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
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.
- 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.
When Do I Need To Start Taking Pregnancy Vitamins
If youre trying to conceive, start taking folic acid, or start taking it as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Your babys spine develops in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and initially you may not even know youre pregnant yet, so its best to take folic acid as soon as you start trying for a baby to be make sure you are covered during this period. Your GP will advise you on when to start taking any other pregnancy vitamins, if it turns out you need them.
In some cases, your doctor will give you a prescription and you may be eligible for free vitamins from Healthy Start. Otherwise, you can simply buy what your GP recommends over the counter in your local pharmacy or supermarket.
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Herbal Supplements Can Help With Ailments With Caution
In addition to micronutrients, herbal supplements are popular.
One 2019 study found that 15.4 percent of pregnant women in the United States use herbal supplements. However not all disclose to their physicians theyre taking them.
While some herbal supplements may be safe to take during pregnancy, there are far more that might not be.
Although some herbs can help with common pregnancy ailments like nausea and upset stomach, some may be harmful to both you and baby.
Unfortunately, there isnt much research regarding the use of herbal supplements by pregnant people, and much is unknown about how the supplements can affect you.
The safest bet? Keep your doctor in the know about any and all changes to your eating plan and supplements.
What Other Vitamins Should I Take
It is important to continue to eat a varied and healthy diet during pregnancy, and although most vitamins and minerals can be obtained through the diet alone, there are instances where you might find taking a supplement useful.
There are other vitamins and minerals which can support you during pregnancy, such as vitamin D, calcium, iron, vitamin C and omega 3.
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Other Supplements In Pregnancy
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.
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.
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What Vitamins Should I Take While Pregnant
During pregnancy, your body needs extra vitamins to support your baby’s growth and development. Pregnant women need 600 micrograms of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of neural tube defects . They also need 770 mcg of vitamin A, 2.6 mcg of vitamin B12 and 600 international units of vitamin D.
In addition to vitamins, moms-to-be need a number of extra minerals, including iron and calcium. These nutrients are found in prenatal vitamins. Speak with your health-care provider about your specific nutritional needs.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Supplements Considered Safe During Pregnancy
Just as with medications, your doctor should approve and supervise all micronutrient and herbal supplements to ensure that theyre necessary and taken in safe amounts.
Always purchase vitamins from a reputable brand that has their products evaluated by third-party organizations like the United States Pharmacopeia .
This ensures that the vitamins adhere to specific standards and are generally safe to take. Not sure which brands are reputable? Your local pharmacist can be a lot of help.
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.
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.
Which Are The Best Vitamin D Foods And Sources
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight between March and September . If you have dark skin or always cover your skin when outside, talk to your midwife or doctor as you may not get enough.
You can find vitamin D in foods like oily fish , eggs and red meat. For more on how much and which fish it’s safe to eat during pregnancy, see here. As vitamin D is only present in a few foods, supplements can be useful .
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When To Take Them
If you are not getting what you need in your daily diet, you may need to take a supplement, especially if youre having trouble getting enough calcium because of:
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- A diet that doesnt include dairy products
- Health conditions such as IBS or celiac disease
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement on your own. While you want to be sure youre getting enough calcium, you’ll also want to be sure that you arent getting too much.
Let your doctor know if you are already taking an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin, calcium supplement, or antacid. Your doctor will advise you about the safest supplements or provide you with a prescription for what you need.
What If I Take Emergen
If you took Emergen-C as directed before you knew you were pregnant, there is no cause for concern. It’s extremely rare to “overdose” on vitamin C. If you took too much vitamin C, it may have resulted in side effects like diarrhea or stomach discomfort. There is no evidence suggesting too much vitamin C while pregnant, including those days and weeks before you know you’re pregnant, will have adverse effects on your baby.
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What Should You Be Wary Of When Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
Vitamins are essential nutrients that keep the body healthy, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing, cautions Shepherd, who recommends that her patients consult with their doctor and purchase supplements from a reputable sourcenot all supplements are created equal, after all. DuBoises motivation to make a clean prenatal vitamin was driven by the fact that the supplement industry is largely unregulated, and its possible that common vitamins on the market can contain cheap, toxic fillers and are manufactured with chemical solvents. Its terrifying for the average person, but even scarier while pregnant! says DuBoise. The bottom line is: Before you take any prenatal supplements, discuss them with your doctor, and do your research
When Should I Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
The best time to begin taking prenatal vitamins is before you conceive. The folate in a prenatal vitamin taken before conception significantly reduces the chances of neural tube irregularities like spina bifida.
A babys neural tube, which will develop into both the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy. That could happen before you even realize youre pregnant.
If you arent already taking a daily prenatal vitamin, start taking one as soon as you find out youre expecting. 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. Otherwise, over-the-counter vitamins are available at the pharmacy or online.
While there are many brands available, youll want to choose a prenatal vitamin that includes:
Most pregnant people dont get enough choline, so its important to include choline-rich foods like egg yolks in your diet or take a supplement that contains this vital nutrient.
Choline is important for your health and is essential for fetal brain development and placental function.
Some supplements also contain DHA, which is important for your babys brain tissue growth and function especially during the third trimester.
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Vitamin B9 Folic Acid
The prevention of neural tube defects is the most widely known role for folic acid in pregnancy. A Cochrane review concluded that supplementation before conception and up to 12weeks of pregnancy is effective for preventing first- and second-time occurrence neural tube defects. Many countries worldwide including the US, UK, and EU countries, Canada, New Zealand, and China issued recommendations in the early 1990s that women planning a pregnancy should take 400µg of folic acid daily. Despite this, suboptimal intake of folate remains high and there is a high incidence of unplanned pregnancies and noncompliance such that the rate of neural tube defects remains alarmingly high. True incidence is difficult to assess on account of reporting irregularities but ranges from approximately 5 to 20 per 10 000 births even in developed countries such as the United Kingdon. There are continued efforts to educate, and recommendations in most countries have been expanded to all women of childbearing age.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy have also identified a reduced risk of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and small-for-gestational-age outcomes. However, a significant effect on preterm delivery was only seen when folic acid was initiated during the pregnancy and not with pre-conception supplementation, though the trend was still apparent.
Why Do I Need Folic Acid In Pregnancy
Folic acid , plus vitamin B12, is needed to form red blood cells .
“Folic acid is important for pregnancy because it can help to prevent neural tube defects, including spina bifida .”
The neural tube is a structure in the embryo that later develops into the babys brain and spinal cord. Taking folic acid before you conceive and while you’re pregnant might prevent up to seven out of 10 cases of neural tube defects .
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Why Is Folic Acid So Important
Folic acid is a form of folate that protects your unborn baby against serious birth defects, such as spina bifida – a neural tube defect which affects spinal development. It will help keep you healthy in the run up to and during pregnancy and a fact thats not known to many it can help with healthy sperm quality and improves male fertility too.
Its always good to have a diet high in folate, but as this is such an important pregnancy vitamin, doctors and midwives advise against relying on foods as a substitute for a Folic Acid supplement. The recommended dose for pregnant women is 400 mcg a day
Some of the best folate-rich foods include:
- Green vegetables – especially dark, leafy ones, such as brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, and spring greens
Try eating foods fortified with folate. These include:
- Breakfast cereals
- Some pasta
And hot of the press: the government has just announced that all white bread will start to be fortified with Folic Acid too!
What Supplements Are Safe And Unsafe For Pregnancy
Were here to give you simple and straightforward answers on what supplements and vitamins are safe for pregnancy, and what supplements to avoid.
If youre pregnant or trying to conceive its important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes a well balanced diet and intake of necessary vitamins and minerals. With a countless variety of supplements, oils, herbs, and prenatal vitamins on the market, it can be daunting trying to figure out whats right for your body and what isnt. Were here to give you simple and straightforward answers on what supplements are safe for pregnancy, and what supplements to avoid.
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Prenatal Vitamin This Is Not Your Regular Multi
I know baby needs a lot of extra nutrients and while I try to eat a wonderful mix of real nourishing foods every daysometimes my cravings get the better of me and I end up eating french fries for dinner. Sound familiar? I know supplementing with a multi-vitamin is a MUST during this time . The one I use is not your basic multi-vitamin by any stretch. I love whats in Master Formula including:
- a blend of certified organic whole food extracts that provide vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9 .
- a prebiotic and is a perfect companion for your probiotic supplement
- vitamin K2! We all know how K2 is missing from our diets and is vitally important!
- vitamin A and vitamin E to round out the fat soluble vitamins which are both vital for baby development. Note, however, that the Vitamin A source in Master Formula is from beta carotene so this is not a great source. Supplement with cod liver oil and additional vitamin A from milk, butter, eggs, and three to eight ounces of liver per week.
- Turmeric root oil (totally awesome that it contains this as you cant buy it separately from Young Living as an oil, Cardamom oil, Clove oil, Fennel oil, Ginger oil
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.
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