Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy
Its important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.
If you did not take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
Try to eat green leafy vegetables which contain folate and breakfast cereals and fat spreads with folic acid added to them.
It’s difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, which is why it’s important to take a folic acid supplement.
Can You Take Vitamin C Supplements During Pregnancy
You might be wondering if it’s safe or necessary to take vitamin C supplements while pregnant, especially if you’re hoping to boost your immunity during cold and flu season. However, for most pregnant women, it’s relatively easy to get the recommended amounts of vitamin C through diet and a good prenatal vitamin.
The latest research on taking vitamin C while pregnant is mixed and limited, and the World Health Organization does not recommend adding an additional vitamin C supplement to your prenatal. If you’re concerned that you’re getting enough vitamin C through diet, ask your practitioner if a vitamin C supplement is right for you.
Why Its Important To Take Prenatal Vitamins
The big reason why people who are pregnant should take prenatal vitamins is pretty simple: you need to keep both you and your baby healthy. All of the nutrients and vitamins a pregnant woman takes in will go to the baby first, says King. The baby needs that nutrition to grow.
But the mother also needs those vitamins. While the vitamins and nutrients are essential for the babys development, the mother also needs key vitamins for both her and the baby, King notes.
Some of those include:
- Folic acid for your babys neurological development.
- Iron because your blood volume will double and to provide oxygen for your baby.
- Calcium and vitamin D for your babys bone development.
- Vitamin A helps your babys eye development.
Most prenatal vitamins should contain these, particularly iron and folic acid, both of which are essential. Check with your healthcare provider just in case, though, because if your prenatal vitamins dont contain certain nutrients, they might recommend a stand-alone dose.
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Prenatal Vitamins Not Just For Women Who Are Already Pregnant
Prenatal vitamins are not exclusive to the nine months of pregnancy. It is prudent to begin taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant so that you and your baby receive maximum nutrition during the first few weeks of pregnancy when fetal development is at its most active, which is often before many women are even aware that they are pregnant. Your health care provider may also recommend that you continue taking prenatal vitamins for several months after the baby is born, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Supplements During Pregnancy: Whats Safe And Whats Not
If youre pregnant, you may think that feeling overwhelmed and confused comes with the territory. But it doesnt have to be so confusing when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
If you did your extra credit work, we bet you already know that high mercury seafood, alcohol, and cigarettes are off-limits during pregnancy. What may surprise you is that some vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements should be avoided as well.
Information on which supplements are safe and which arent varies and can make things feel even more complicated. Weve got you, though.
This article breaks down which supplements are believed to be safe to take during pregnancy and why some supplements should be avoided.
Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but its especially critical during pregnancy, as youll need to nourish both yourself and your growing babe.
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What Are Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant. Compared to a regular multivitamin, they have more of some nutrients that you need during pregnancy. Your health care provider may prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you, or you can buy them over the counter without a prescription. Take a prenatal vitamin every day during pregnancy. If youre planning to get pregnant, start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant.
Your body uses vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in food to strong and healthy. During pregnancy, your growing baby gets all necessary nutrients from you. So you may need more during pregnancy than you did before. If youre pregnant with multiples , you may need more nutrients than if youre pregnant with one baby. Your prenatal vitamin contains the right amount of nutrients you need during pregnancy.
If youre a vegetarian, have food allergies or cant eat certain foods, your provider may want you to take a supplement to help you get more of certain nutrients. A supplement is a product you take to make up for certain nutrients that you dont get enough of in foods you eat. For example, your provider may recommend that you take a vitamin supplement to help you get more vitamin D, iron or calcium.
Importance Of Multivitamins In Pregnancy
Some mothers might be confused about what happens if they dont take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals increases to double or sometimes even more.
Prenatal vitamins for pregnancy contain the optimum amount of nutrients required for pregnant ladies. For vegetarians, it is even more essential to take the required supplements in the form of vitamin tablets for pregnancy. These vitamins are essential during the first few weeks as they fulfill all the requirements and to prevent developmental risks in babies.
Mild to moderate vitamin deficiencies are very common in Indian women. They can arise due to lack of fresh food, cooking methods, which leads to loss of nutrients, high intake of junk food, etc. Due to these reasons, the Required Daily Amount of nutrients become compromised.
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Do I Need To Take Supplements
It’s recommended that all pregnant women in Australia take folic acid, iodine and vitamin D supplements.
Having a healthy diet is important and should provide you with the other nutrients you need. Check the Australian Dietary Guidelines for more advice. However, some pregnant women may need supplements of other nutrients besides folic acid, iodine and vitamin D.
If you have a known deficiency, your doctor might advise you to take a supplement. For example:
- if you are vegetarian or vegan and not getting enough vitamin B12
- if you don’t get enough calcium, which is vital for bone health, from dairy or other calcium-rich foods
- if you are low in iron
- if you may be low in omega-3 fatty acids, e.g. if you eat very little seafood
If you’re not sure whether you need a supplement, talk to your doctor.
Can I Overdose On Folic Acid
Most women shouldnt take more than 1mg of folic acid a day. Some women who are at a higher risk of having babies with neural tube defects might benefit from up to 5mg a day .
Family history of or previous pregnancies with neural tube defects, diabetes, and taking anti-epileptic medication when you’re pregnant raise your risk of having babies with neural tube defects. If you are at higher risk, talk to your GP or midwife as they can prescribe a higher dose and/or recommend additional screening tests .
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Dont Stop Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
Sometimes people experience discomfort when taking prenatal vitamins. Queasiness and constipation are common complaints, and some people struggle with swallowing large pills. It might be tempting to quit but it is very important that you keep taking a daily prenatal vitamin as advised through your pregnancy. Tell your doctor about any difficulties you are experiencing and they will help devise solutions for taking your prenatal vitamins without the unpleasant side effects.
Pregnancy Vitamins And Nutrients
A balanced nutritious diet is the best way to receive the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need for pregnancy, but vitamin supplements can also be beneficial. Prenatal vitamin supplements are recommended plus any additional vitamins or minerals if your doctor finds any deficiencies. Remember, supplements do not replace a healthy diet, but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients. And its important to note that pregnant women should take vitamin supplements onlywith a health care providers direct recommendation.
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Women Of Reproductive Age Need 400 Mcg Of Folic Acid Every Day
- All women of reproductive age should get 400 mcg of folic acid every day to get enough folic acid to help prevent some birth defects because
- About half of U.S. pregnancies are unplanned, and
- Major birth defects of the babys brain or spine occur very early in pregnancy , before most women know they are pregnant.
- When taking folic acid, a higher dose than 400 mcg of folic acid each day is not necessarily better to prevent neural tube defects, unless a doctor recommends taking more due to other health conditions.
- When planning to become pregnant, women who have already had a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect should consult with their healthcare provider. CDC recommends that these women consume 4,000 mcg of folic acid each day one month before becoming pregnant and through the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Taking Extra Folic Acid
Your midwife or GP may ask you to take a larger amount of folic acid if:
- youve had a baby with a neural tube defect before
- someone in your close family has a neural tube defect
- youre taking medicines for epilepsy
- you have diabetes
- youre overweight and your body mass index is 30 or more
- you have sickle-cell anaemia or thalassaemia
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Which Vitamins Should I Take In Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, its recommended that you take additional vitamin D and folic acid, and avoid taking vitamin A . Aim for 400mg of folic acid and 10mcg of vitamin D from your supplements . For more on pregnancy supplements and nutrition if you’re vegan or vegetarian, see our article about what to eat during pregnancy.
How To Take Vitamins During Pregnancy
You shouldnt miss a day without taking vitamins, as this will affect your babys optimal development. Its recommended that you take them in the morning with orange juice or another citrus fruit to aid their absorption. If you notice your stomach is upset after taking them, try to take them with food.
As we mentioned above, its essential that your doctor prescribes the correct amounts of vitamins for you to take. Avoid self-medication, because you could endanger not only your health, but your babys too.
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Vitamin D In Pregnancy
You need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount between September and March.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight .
It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs, but if you’re in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:
- oily fish
- red meat
Vitamin D is added to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.
Because vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it is difficult to get enough from foods alone.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D free of charge if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
The Best Vitamins To Take While Pregnant
Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, CLE, shares recommended vitamins to take while pregnant. Plus: additional supplements for a healthy pregnancy, other prenatal nutritional needs, and vitamins to avoid during pregnancy.
Is it safe to take vitamins during pregnancy? How about while breastfeeding?
These are two of the most common questions that dietitians get from expectant and new mothers. Its no secret that proper nourishment can better optimize your pre and postnatal care. But exactly which vitamins and supplements should you take during pregnancy?
In this article, were bringing things back to science-backed basics. When it comes to supplements and pregnancy, heres the information you need to have a safe and healthy term.*
*This information should not be used in lieu of professional medical advice. Always follow guidance from your OB-GYN and/or primary care physician.
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When Do You Need Extra Vitamin B9
- Those pregnant with twins, your doctor could have your take 1,000 mg daily
- Overweight women may need more than 400mg a day, ask your doctor before you become pregnant and before you take extra
- Those taking anti-seizure or diabetes meds may be told to take more daily
- If your developing baby has already developed an NTD, your doctor may have you take 4,000 mg daily
- If you have Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, a genetic mutation that makes it harder to produce folic acid in your body
It is important you understand all the prenatal vitamin limits when choosing your prenatal vitamins.
Which Vitamins Should I Take During Pregnancy
16 August, 2018
The vitamin supplements that you consume during pregnancy are also known as prenatal vitamins. They come in different forms and should be taken daily, starting on the day you find out youre expecting. However, its natural for you to ask yourself, Which vitamins should I take during pregnancy?
In this article, youll learn which vitamins and minerals pregnant women should take and what theyre used for. So keep reading!
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Why Is Vitamin A So Important During Pregnancy
Vitamin A contributes to the development of one of the most intricate and extraordinary parts of your babys body their eyes. Its also important for their immunity and skin cell production1, as well as helping to develop the millions of tiny air sacs, called alveoli, in your babys lungs. These allow oxygen to transfer into the blood, and carbon dioxide to transfer back out2.
A healthy supply of vitamin A during pregnancy builds up your babys natural stores in preparation for the first few months of life3. A low level of vitamin A can affect your babys immune function after birth, leaving them more susceptible to infection and illness3.
Due to its supporting role in the immune system, vitamin A benefits your own health throughout pregnancy too4.
Monday 14 August 2017
Once you get pregnant, youre likely to be bombarded with advice from everyone you know . From what you should eat and drink, to what to expect from pregnancy and birth, or what products to buy and what to run from chances are there is a lot of well-meaning but overwhelming advice coming your way.
One thing that expecting mothers might hear about is supplements. Below, weve listed the supplements pregnant women should be taking during pregnancy and why.
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Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
In addition to the vitamins and nutrients discussed above, here are two of the best supplements to take while pregnant.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Doctors will often encourage their pregnant patients to take a fish oil supplement. Heres why.
Why theyre important: Omega-3 fatty acid stores tend to deplete quickly throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids provide DHA, one of its most biologically active acids.
DHA can help ease the risk for an early preterm birth . Additionally, low DHA levels can influence changes in brain function. Consequently, this can lead to genetic variations, decreased learning abilities, and impaired vision.
The benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acid extend to postnatal nutrition, too. Researchers suggest that rapid depletion of fatty acids during pregnancy and breastfeeding can contribute to the baby blues. In turn, taking this healthy omega can have a positive influence on maternal well-being.
Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- cold-water fish
- plant oils
The ACOG recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week. However, pay special attention to avoid raw or undercooked fish. Additionally, you should also avoid fish with high mercury levels while pregnant.
That said, talk to your doctor about incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your prenatal plan if you suspect youre getting enough DHA.
Maternal & Infant Vitamin D Deficiency
Maternal Vitamin D deficiency is more likely to occur in the winter months and among those who use regularly use sunscreen, cover most of their skin, and/or have heavily pigmented skin. Moms who take a daily Vitamin D supplement while breastfeeding can help prevent infant deficiency. Breastfeeding alone, however, is not enough to prevent rickets . It is also important to discuss infant Vitamin D supplementation if you are breastfeeding. Most pediatricians recommend a daily Vitamin D supplement for all breastfed infants.
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