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"Should I Take Vitamin Supplements During Pregnancy?"

Question:

Is multivitamin necessary for pregnant women? And what vitamin and mineral supplements, if any, should I take before and during pregnancy?


While a number of studies have linked taking a multivitamin with a reduced risk of miscarriage and malformations in babies, it is not officially recommended for all pregnant women.

Most experts, however, do encourage taking a folic acid supplement (400 micrograms a day) supplements before conception and for the first three months of pregnancy to protect against the risk of neural tube defects.

Also, during your antenatal check up, your doctor will perform a simple blood test to see if you need additional iron, which can also be taken as a supplement.

It is critical to point out, however, that some vitamins and minerals can be toxic if taken in excessive amounts. Too much vitamin A, for example, can cause birth defects and harm the fetus. This is why the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises against the use of vitamin A supplements and vitamin A-rich foods such as liver and liver products.

Bottom line: When it comes to supplements, it's really a question of what, and how much. If you feel there's a health reason for you to take a supplement, it's best to consult your doctor for the recommended intake.



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