Multivitamin Supplements during Pregnancy
Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement during pregnancy ensures that the pregnant woman and the growing fetus get all the vitamins and minerals.
Folic acid (Vitamin B6)
Folic acid deficiency has been linked with neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Therefore, doctors recommend that women who are planning a pregnancy should take an additional 400mcg of folic acid each day for a month before and three months after conception.
The iron requirement increases during pregnancy as the developing fetus draws iron from the mother to last it through the first five or six months after birth. The recommended daily intake of iron during pregnancy is 27mg per day (i.e. 9mg/day more than that for non-pregnant women).
Calcium is essential for healthy and strong bones. During the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby needs a large amount of calcium as they start to develop and strengthen their bones. The recommended dietary intake of calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding is 1,300mg a day.
Use iodized salt or add iodine-fortified food to the diet during pregnancy. Mild to moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in the baby having learning difficulties. It affects the development of motor skills and hearing.