Supplements in pregnancy
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but especially vital if you are pregnant or planning one. You do not need to go on a special diet, but make sure you include a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need.
There are 2 vitamins that are very important in pregnancy and you are recommended to take them as a supplement.
- Folic acid - It is recommended that you take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid can prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects including spina bifida in the early weeks of pregnancy. If you do not take folic acid before you are pregnant you should start as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Some women may require high doses of folic acid, for example if you have a history of neural tube defects or have had a previous pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, have diabetes, have a high BMI, take anti-epileptic medicine or anti-retroviral medicine for HIV. If any of this applies to you or you think you may need a high dose of folic acid please talk to your GP and they will give you a prescription.
- Vitamin D - It is recommended that you take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D daily if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Vitamin D helps us absorb the right amount of calcium and phosphate in the body to keep our bones and muscles healthy. It is especially important in pregnancy as it helps your baby’s bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system to develop and also gives your baby enough Vitamin D for the first few months of life. Do not take more than 100 micrograms of Vitamin D a day as this could be harmful. There is no need to take any other vitamin or mineral supplement unless your GP has prescribed them. Do not take Vit A (Retinol) supplements or any other supplements containing Vitamin A as too much could harm your baby.
More information can be found below:
Vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy (nhs.uk). Information relating to vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy.