Fast Fact: Expert Boots pharmacist Bina Mehta explains the best vitamins to take during pregnancy, including:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
When it comes to health, even if you “eat the rainbow” and regularly score a 10 when it comes to getting your 5 a day, there are still times when your body may have need a helping hand to get the full and proper nutrients. in – especially if you’re pregnant.
During such an exciting stage of life, and at a time when there are so many changes in your body (well, it’s is grow a whole new human, after all!), it’s no wonder you need a little extra help. But what are the best prenatal vitamins to take when you’re pregnant? And what is the problem with folic acid?
To answer all these questions and more, we asked Boots’ expert pharmacist, Bina Mehta
What are the best vitamins to take during pregnancy?
You probably know that folic acid is a good supplement to take during pregnancy (see below for more on this), but Mehta also points out that it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it. vitamin D. “This helps your baby’s healthy bone development and also keeps your own bones, muscles and immune system healthy,” she advises. “Outside of pregnancy, a daily supplement of 10 micrograms is recommended for everyone in fall and winter, and if you have darker skin or don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, you should take one all year round.”
When it comes to saying which supplements are high quality, Mehta says the most important thing to check is that the supplement provides the right amount of necessary nutrients. “For example, 10 micrograms of vitamin D and 400 micrograms of folic acid are recommended for preconception and pregnancy supplements.”
Mehta also notes that a quick and easy way to top up your vitamin levels is to use a multivitamin, created with pregnancy in mind:
What’s wrong with folic acid (is 4 weeks pregnant too late for folic acid)?
Folic acid is a vital nutrient, says Mehta, and if you’re trying to conceive, you should ideally take a daily supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid about three months before you expect to get pregnant. However, as we all know, not all babies are planned or run on schedule, so Mehta also advises taking the same daily dose throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
“Folic acid helps the baby’s neural tube, which is part of the baby’s nervous system, to grow,” she says. “Taking a folic acid supplement has also been shown to reduce a baby’s risk of developing spina bifida and other conditions affecting their neural tube and spine.”
Are there any pregnancy vitamins to avoid?
You should avoid supplements containing vitamin A (retinol) during pregnancy, as large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. “If you are considering taking any supplement other than those specifically formulated to help you get pregnant, maintain a healthy pregnancy, or breastfeed, it is important to check with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure the product is right for you. “, specifies Mehta.
What vitamins should I take after childbirth/when breastfeeding?
After the baby is born, a healthy and varied diet should provide all the nutrients you need, Mehta says, although taking a daily vitamin D supplement is still recommended. That said, it’s a busy time. , tiring and difficult for many new parents, so the expert notes that vitamin B12 can help reduce tiredness and fatigue, while calcium and magnesium will help support bone health.
“If you are breastfeeding, consider a supplement containing the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, which is essential for your baby’s brain and eye development,” she adds. “You will also need to make sure your baby is getting enough vitamin D.
“It is recommended that breastfed and bottle-fed babies receive a vitamin D supplement from birth, unless they are consuming 500ml or more of formula per day, as this is already fortified with vitamin D. .”
Just as there are for pregnancy and conception, there are also multivitamin supplements designed to support your postnatal health, as well as those specially formulated for breastfeeding. “You can always talk to your local pharmacist to find the right option for you,” says Mehta.
This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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