Eating a healthy, differed diet in pregnancy will help you to get most of the vitamins and minerals you require. There are some vitamins and minerals that are particularly crucial.
It’s best to get minerals and vitamins from the food you eat, however when you are pregnant you will need to take a folic acid supplement. Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A (retinol), as too much could damage your baby.
Vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy
You can get supplements from drug stores and grocery stores, or your GP may be able to recommend them for you. If you wish to get your folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, ensure that the tablet does not contain vitamin A (or retinol).
Folic Acid Prior to and During Pregnancy
Folic acid is very important for pregnancy, as it can help to prevent abnormality referred to as neural tube problems, consisting of spina bifida. You need to take a 400mcg folic acid tablet every day while you are attempting to get pregnant and up until you are 12 weeks pregnant. If you didn’t take folic acid prior to you conceived, you need to start as quickly as you find out that you are pregnant.
You must likewise eat foods which contain folate (the natural type of folic acid), such as green leafy veggies and brown rice. Some breakfast cereals and some fat spreads such as margarine have folic acid contributed to them. It is challenging to obtain the amount of folate suggested for pregnancy from food alone, which is why it is very important to take a folic acid supplement.
Higher Dosage Folic Acid
Some women have an increased risk of having actually a pregnancy affected by a neural tube flaw, and are recommended to take a greater dosage of 5 milligrams (mg) of folic acid each day up until they are 12 weeks pregnant. Women have an increased risk if:
- they or their partner have a neural tube flaw
- they have had a previous pregnancy impacted by a neural tube problem
- they or their partner have a family history of neural tube defects
- they have diabetes
In addition, women who are taking anti-epileptic medication must consult their GP for recommendations, as they might likewise need to take a greater dosage of folic acid.
If any of the above applies to you, talk with your GP as they can recommend a greater dosage of folic acid. Your GP or midwife might also recommend extra screening tests during your pregnancy.
Vitamin D in Pregnancy
Vitamin D manages the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. All adults, consisting of pregnant and breastfeeding women, need 10 micrograms (10mcg) of vitamin D a day, and need to think about taking a supplement including this quantity.
Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunshine (from late March/early April to the end of September). It’s not known precisely how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to fulfill the body’s needs, but if you are out in the sun make sure to conceal or secure your skin with sun block prior to you begin to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is likewise in some foods, consisting of oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), eggs and red meat. Vitamin D is contributed to all infant formula milk, in addition to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk options. The amounts added to these products can vary and might just be added in small amounts.
As vitamin D is discovered just in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it may be challenging to obtain enough from foods alone. So everybody over the age of 5 years, consisting of pregnant and breastfeeding women, ought to consider taking a day-to-day supplement consisting of 10mcg of vitamin D.
Most people aged 5 years and over in the UK and US will most likely get enough vitamin D from sunshine in the summertime (from late March/early April to the end of September), so you may select not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
If you have dark skin (for instance, if you are of African, African Caribbean or south Asian origin) or always cover your skin when outside, you may be at specific risk of not having enough vitamin D (vitamin D deficiency). Speak to your midwife or doctor if this applies to you.
Iron in Pregnancy
If you lack iron, you’ll most likely get very worn out and might struggle with anaemia. Lean meat, green leafy veggies, dried fruit, and nuts include iron. If you ‘d like to eat peanuts or foods that contain peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, you can do so as part of a healthy well balanced diet unless you’re allergic to them, or your health expert advises you not to.
Lots of breakfast cereals have iron included. If the iron level in your blood ends up being low, your GP or midwife will recommend you to take iron supplements.
Vitamin C in Pregnancy
Vitamin C safeguards cells and helps to keep them healthy.
A balanced diet containing fruit and vegetables, consisting of broccoli, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers, and blackcurrants, can supply all the vitamin C that you need.
Calcium in Pregnancy
Calcium is important for making your baby’s bones and teeth. Dairy products and fish with edible bones– such as sardines– are abundant in calcium. Breakfast cereals, dried fruit– such as figs and apricots– bread, almonds, tofu (a veggie protein made from soya beans) and green leafy vegetables– such as watercress, broccoli and curly kale– are other excellent sources of calcium.
Vegan and Unique Diets in Pregnancy
A diverse and balanced vegetarian diet ought to give enough nutrients for you and your baby during pregnancy. However, you might discover it more difficult to obtain enough iron and vitamin B12. Talk with your midwife or doctor about how to make sure you are getting enough of these important nutrients.
If you are vegan (you eliminated all animal products from your diet), or you follow a limited diet due to the fact that of food intolerance (for instance, a gluten-free diet for coeliac disease), speak to your midwife or GP. Ask to be referred to a dietitian for suggestions on how to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.
Exist any vitamins and minerals I should avoid during pregnancy?
Yes, you ought to prevent retinol, the animal type of vitamin A, due to the fact that it’s hazardous to unborn babies in large doses.
Don’t be lured to purchase a general multivitamin instead of one particularly for pregnant women. Although they may be more affordable, they may include retinol.
Pregnancy multivitamins often don’t contain vitamin A at all. However if they do it will be the type that happens in plants (beta-carotene), which is safe for your baby.
Prior to buying any pregnancy multivitamin, checked out the label and ensure you comprehend what it contains. If you’re unsure what to buy, or you don’t like the multivitamin you’re presently taking, ask the pharmacist for advice, or contact your midwife.
Never ever take more than the recommended dosage of multivitamin, which is usually one supplement a day.
This newest evaluation agrees with assistance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice): there is no evidence that anything other than vitamin D and folic acid are required as supplements in pregnancy. Folic acid reduces the probability of brain and spine flaws in babies (anencephaly and spina bifida)– and greater doses might be required in women with higher risk of these conditions.
The proof for folic acid is strong. The research to support vitamin D supplements in strengthening the development of bones and teeth in infants is not as strong, however sufficient for the publication and Nice to advise it. However there is no such recommendation for vitamins C and E.
High levels of vitamin A might cause abnormality, so those supplements are a no-no; iron is required just for women who are anaemic, as it can aggravate the stomach and cause constipation or diarrhoea. Just research from low-income countries where pregnant women are more likely to be malnourished recommends any benefit from multivitamins, although advice varies worldwide.
Pregnant women in the United States are advised to take iron and folic acid supplements, however not vitamin D. So does it actually matter if pregnant women take multivitamins? Probably not, as long as they examine the amount of vitamin A in the preparation. However why invest more on supplements if they will not make you or your baby any much healthier?