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Pre-Natal Care Supplements

Pre-Natal Vitamins and Supplements
During pregnancy, a woman needs more of some nutrients, such as iron, calcium and folic acid. Healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, are the best sources of vitamins and minerals. But it is sometimes hard to get all the nutrients we need from foods.

The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that women of childbearing age get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, through food sources and/or supplements. For women who are thinking about getting pregnant, health care providers recommend supplementing the diet with folic acid for three months before pregnancy, and then for at least the first three months of pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are a good way to get extra folic acid into the diet. Prenatal supplements often contain high amounts of folic acid and other compounds, such as iron and vitamin A. (But, women should take care in choosing a supplement, to make sure that no more than 5,000 IU of vitamin A is included.)

Avoid high doses. Some vitamins and minerals are toxic in high doses for women and their developing babies. Examples are iron, chromium, selenium and vitamin A. To avoid high doses, choose a multivitamin that contains no more than 100 percent of the DV for each vitamin and mineral. Before taking anything other than 100% of the DV, check with your health care provider. Avoid multivitamins that contain herbs, enzymes or amino acids. You donít need them.

Pregnancy associated discomforts

During your pregnancy you may expect some discomforts such as:

  • constipation and hemorrhoids
  • nausea
  • heartburn
  • fatigue
  • frequent urination
  • stretch marks
  • backaches
  • swelling

Here are ways to take care of yourself and the precious new life growing inside you:

  • take multivitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day
  • get early and regular prenatal care
  • eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium - rich foods
  • stop smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. Ask your health care provider for help.
  • avoid hot tubs or saunas and x-rays during pregnancy
  • limit or eliminate your caffeine intake from coffee, tea, sodas, medications, and chocolate.


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January 27, 2020