Multivitamins in Pregnancy
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What are the benefits of taking multivitamins during pregnancy?
As long as a woman is eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet during pregnancy, there are those who would argue that the only supplements truly necessary are Vitamin D and Folic acid. However, there can be many reasons why, on any given day during our pregnancy, we might struggle to eat as well as we should such as suffering from sickness, tiredness, being overly busy, or following some forms of restricted diet. Taking appropriate supplements, specially formulated for pregnancy, can be an appropriate way of making sure that you and your baby are getting the vitamins and minerals you need.
Are there any potential risks?
A study carried out in 2005 concluded that a significant proportion of multivitamin products on the market did not carry any warnings concerning the high levels of vitamin A they contained. Excessive amounts of the animal-derived retinol type of vitamin A can interfere with organ formation in the unborn foetus. It is therefore important that the multivitamin product you choose is specifically formulated for use during pregnancy. The majority of these will give you 100% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of all the essential vitamins and most minerals. If you are unsure in any way, seek the advice of your midwife or GP.
Vegetarian, vegan and special diets
Again, if it is varied and nutritious, a vegetarian diet can meet the developmental needs of your baby as well as keeping you healthy. Some vegetarians, however, struggle to get enough Iron or vitamin B12 in their diet, and those on a vegan or restricted diet may also find themselves a little short on vital nutrients. Your midwife will have discussed your diet with you early on in your pregnancy, and can give you clear advice on the best way to meet your and your baby's needs.