Do pregnancy vitamins have any real effect?

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10 November
15:13
November
2016

If I had to pick one supplement that I would advise women to take during pregnancy, it would be folic acid because it can reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTD) such as spina bifida in the child. The Department of Health recommends that women take 400 micrograms of folic acid during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy at least. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables and brown rice but it would be almost impossible to get enough from food alone which is why doctors recommend taking a supplement.

"All women are different and we need to look at everyone individually"

Other than that, pregnant women just need to have a balanced, and nutritious diet - there is no need to take unnecessary vitamins if they are eating well.

However, all women are different and we need to look at everyone individually. If for any reason there is an imbalance, that’s when an expectant mother needs to take extra care. We need to look at a woman’s diet and lifestyle to ensure they are getting enough vitamin C, iron, and vitamin D. This could become an issue if they are vegetarian or vegan as vitamin D is found in oily fish, meat and eggs. Our bodies also make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Likewise if a woman is anaemic they will need to make sure they take extra iron supplements.

It’s also important that expectant mothers do some regular exercise and get plenty of rest to ensure their bodies are as fit and healthy as possible, and that they keep well hydrated. But there no need to take unnecessary extra vitamins during pregnancy.

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