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What Vitamins Do You Need When Pregnant

Iron Has Many Benefits During Pregnancy:

What Pregnancy Vitamins Do I Need? | CloudMom
  • Allows your body to make extra blood for your baby. You need more iron during pregnancy because your body should be making about 50% more blood.
  • Helps oxygen flow through your body and your babys developing body.
  • Prevents iron deficiency anemia. Low iron can lead to anemia, which can make you even more tired during pregnancy. Worse, it makes your baby more likely to be born early or too small. In extreme cases, low iron can lead to infant mortality.
  • Baby growth. During the second and third trimesters, youll need the mineral for your placenta and baby growth.

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Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, others should be avoided.

Certain vitamins, plants, and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.

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 .

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Prenatal Vitamins If Youre Pregnant With Twins

If youre pregnant with twins, youre probably doubling up on a lot of things: two cribs, two carseats, two highchairs, and a double stroller. But should you double up on the prenatal?

By Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar

As a twin mom, I understand the great joysand unique challengesthat come along with bringing two babies into the world at once. If youre pregnant with twins, youre probably doubling up on a lot of things: two cribs, two carseats, two highchairs, and a double stroller. But should you double up on the prenatal vitamin?It sounds logical, but the answer is no. We do not recommend just taking a double dose of your prenatal routine. In fact, increased amounts of certain ingredients in a prenatal can be dangerous for both you and the babies.

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Advising On The Upper Limits Of Folic Acid Supplementation

How Prenatal Vitamins Increase Your Chances of Pregnancy

High doses of folic acid can hide signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. They can also bring on or accelerate neurological complications associated with B12 deficiency . As well, women who have low vitamin B12 status are at higher risk for NTD . The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in women of childbearing age is considered very low . However, some studies suggest that more women in this life stage group may have low vitamin B12 status than expected . Women who do not or infrequently consume foods of animal origin and do not take a vitamin B12 containing supplement are most likely to have deficient or marginal vitamin B12 status .

Emerging data also suggest there may be additional health risks associated with taking folic acid, including the development of colon cancer when preneoplastic cells are present . It is important that health care professionals do not advise higher doses of folic acid than is recommended in this document, unless duly warranted.

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Folic Acid And Pregnancy

Folate is a B-group vitamin found in a variety of foods. Folic acid helps protect against neural tube defects in the developing foetus. It is important for pregnant women to make sure they are receiving enough of this important vitamin. For women who are planning a pregnancy, and during the first 3 months of pregnancy, a daily folic acid supplement of 500 micrograms is recommended, as well as eating foods that are naturally rich in folate or are fortified with folic acid.

Are All Prenatal Vitamins Pretty Much The Same

No. Prescription vitamins are regulated by the Food and Drug administration, but they’re not required to contain certain nutrients. “There are many different formulations available, with different concentrations of each nutrient,” says Kukreja. Some have a little of everything others contain only a handful of nutrients. If you have special health considerations, your OB may suggest a supplement with added nutrients to meet your needs.

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Potential Benefits During Pregnancy

During the third trimester, your babys brain growth is at its peak. This is when these supplements were supposed to have had an effect. What seems to be more important is the ratio of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. For example, if you increase the omega-3 PUFAs, you may decrease the arachidonic acid , an omega-6 PUFA, which may slow infant growth and development. DHA alone, without AA may also have negative side effects. Though it appears that real fish is what makes the difference and not artificial DHA.

This does not mean that the omega-3 PUFAs dont have a chance. In fact, some recent observational studies have shown that there may be a correlation in preterm birth, preeclampsia as well as hypertension in pregnancy with the Omega-3 PUFAs. Women with a history of preterm labor had a 50 percent reduction in preterm labor rates with omega-3 PUFAs, though the general population did not seem to benefit. Though more quality studies are needed for all of these cases.

Other Supplements In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Vitamins – What Nutrients does a Fetus need & what Foods should I eat | Pregnancy Diet

Other than folic acid, vitamin D and iodine and any supplement prescribed for you by your doctor, there is limited evidence to support the use of supplements during pregnancy.

Emerging research has shown that omega-3 supplements during pregnancy might help reduce the risk of premature birth, and that probiotics might help control blood glucose levels in pregnancy. But it’s not clear whether the benefits of taking these supplements outweigh any possible harms. Until there is better evidence available, it’s best to avoid them unless prescribed by your doctor â particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Because nutritional supplements are classed as ‘complementary medicines’, they are not scrutinised or regulated as much as other medicines.

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Where To Get Pregnancy Supplements

You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or a GP may be able to prescribe them for you.

If you want to get your folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, make sure the tablet does not contain vitamin A .

You may be able to get free vitamins if you qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.

Find out more about the Healthy Start scheme.

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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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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What Vitamins Do You Need In Pregnancy

Long term use of phenytoin can deplete your vitamin D levels leading to the potential for other problems. Vitamin D is one that we store, so you will have a reserve to last you at first. Eating foods that contain or are fortified with vitamin D, as well as getting plenty of sunshine is a good start.

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Vitamins To Help Get Pregnant

If you are trying to conceive a baby, you need to know about vitamins to help get pregnant. The body needs a wide range of different vitamins and minerals in order to increase fertility. Supplementing B-Complex, vitamin E and C are needed by the body for healthy conception and pregnancy. Listed below are the necessary fertility vitamins as well as tips for taking them.

Essential Vitamins And Minerals In Pregnancy

Good nutrition in pregnancy is vital for the healthy growth and development of your baby. You need to consume enough nutrients to meet your baby’s needs, as well as your own.

When you’re pregnant, you need more of some nutrients, including protein, folate, iodine, iron and some vitamins.

  • folate helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida when taken at least 1 month before conception and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy
  • iodine is needed for brain and nervous system development
  • iron helps prevent anaemia in the mother, as well as low birth weight in the baby

Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also particularly important since they support the development of the baby’s nervous system and skeleton . Adequate vitamin C intake also helps improve the adsorption of iron from your diet.

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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.

Supplements During Pregnancy: Whats Safe And Whats Not

Nutrients you need while pregnant to help your baby grow – Dr. Anitha Prasad

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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Amounts Of Prenatal Vitamins

The amount of vitamin in each prenatal pill or multi-vitamin supplement can vary depending on the product used, making it important to check your vitamins and not exceed the upper safe limits of daily intake.

The following is a list of the recommended dietary allowance and tolerable upper limits for pregnant women:

What Kind Of Vitamins Do I Need To Take

While the ideal way of obtaining vitamins is through eating a healthy diet, not all vitamins are equally absorbed by all people. As well, some conditions suggest that certain vitamin supplements should definitely be added to diets. For example, people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have difficulty absorbing vitamins from food, and may benefit from a good, and easily digestible multi-vitamin supplement.

What vitamins one takes needs to be tailored to the individual. A pregnant woman, for example, should start taking a pregnancy multi-vitamin that contains folic acid prior to conception. Taking folic acid significantly reduces the risk of certain birth defects when a daily amount is taken before the woman conceives.

Someone who is on a calorie-restricted diet may also need a good multi-vitamin because the person may not be getting enough vitamin amounts from their foods. Vegetarians particularly need vitamin B12, which is often lacking from the vegetarian diet. People who cannot consume milk products lose out on vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

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Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of you and your baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight.

Excess weight gain during pregnancy can increase your risk of certain health issues including gestational diabetes.If you are pregnant, a good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite, and continue to monitor your weight.Depending on your body mass index at the start of your pregnancy, the following weight gain is recommended during pregnancy:

BMI at start of pregnancy Recommended weight gain during pregnancy
< 18.5
> 30 5.0â9.0

If you are overweight, pregnancy is not the time to start dieting or trying to lose weight. Weight gain within these ranges is important to support the growth and development of your baby.

To maintain an appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, it is important to:

  • Choose healthy foods from the 5 food groups.
  • Limit discretionary foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugars and added salt .
  • Remain active during your pregnancy.

Folic Acid Has Many Benefits During Pregnancy:

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  • Lowers risk of ovulatory failure. According to a 2006 study, women who took multivitamins, including a folic acid supplement, had a 40% lower risk
  • Lowers risk of neural tube defects . Since neural tube defects occur within the first 28 days of conception, even if youre not pregnant yet, you should still get 400 mcg a day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , women who get their daily value of folic acid reduce the risk of a neural tube defect by up to 70%.
  • May lower risk of other defects. Some studies also show that folic acid may lower the risk of cleft lip, cleft palate and some heart defects.
  • May lower risk of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure disorder.

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Continued Supplementation Throughout Pregnancy

Canadian survey data show that it is difficult for most women of childbearing age to consume enough folate from diet alone to meet their pregnancy needs. Over 75% of non-pregnant/non-breastfeeding women aged 19 – 50 have intakes less than the Estimated Average Requirement Footnote 10 for pregnancy, 520 mcg of DFEs . To meet folate needs during pregnancy, women should consume a varied diet that provides dietary folate , and continue taking a multivitamin containing 400 mcg of folic acid throughout their pregnancy.

Table I This table charts the sources of dietary folate from different food.


Do You Really Need A Prenatal Vitamin Five Reasons Why You Might

In this article in Health Magazine: Prenatal Vitamins-Do they Do More Harm Than Good?, writer Erica Kain describes the reaction of her doctor when she asked him about taking prenatal vitamins. He showed her the trash can! And he proceeded to refer to a reference textbook, Williams Obstetrics, that explained that recommending prenatal vitamins is more of a comfortable habit of OBs, rather than one based on iron-clad research.

In a recent review of the need for prenatals in the British Medical Journal, the consensus was that folic acid and vitamin D were the only ones with enough evidence to recommend them to all UK mums-to-be. The Boston Birth Cohort study showed that women taking prenatal vitamins had a lower risk of having a child with autism Women who took a prenatal 2 to 5 times a week had a lower risk, those that took it less than 2 or more than 5 had a higher risk. Heres the LA Times article that summarizes why a prenatal is still a good idea. Confusing? Yes!

After all, if youve been pregnant before, you know that taking your first prenatal vitamin has been a sort of right of passage, from the not-pregnant to the expecting world. That stroll down the vitamin aisle or the call to your doctor asking about what brand of prenatal she recommends means youve officially crossed over.

Should You Take a Prenatal Vitamin? It Depends.

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I’m A Vegetarian Should I Be Taking Any Additional Supplements

“Because vegetarians are not consuming animal products, the nutrients they tend to need are vitamin B12, zinc, iron and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA,” says greene. “Look for supplements that contain these vitamins plus DHA from algae, a vegetarian source, rather than from fish.”

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