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What Vitamins Can You Take While Pregnant

Can I Overdose On Folic Acid

Should I take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding, and what foods should I eat?

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 .

Preconception Vitamins: When Trying To Conceive

One reason is you are trying to conceive. Taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant but trying to conceive is highly encouraged. If there is any possibility you may get pregnant because you are trying or not using contraceptives, you should take preconception vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins contain a very important ingredient for conception, and that is folic acid. Folic acid helps in the creation of the babys neural tube. The neural tube is responsible for creating the brain and spinal column of the baby later on. You are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant because the neural tube begins to form before a woman finds out she is pregnant.

The CDC encourages women who can get pregnant to take 400 mcg of folic acid every day. When a woman finds out she is pregnant, she should take 600 mcg of folic acid every day to help reduce the chances of Spina Bifida and other neural defects. This does not mean that your baby will have a defect if you dont take prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant. Many women find out they are pregnant when they are further along in their pregnancy.

Taking preconception vitamins helps to prevent the chance of your baby having a neural defect. Just take the prenatal vitamins when you find out you are pregnant if you havent started taking them beforehand. Dont be scared if you havent taken them early many women in the past have not, and their babies are healthy.

Safe And Effective Supplements For Pregnancy

Other supplements that you can take safely while pregnant include:

    • Iron is vital for the growing fetus, and supports the dramatic increase in blood volume during pregnancy. The CDC recommends universal screening for iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women and universal iron supplementation to meet the iron requirements of pregnancy. This recommendation is especially true if youve opted for a gummy prenatal, since gummy prenatal vitamins contain no iron at all.
    • Peppermint leaf is also safe for pregnant women and can be used to help with nausea and vomiting
    • Ginger root is another safe and effective option for alleviating morning sickness and nausea.

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What Supplements Do I Need In Pregnancy


A healthy, balanced diet will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. Folic acid and vitamin D are so important for your baby, that you should take supplements to make sure you are getting enough.

If your blood tests show that you are anaemic in pregnancy, then your doctor or midwife will give you an iron supplement. Otherwise, you do not have to take an iron supplement in pregnancy.

There is no need to take any other vitamin and mineral supplements unless your GP prescribes them. Some women chose to take a pregnancy multivitamin, which is fine if you choose to do so.

Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A, as too much could harm your baby.

Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal Vitamins While Not Pregnant: Can I Take Them ...

Prenatal vitamins are important before and during pregnancy to help your body meet the demands of pregnancy and aid in your babys development, says Dr. Nwankwo. Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins. Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.

A run-of-the-mill multivitamin wont cut it when youre pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are specially designed multivitamins that deliver the extra amounts of nutrients needed during various stages of your babys development. For example, they contain folic acid, which is important for babys brain development in the earliest stages. And many have vitamin D and calcium to build strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Plus, prenatal vitamins help make sure you have enough nutrients such as iron, to not only provide to your baby but so your own body doesnt become depleted.

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Other Vitamins And Nutrients

Aside from folic acid, several other key nutrients can benefit pregnant and breastfeeding women and developing fetuses. These include:

Iron: Pregnant women need about twice the usual recommended amount of the mineral iron. Iron is another crucial component in red blood cells. Pregnant women who do not get enough iron may develop iron-deficiency anemia.

Zinc: Supports the immune system and helps the body make proteins, divide cells, and synthesize DNA for new cells.

Vitamin B-12: Helps the body make healthy red blood cells and neurons, which are the specialized cells found in the spinal cord and brain. B-12 also helps these cells to function properly.

Calcium and vitamin D: Work together to help develop fetal bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also crucial for healthy eye and skin development. Calcium may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, a leading cause of illness and death in pregnant women, and newborns.

Vitamin A: Helps cells grow and differentiate, contributing to the healthy development of vision and many vital organs.

Vitamin B-6: Plays a vital role in cognitive development, glucose metabolism, immune function, and blood formation. May also help reduce nausea during pregnancy.

Iodine: A trace element essential for the development of the central nervous system, brain, and skeletal system. Severe iodine deficiencies in pregnant women may slow fetal growth or cause neurodevelopmental defects, stillbirth, or miscarriage.

Vegetables Salad And Fruit

You should base your meals on plenty of vegetables, salad and fruit. You need 6 servings a day.

You should only drink unsweetened fruit juice once a day. Foods you could regularly eat include:

  • raw vegetables like salad or sliced carrots
  • boiled or steamed vegetables like peas and broccoli
  • vegetable soup
  • 150mls pure unsweetened fruit juice
  • pieces of fruit like bananas, apples and oranges
  • fruit salad

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Research Says Multivitamin And Mineral Preparations Promoted For Use During Pregnancy Are Unlikely To Be Needed

No need to take supplements if the content of your fridge looks like this

Any woman who has been pregnant will remember how much effort she put into eating a healthy diet. Many expectant mums also turn to prenatal supplements to optimise their chances of producing a healthy baby and, in later years, a more intelligent child.

But experts now warn that many of these daily vitamins are of little or no use.

The Australian research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found there was little evidence of benefit after half of the women were given daily supplements while the others took a placebo.

Once the pregnancies were over, the babies were tested at regular intervals until they were seven years old. Results showed no difference between the childrens general intelligence, language skills or overall level of IQ, whether or not their mother had taken supplements while pregnant.

No evidence

These latest findings back up other research , which found no evidence that pregnancy supplements improve the health of women or their babies.

Researchers concluded that for most women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant, complex multivitamin and mineral preparations promoted for use during pregnancy are unlikely to be needed and are an unnecessary expense.

Fergal Malone, head of RCSIs Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Master of the Rotunda Hospital, echoes this advice.

Negative effect

Likes reassurance

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What Type Of Prenatal Vitamins Is Best

Can I take herbal supplements while pregnant?

Vitamins come in multiple forms: pill, soft-gel capsule and gummies. For some, swallowing and holding down a pill can be difficult especially when youre queasy due to morning sickness. If thats your situation, try a soft-gel capsule or a gummy vitamin. Just remember that gummy vitamins do not contain iron, so you may want an extra iron supplement for that.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

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Best Prenatal Vitamins To Take

There are many different prenatal vitamins to choose from, including those available at a pharmacy or online. A doctor may sometimes prescribe prenatal vitamins to women with particular health considerations.

Typically, a good prenatal vitamin for most women over 19 years of age should contain:

  • : 220 mcg during pregnancy and 290 mcg during lactation.

Prenatal Vitamins While Not Pregnant: Can I Take Them

You may be wondering if it is okay to begin taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant. You may have heard a few rumours about the significant effects prenatal vitamins have on women, whether pregnant or not, but it is important to understand whether it is okay to take prenatal vitamins when not pregnant yet.

Taking prenatal vitamins when pregnant is necessary for many reasons, but taking them when not pregnant is sometimes recommended and other times not. Continue reading if you want to know everything about prenatal vitamins.

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Why Is Taking Vitamin A Bad For Pregnant Women

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, helps your bodys natural defence against illness, as well as your vision and your skin. When you are pregnant, do not take vitamin A supplements or supplements containing vitamin A . Too much could cause birth defects .

If you decide to take a multivitamin tablet during pregnancy, make sure the tablet doesnt contain vitamin A. You also need to avoid choosing liver or liver paté because these are very high in vitamin A . For more on foods to avoid during pregnancy, see here.

Vitamin A that your body produces from beta-carotene does not increase the risk of birth defects .

What Nutrients Do Pregnant Or Breastfeeding Women Need

The Best Vitamins to Take (and Avoid) While Pregnant

Here are some of the essential nutrients that will help you and your baby thrive. They’re found in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, dairy products, and lean meats. Your doctor may also recommend a daily prenatal multivitamin with iron.


Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth, and plays an important role in helping the circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems work properly. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should get 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Healthy sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice and milk-alternatives, cereals, and kale.


Eating carbohydrates helps provide energy to support the growth and development of a baby and, after delivery, breastfeeding. The best sources of carbs are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which also are good sources of fiber. Try to limit refined carbs like white flour and white rice and added sugars.


Fiber is a nutrient that can help ease the constipation thats common during pregnancy. Whole grains and fruits, vegetables, and legumes are good sources of fiber.

Folic acid

Folic acid helps with the development of a baby’s brain and spinal cord. It’s also needed to make red blood cells and white blood cells. Women who get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily before conception and during early pregnancy can reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a neural tube defect .

Healthy Fats




Vitamin A

Vitamin B12

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Should Women Take Supplements While Pregnant

It seems there’s an endless amount of online information related to what supplements a woman should take when pregnant. As a result, searching for reliable information related to supplements during pregnancy can be difficult at best.

Here’s a Q& A with some advice on which supplements you can use and those you should avoid during your pregnancy:

Are dietary supplements OK during pregnancy?

It’s recommended that women should not use dietary and herbal supplements during pregnancy. In addition, dietary and herbal supplements should be used with caution in women of reproductive age due to the risk of taking these supplements before knowledge of pregnancy.

Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness. As a result, they may contain contaminants, like metals, pesticides, chemicals or bacteria, which may pose risks for pregnancy. Also, most supplements are not thoroughly studied, which can lead to issues related to quality standards for ingredients and strength. For example, vinpocetine an ingredient found in a number of dietary supplements, including those marketed for weight loss, enhanced memory, focus, mental acuity or increased energy is not safe during pregnancy. Other commonly used supplements that may cause harm during pregnancy include melatonin and St. John’s wort.

What about meal replacement shakes?

What supplements are OK to take?

What about vitamins during pregnancy?

What Does The Latest Study Say Exactly

The researchers, whose conducted a thorough review of all available studies on this subject, found that theres no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal mutli-nutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements both of which can be bought separately and inexpensively.

In other words, according to the researchers, special pregnancy multivitamins often containing a combo of B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, iodine, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, selenium and folic acid offered no discernible extra health benefit to a pregnant woman or her baby.

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Other Vitamins And Supplements To Avoid While Breastfeeding

The fact is, most herbs and supplements havent been extensively studied in breastfeeding moms, so its hard to say with certainty whether theyre safe for you or your baby. In other words? Experts dont know what they dont know.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

The Best Prenatal Vitamins For A Healthy Pregnancy According To Doctors

Do I need to take an iron supplement while pregnant? If so, how much?

Prenatal Vitamins are a must for pregnant women to ensure that they and their developing babies get the nutrients they need. But how can you know which ones are best? Doctors recommend taking a daily prenatal vitamin during pregnancy because it guarantees the baby will get enough of all necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This article provides information on some of the most popular brands and what doctors say about them.

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What Vitamins And Supplements Should I Avoid During Pregnancy

  • What Vitamins and Supplements Should I Avoid During Pregnancy? Center
  • Pregnancy is a time to focus on your health and pay attention to what your body needs. You may wonder what vitamins and supplements are healthy during your pregnancy and what to avoid.

    This article points out some supplements and vitamins that are better avoided during pregnancy.

    Vitamins And Mineral Supplements That May Cause Problems

    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A, also called retinol, helps to maintain your skin and vision. When youre pregnant, though, taking vitamin A supplements can cause birth defects. Because of this, it is important to avoid taking any supplements or multivitamins other than your prenatal vitamin, that contain extra vitamin A.


    Iodine is a very important nutrient during pregnancy. It is essential for the proper development of the fetus. However, when taken in excess it can affect thyroid function. Iodine overdose may cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Too much iodine may also affect the neurodevelopment of the child.

    If you are taking extra vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin B6 supplements outside of your prenatal multivitamin, discuss this with your healthcare professional. High amounts can be dangerous.

    Herbal supplements to avoid during pregnancy

    You should always clear it with your obstetrician before taking any supplements while pregnant.

    Following is a list of supplements you should avoid when pregnant. Remember, this list is not exhaustive! It is important to always consult your doctor before taking a supplement, especially when pregnant.

    Alternative treatments and drugs

    Foods and beverages to avoid

    • King mackerel

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    Role Of Micronutrients In Fertility

    Because fertility is a complex equation, and each persons body is different, the science around micronutrients and conception is still, shall we say, in its infancy.

    That said, some promising studies have begun to shed light on the role of vitamins in getting and staying pregnant.

    Vitamins play important roles in female health. Theyre essential for many functions, including:

    • menstruation and ovulation
    • immune function
    • oocyte quality and maturation

    So, adequate vitamin and mineral intake is critical when trying to create the right environment for a healthy pregnancy. Some nutrients may even reduce symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome , a common underlying cause of infertility.

    In men, studies have shown certain supplements may increase sperm count and motility, helping the little swimmers reach their target.

    Its important to remember, though, that more research is needed.

    While promising, the majority of these studies were small and did not have rigorous methodology, says Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, chief medical adviser for MegaFood supplements.

    Weve broken down some of the most popular supplements for fertility, with the deets on their use, effectiveness, and dosage.

    Who its for: Men and women

    Claimed fertility benefit: Helps sperm motility contains antioxidants that promote healthy female reproductive system

    When you think vitamins, acetyl L-carnitine may not be the first to spring to mind. But that doesnt mean it shouldnt be on your radar.


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