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What Vitamins Are Good During Pregnancy

Not Getting Enough Folate

Vitamins During Pregnancy

Because the body has a high demand for folate, women may not get enough of this nutrient during their childbearing years . Women who are at higher risk include those who:

  • are not taking the recommended folic acid supplement,
  • are on restricted diets ,
  • have a lower socio-economic status, and
  • are experiencing food insecurityFootnote 5.

What Is Nutrition And Why Is It Important During Pregnancy

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet so your body gets the nutrients that it needs. Nutrients are substances in foods that our bodies need so they can function and grow. They include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

When you’re pregnant, nutrition is more important than ever. You need more of many important nutrients than you did before pregnancy. Making healthy food choices every day will help you give your baby what he or she needs to develop. It will also help make sure that you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight.

Vitamin C In Pregnancy

Vitamin C protects cells and helps keep them healthy.

It’s found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and a balanced diet can provide all the vitamin C you need.

Good sources include:

  • soya drinks with added calcium
  • bread and any foods made with fortified flour
  • fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards

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When To Stop Taking Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy

Youll continue taking your prenatal vitamin every day during your pregnancy. Your doctor might also recommend you continue to take prenatal vitamins after delivery, especially if you decide to breastfeed. If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal supplement.

Dha Is Not Only Good For Babythose Good Fats Are Good For You Too

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Dr. Valentine and colleagues just completed a 5-year National Institutes of Health study that examined the potential benefits of a higher daily dose of DHA during pregnancy compared to the standard recommendation of DHA . The results indicate that this higher dose can significantly reduce the risk for premature or early preterm birth.

While several factors can contribute to preterm birth, getting a sufficient amount of DHA may be the single most important way to prevent it, especially considering many healthy American women average only about 50mg per day of dietary DHA, Dr. Valentine said.

The study also showed that womens blood volume increased, and their bodies acquired new tissues to support the pregnancy, like the placenta. This shows how important adequate calories, protein, iron and folic acid rich foods or supplements are during pregnancy, she said.

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Are Chlorophyll Supplements Safe During Pregnancy

Chlorophyll supplements are generally safe to use and do not appear to have any serious side effects. However, anyone who is pregnant or breast-feeding should speak to a doctor before taking a chlorophyll supplement. Some people may find that chlorophyll supplements cause stomach upset or skin irritation.

Vitamins To Avoid During Pregnancy:

Vitamins although play a crucial role during pregnancy, might lead to birth complications when not taken in recommended doses. It is extremely important to consult your doctor to understand what vitamins you need and what you SHOULD NOT take:

1. Vitamin A:

Over dosage of Vitamin A can lead to toxicity of liver and cause death. It is extremely important to take only the permissible dosages of 770mcg per day.

2. Vitamin D:

The most toxic vitamins of all, Vitamin D over dosage can adversely affect the health of the mother and birth defects in the baby

Other Vitamins like B6 and E can lead to side effects when taken in extra dosages, but do not have any major threatening factors.

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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.

Is It Safe To Take Choline Supplements During Pregnancy


A separate choline supplement may be recommended by your doctor. While supplementing with some micronutrients and herbs is safe for pregnant women, many of them should be avoided, or avoided in high amounts. Always check with your doctor before adding any additional supplements outside of any prenatal vitamins you may be taking.

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Zinc Supplementation Versus Placebo

Thirteen studies evaluated zinc supplementation compared to placebo in women during pregnancy . Prawirohartono et al. was not included in meta-analysis because it reported no poolable outcomes, but was narratively synthesized . Of these, twelve were included in the meta-analyses . Four studies were conducted in South Asia, with two of these conducted in Bangladesh , one in Pakistan , and one in Nepal . Three studies were conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean, specifically two in Peru and on in Chile . From the Middle East and North Africa region, two studies were conducted in Iran , and two studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, one study each in Ghana and in Tanzania . One study was conducted in Indonesia, in East Asia and the Pacific .

The majority of the studies provided zinc supplementation until the end of pregnancy , while two studies provided zinc until one month postpartum , and one study until 6 months postpartum . One study did not explicitly state the endpoint of the intervention .

However, zinc supplementation may have improved maternal serum/plasma zinc concentrations, although the lower limit of the confidence interval just crossed the line of no effect . In a post-hoc analysis, studies that provided strictly zinc showed a greater improvement in maternal serum/plasma zinc concentration than studies that provided additional micronutrients .

Talk To Your Health Care Provider Before Starting Prenatal Vitamins

If youre standing in the supplements aisle of your pharmacy or health food store, you may be overwhelmed with your options.

There are various prenatal vitamins to choose from, but its important to review your prenatal supplement choices with your health care provider to ensure there isnt too much or too little of something your body may or may not need, said Christina Valentine, MD, medical director of the perinatal nutrition program and neonatologist with Banner University Medical Center Tucson.

Your provider will review your health history, diet or bloodwork to determine what additional vitamins or minerals to supplement with. Its also important to eat a well-balanced diet to make sure youre getting all the good stuff your body and baby need.

Women who are vegetarians should also consult with a registered dietitian to ensure complete protein, folic acid, iron, B12 and DHA are adequate, Dr. Valentine noted.

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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.

You Only Need Folic Acid And Vitamin D For Pregnancy And Conception

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A cheaper supplement that contains these alone is sufficient and more cost-effective.

For example Morrisons Folic Acid is £2.50 for 180 tablets and Morrisons Vitamin D is £3 for 90 tablets , which means you get these essential pregnancy nutrients for 4.7p per day more than 20 times cheaper than the most expensive pregnancy multivitamin we looked at.

If you prefer to take just one tablet a day to get your dose of these essential nutrients, Boots makes a combined Folic Acid + Vitamin D tablet , which costs 6p per day.

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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.

What About Other Nutrients

There are other nutrients that may improve the health of your pregnancy. Your doctor can help you decide if you need to take supplements that include:Omega-3 fatty acids: These fats, which include DHA and EPA , come only from food sources such as fatty fish and nuts. Studies show omega-3s can lower your risk of preterm birth and of having a baby with low birth weight. If you dont eat much food thats rich in omega-3s, ask your health care provider if a supplement is right for you.

Choline: Although your body can make some choline on its own, you get most of it from food. Rich sources include beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs. Many pregnant women dont get enough choline, which the baby needs for healthy brain growth.

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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
  • eggs
  • 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.

What Nutrients And Vitamins Needed During Pregnancy

Supplements during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

A balanced nutritional intake is the best way to make sure youre receiving all of the needed vitamins and nutrients throughout your pregnancy. That might make you wonder what nutrients and vitamins are necessary during pregnancy. Lets take a look at what your body needs during the following months:

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When Should You Take Prenatal Supplementation

Doctors encourage women who are trying to conceive to start taking prenatal vitamins before conceptionto ensure they have the proper vitamins in their body. The first few weeks of pregnancy are essential for fetal health and development. Taking prenatal vitamins, folic acid and other vital supplements can help to reduce the risk of congenital disabilities.

If you didnt start taking prenatal vitamins before conception, begin as soon as you find out that youre pregnant. Wait to take other supplements until you speak to your OB-GYN to ensure you need them and that theyre safe for you to take.

How Much Vitamin A Do You Need When Youre Pregnant

Getting the right amount of vitamin A during pregnancy is a bit of a balancing act. Too much can harm your developing baby and lead to birth defects1, while too little carries certain risks to you and your babys development5. If you aim to eat a healthy balanced diet, you should be getting all the vitamin A you need and should avoid taking any additional supplements containing it. A healthy intake will ensure your baby gets the nutritional support they need for normal development. And because its a fat-soluble vitamin, your body can build up stores of it in your liver, ready for when you need it. If youd like any more advice, do speak to your healthcare professional.

Your Reference Nutrient Intake of vitamin A in pregnancy the amount considered to be enough to meet most peoples needs is slightly higher than normal, at 100mcg per day6. Half a cup of raw carrots contains 459mcg of vitamin A, and half a cup of broccoli contains 60mcg of vitamin A7.

If you decide to breastfeed your baby, you shouldnt need to make any special dietary changes but its a good idea to eat healthily. You can always talk to your midwife or healthcare professional if youd like any more advice. Read more about a healthy breastfeeding diet.

The good news is, you should be able to get all the vitamin A you need by enjoying a healthy, balanced pregnancy diet.

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Vitamin D Supplementation And Preeclampsia Risk

Preeclampsia is a placenta-dependent disorder with a worldwide prevalence of 28% . According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines preeclampsia is defined by the identification of high blood pressure with proteinuria or the presence of elevated liver enzymes, high platelet count, headache, or visual disturbances after 20 weeks of gestation . It is a multifactor disease with altered immune and endocrine responses in which both defective placental trophoblast invasion and dysfunction of maternal vascular endothelium occur. Since vitamin D exerts potent immunomodulatory properties, and results of observational studies suggested that lower vitamin D levels could be associated with higher preeclampsia risk , some intervention studies have tried to evaluate this association. However, the results of meta-analyses on intervention studies on vitamin D and risk of preeclampsia are still controversial.

What Are Vitamins And Supplements

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Your body needs a variety of nutrients for good health: vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre.

Vitamins are organic compounds needed in small amounts that your body can’t make for itself. Apart from vitamin D, which is mostly sourced from sunlight, most of the vitamins you need come from food.

Dietary supplements are complementary medicines which contain nutrients that may fill a deficiency in your diet. Examples include multivitamins, single minerals, fish oil capsules and herbal supplements.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In a population-based registry study of 850 women and their children born in 19881989, Strom et al. found no indication that maternal 25D concentrations < 50 nmol/L versus 5075 nmol/L at gestational week 30 were associated with higher risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder disorder, defined as prescription of psychostimulant medication, among offspring during 22 years of follow-up. On the contrary, by analysing data from 1,650 mother-child pairs embedded in the INMA birth cohort in Spain, Morales et al. found that the number of ADHD-like symptoms in preschoolers aged 45 decreased by 11% per 10 ng/mL increment of maternal 25D3 at 13 weeks of gestation. The inverse association was observed in the inattention subscale as well as in the hyperactivity-impulsivity subscale. Consistently, results from the Greek Rhea birth cohort have also shown that higher maternal levels of vitamin D in early pregnancy is associated with reduced hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms and total ADHD-like symptoms in offspring at age 4.

Calcium Supplementation Versus Placebo

Five studies assessed calcium supplementation in pregnant women of which, four were included in the meta-analysis . Two of these studies were conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean , and one study took place in South Asia . The fourth study was a multi-country study that was conducted in Peru, South Africa, Vietnam, and India . Jarjou et al. was excluded on the basis that no common outcomes of interest were reported and could not be pooled with other studies however, the paper was narratively synthesized .

Calcium supplementation, compared to placebo, did not impact the risk of having a low birthweight baby , stillbirths , preterm births , or Caesarean section as a mode of delivery .

However, calcium supplementation may have improved the risk of maternal pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, although the upper limit of the confidence interval just crossed the line of no effect . In a post-hoc analysis, studies that provided only calcium to mothers showed a greater reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia compared to studies that provided additional micronutrients .

Forest plot for comparison calcium supplementation versus no calcium/placebo on the risk of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in mothers during pregnancy.

No subgroup analysis for primary outcomes was conducted for this comparison due to an insufficient number of studies per subgroup of interest.

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