What supplements do I need in pregnancy?

There are two vitamins that are very important in pregnancy and that you can take as a supplement: folic acid and vitamin D. If you are anaemic it may be important to take an iron supplement too.

Although a healthy diet will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need, folic acid and vitamin D are so important for your baby that you should take supplements in pregnancy to be sure that you are getting the full amount you need.

If your blood tests show that you are anaemic in pregnancy then your doctor or midwife will prescribe an iron supplement. If they do not show this there is no need to take an iron supplement in pregnancy.

There is no advantage in taking other vitamin and mineral supplements unless your GP prescribes them.

Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A as too much could harm your baby.

Find out more about folic acid in pregnancy

Find out more about vitamin D in pregnancy

Find out more about iron in pregnancy

Read more

Sources

  1. Hollis BW et al. (2011). “Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy: Double-blind, randomized clinical trial of safety and effectiveness.” JBMR 2011;26:2341-2357
  2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) ‘Antenatal Care’, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62: http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62 [accessed 18 January 2015].
  3. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall.
  4.  National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) ‘Antenatal Care’, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62: http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62 [accessed 18 January 2015].
  5. NHS Choices, Supplements in pregnancy, http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant.aspx [accessed 12/11/2014]
  6. Bestwick JP et al. (2014). “Prevention of neural tube defects: a cross sectional uptake of folic acid supplementation in nearly half a million women.” Plos One 2014; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089354
  7. British Dietetic Association (2013) ‘Food Fact Sheet: Vitamin D’, London, BDA: http://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD [accessed 18 January 2015] 
  8. Weissmann-Brenner A, et al. (2014). “Maternal medical compromise during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes.” The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and neonatal medicine 2014;doi: 10.3109/14767058.2014.947949
  9. Hoppe M, et al. (2013). “Heme iron-based dietary intervention for improvement of iron status in young women.” Nutrition 2013;29:89-95
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Last reviewed on June 22nd, 2016. Next review date June 22nd, 2020.

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