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Melissa Little

Msc RD, Pediatric and Antenatal Dietician. She is a spokesperson for the British Dietetics Association on TV and in print. Member of the parliamentary group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood at Westminster for the UK Government.
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Which supplements should I take during pregnancy?

There are certain supplements you should during your pregnancy to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients she needs.
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In Short
You need to take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day during the first trimester. Ideally, start taking this once you start trying to conceive. This can help prevent birth defects in your baby.

10 micrograms of Vitamin D every day - this is especially important if you are overweight.

Avoid Vitamin A.

If your BMI is greater than 30, take extra folic acid - 5mg. This is above the normal dose and you should consult your medical team first.

Vitamin Supplements During Pregnancy

It’s really important to take multivitamin and mineral supplements during your pregnancy. This is to ensure your baby’s getting all the nutrients he needs to grow. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s a great time to start taking multivitamin supplements and also continue if you’re breastfeeding after pregnancy.

While most vitamin and mineral supplements will vary slightly, it’s important to ensure that you choose one that’s got at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in it, and also 10 micrograms of Vitamin D as these are nutrients that are hard to obtain through diet alone. Vitamin D levels are checked now for all high-risk ladies, for instance, women who remain covered up all year round, women with history low vitamin and women from certain ethnic backgrounds. It’s known that some women will automatically have low vitamin D and therefore require a higher dose of vitamin D in pregnancy.

Vitamin A is something that should be avoided during pregnancy, since it can have harmful effects on a developing baby. Therefore, it’s really important to choose a supplement that’s meant for women during pregnancy, which won’t contain vitamin A.

Folic Acid

Folic acid, otherwise known as folate can help prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in your baby. It’s really important to have folic acid in your first trimester, and because it’s incredibly difficult to get it from your diet alone, a supplement is recommended. Most people who are trying to have a baby or thinking about conceiving should start taking folic acid right away, and continue throughout the pregnancy. The recommended amount of folic acid in your pregnancy is 400 micrograms (per day).

Pregnant and overweight?

If your BMI is 30 or above you should take a daily dose of 5mg of folic acid. This is more than normal and it needs to be prescribed by a doctor. If possible you should start taking this a month before you conceive until you reach your 13th week of pregnancy. But if you haven’t started taking it early, you should still take it when you realise you are pregnant until 13 weeks.

Vitamin D supplements
All pregnant women are advised to take a daily dose of 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplement. This is particularly important if your BMI is over 30 as you are at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency.

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.