Pregnancy & Parenting

Reasons To Consider Taking A Pregnancy Supplement

Vitabiotics | Published: 26/07/2019

Reasons To Consider Taking A Pregnancy Supplement

Are you pregnant (or thinking about trying to conceive) and unsure about why you should take a combined pregnancy vitamin supplement? Here are ten reasons to consider it

Finding out that you are pregnant is an incredibly exciting time, but one that brings with it a whole new world of questions. What should you eat? What should you *not* eat? And where sells the best maternity jeans?!

One question you may have is around what vitamin supplement to take before and during pregnancy, especially as advice on what to take can sometimes be confusing.

The Pregnacare pregnancy supplement range includes products for before, during and after pregnancy. We outline ten reasons why you should think about taking a specialist pregnancy supplement:

Why You Should Take Supplements During Pregnancy:

1. Includes B Vitamins

Taking a combined pregnancy multivitamin can help support a healthy, well-balanced diet to make sure you give your body all the nutrition it needs at this crucial time when you’re trying to conceive (TTC). If you’re thinking about trying for a baby, did you know that you may be low in B vitamins if you’ve been taking the contraceptive pill for a long time? And like many people you might not have the most balanced diet pre-pregnancy, especially if you work hard - and socialise frequently - too.

2. Folic Acid Included

Pregnacare pregnancy supplements contain Department of Health-recommended levels of 400μg folic acid, which you’re advised to start taking at least three months prior to starting TTC and during the first three months of pregnancy, to help prevent neural tube defects (here’s why folic acid is so important). Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate status†. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Folic acid is also beneficial beyond 12 weeks as it contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.

It is also recommended that vitamin B12 is taken with folic acid at this time, as it works closely with folic acid. Research suggests* taking a daily supplement of at least 2.5µg of vitamin B12 (the EU NRV) with your main meal, in addition to the recommended daily 400µg supplement of folic acid, should be considered.

* Addition of Vitamin B12 to folic acid supplements to optimise the prevention of Spina Bifida and other Neural Tube Defects, Professor John M. Scott, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland 

†The beneficial effect is obtained with a supplemental folic acid daily intake of 400µg for at least one month before and up to three months after conception.

The UK government announced in September 2021 the good news that folic acid will be added to UK white flour in the future (the new rules will exclude gluten-free and wholemeal flour). This is to help increase the amount of folic acid in maternal diets, as low folic acid status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida.

This will, however, not replace the need for mums-to-be to take a folic acid supplement, as the UK Department of Health continues to recommend that all women trying to conceive until the 12th week of pregnancy should take a daily supplement containing 400µg folic acid.

You will still need to take a supplement containing folic acid as fortification is only to improve the folic acid contribution from the normal diet.

3. The Right Level Of Vitamin D

The UK Department of Health recommend that everyone take a daily supplement dose of 10μg of vitamin D, this includes pregnant women, breastfeeding mums and children under five, vitamin D helps maintain normal teeth, bones, muscle function and the immune system.

Make sure you look for this level in a combined pregnancy supplement, in addition to folic acid.

You can also read our post on vitamin D in pregnancy.

Pregnant woman showing her baby bump.
Pregnant woman showing her baby bump.

4. Iron, Iodine And Zinc In Pregnancy

Finally had that positive test? A combined supplement specifically for pregnancy like Pregnacare contains important nutrients to support a wide range of areas including iron which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, iodine which contributes to normal cognitive development and zinc which contributes to normal reproductive health.

5. Avoid Vitamin A During Pregnancy

Having large amounts of vitamin A can harm your unborn baby. So if you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, don't eat liver or liver products, such as pâté, because these are very high in vitamin A. Also avoid taking general multivitamin supplements that might contain vitamin A. Pregnacare is a specialist supplement designed for pregnancy and does not contain vitamin A. Instead it contains a moderate level of betacarotene. Betacarotene is converted into vitamin A naturally by the body as required, it is safe and suitable for pregnancy.

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6. The importance of Omega 3 With DHA During Pregnancy

You may also want to consider taking an additional supplement of Omega-3 with DHA, which is especially important during pregnancy, as maternal intake of DHA contributes to normal brain and eye development of the foetus (this is available in Pregnacare Plus and Pregnacare Max for during pregnancy)

7. Safeguard Your Nutritional Intake

Suffering from terrible first trimester morning sickness or finding that all food makes you want to run, screaming, from the kitchen? Taking a pregnancy supplement will help safeguard nutritional intake during a time when it might be slightly tricky to maintain a balanced diet and when you might have aversions to certain healthy foods, or cravings for those really unhealthy ones.

8. No Need To Take Multiple Tablets

As Pregnacare combines the important nutrients in one tablet in carefully balanced levels, including folic acid, vitamin D and B12 there’s no need to take several tablets at once – and you can rest assured that it means you’re taking the safe and recommended levels of nutrients for pregnancy.

9. Struggle To Swallow Tablets?

If you struggle with swallowing tablets, try Pregnacare Liquid or chewable Gummies, developed for women who may prefer a different format.

10. Cost Effective Supplements

And finally, pregnancy supplements are incredibly cost-effective. If you break down the cost, they work out at around 20p-50p per day which is nothing compared to your daily coffee shop caffeine fix.

 

Read More: Pregnancy A - Z Guide By Pregnacare

Meet the Author

Gill Crawshaw

Gill Crawshaw

Copywriter / Editor of TalkMum Blog

Gill Crawshaw

Copywriter / Editor of TalkMum Blog

Pregnancy and parenting editor and writer, mum of two Gill Crawshaw is the editor of the TalkMum blog, and a writer who specialises in pregnancy and parenting. With over 18 years experience in digital content creation, she also writes the blog A Baby On Board, which covers the parenting journey. Gill has two tween-age children and lives in south London.

Alexandra Phillips

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