement if you are vegetarian or vegan but speak to your doctor for more information.

If you have any concerns about your pregnancy diet, why not give our Careline team a call on 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.