It is important during pregnancy that you ensure you are taking the correct vitamins to look after yourself and your baby.
Always begin by aiming to eat a healthy, balanced diet. You should eat well before, during & after pregnancy.
You should take Folic Acid, at a dose of 0.4mg daily, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your baby. There are times when your doctor may recommend a higher dose of folic acid, for instance if you have a family history of neural tube defects or a multiple birth pregnancy.
Vitamin B 12 supplements are recommended for vegetarians and vegans during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles, supplements are recommended either as part of a multivitamin or as a specific supplement if you are vitamin D deficient.
If you have certain conditions in your pregnancy such as cholestasis of pregnancy, Vitamin K supplements will be required.
Not all women require iron supplements during pregnancy, but your doctor will check your ferritin and haemoglobin levels and advise you on whether you would benefit from additional iron.
Calcium supplements are recommended if the usual dietary intake is insufficient. They are also sometimes suggested in order to reduce the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
Iodine supplements should be taken by all women considering pregnancy, and during pregnancy and lactation. This is usually in the form of a pregnancy multi-vitamin.
Omega-3 fatty acids as in fish oils are recommended for those whose dietary intake of seafood is very low. There is ongoing research into the benefits of fish oil supplementation during pregnancy.
For most women, proprietary multivitamins will be sufficient to provide adequate supplementation during pregnancy and lactation. Exceptions include those who are vegetarian, or those who need high dose folic acid, or higher doses of vitamin D.
Provided by obstetrician Dr Meredith Tassone, St Vincent’s Private Hospital.