First time mums can get confused by all the well-meaning information they are bombarded with as soon as they confirm they are pregnant, but what, if any, pregnancy vitamins should they be taking?
A recent review stated that women do not need to take a host of multivitamins but should instead stick to folic acid and vitamin D. However, many women do take pregnancy vitamins, and typically the majority of these contain around 20 different kinds of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and selenium.
A pregnant woman who was taking these pregnancy vitamins on a daily basis would expect to pay around £15 a month. But now doctors are saying that this is a waste of money. So are expectant women being conned into taking more vitamins than is necessary?
Why do pregnant women take vitamins?
Folic acid taken to prevent the baby from suffering neural tube defects which can then go on to affect the brain and spine. Vitamin D is taken for the health of the expectant mother, as deficiency has been linked to pre-eclampsia.
The study reasoned that many expectant mothers took more pregnancy vitamins than were necessary because: “Maternal deficiency in key nutrients has been linked to pre-eclampsia, restricted foetal growth, neural tube defects, skeletal deformity and low birth weight.”
The study did add however that: “We found no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal multi-nutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements, generic versions of which can be purchased relatively inexpensively.”
So what are the best pregnancy vitamins for women to take during their pregnancy?
Doctors recommend all pregnant woman should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for 12 weeks from the start of their pregnancy, and vitamin D throughout the whole of the pregnancy.
However, there is evidence to suggest that in some cases multivitamins could be an important part of a pregnant woman’s diet. For instance, where a pregnant mother does not have a good diet and is not eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, oily fish and other essential nutrients that are required for the normal development of the foetus. In cases like these multivitamins are the next best thing.
Here are our recommendations for the best pregnancy vitamins:
PRENATAL PREGNANCY VITAMINS
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Tablets 96 Ct – £24.05
If you are planning to get pregnant then start off right and prepare your body with these prenatal multivitamins made with organic ingredients and using a two-step fermentation process to lock in all the goodness.
DURING PREGNANCY VITAMINS
Vitabiotics Pregnacare Original – £6.35
Recommended by the Department of Health, this is the UK’s most trusted vitamin brand. It contains all the vitamins you require for the healthy development of your baby, including folic acid and vitamin D and B12 at the exact levels required.
POST PREGNANCY VITAMINS
Vitabiotics Pregnacare New Mum Tablets X56 – £15.00
New mums need a carefully balanced diet and lots of essential vitamins and oils to help maintain their wellbeing. This formula contains calcium, marine collagen, biotin and selenium to help with healthy-looking hair, skin and to stave off fatigue.
ALL-ROUNDER PREGNANCY VITAMINS
Tesco Multiplus Pregnancy X 30 – £3.30
This is amazing value for money and can be taken before pregnancy, during and after as it contains everything you need to prepare the body for pregnancy, all the vitamins to sustain a healthy baby and the minerals to keep mum in tip top condition.