During pregnancy, women are subject to the endless amount of advice from friends, family and professionals about what they should and should not do to ensure that both they are their baby are kept safe and away from any harm. But sometimes the advice is conflicting, and there is so much out there, coming from so many different sources, it is difficult to know who and what to trust. Take pregnancy supplements, for example; the information is endless. This guide will provide concise information about what they are and what they do; leaving you feeling much clearer by the end of it.
What are they?
There are two vitamins which are very important for you and your baby during pregnancy; folic acid and vitamin B. While they can be incorporated into a balanced and healthy diet, you can make sure you are getting the required amount by taking them as a supplement.
Why are these vitamins so important?
Folic acid is one of the most important vitamins for pregnancy. The government recommends that all women who are considering pregnancy should take a 400mg folic acid tablet every day until the 12th week of pregnancy; many women even start before this as it can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Of course, there are foods which contain folic acid such as green leafy vegetables, brown rice wholemeal bread and these should be incorporated into your diet, but by taking the additional supplement, you can guarantee that these nutrients are doing good for you and your baby.
Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium from foods, build bones, and is also needed in the immune system. The government recommends that women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should take 10mg of Vitamin D supplements every day. Again, it is found naturally in a few foods including oily fish or eggs, but the limited number of products means that it is difficult to incorporate them into your diet, particularly if you have any specific dietary requirements.
Should I ever be taking more supplements that normal?
Yes, there are some instances where you should increase the number of supplements, particularly where folic acid is concerned. If you have coeliac disease, diabetes or epilepsy then higher doses may be required. Similarly, if you have had a baby with spina bifida before then you would be encouraged to increase your dosage. If any of these apply to you, consult your doctor first.
Where can I buy them?
Pregnancy supplements are available at all good health retailers, both in store and online. If you are concerned about which ones you should be taking, or the dosage, consult a health advisor who will be able to assist you. For any of the pre-existing health concerns listed above, consult your doctor.
Your pregnancy should be a happy time and one you remember for the rest of your life. As your body changes and your baby grows inside you, you need to take responsibility for your health. Once your health baby is born, you will be grateful for the additional supplements you took, as you see them grow up and flourish.