What Vitamins and supplements should you take prior to and during pregnancy?

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I often get asked, “what supplements or vitamins should I take prior to becoming pregnant – possibly to improve the chances of becoming pregnant, or what is best for me and my baby during pregnancy?” For most women a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables (preference for green leafy vegetables), some lean meat (chicken and fish), nuts and plenty of water is all that is required – but there are times prior to, during and post pregnancy when some iron supplements maybe necessary.

Some key points to remember are:

  • Do not replace a mixed and healthy diet with supplements or vitamins.
  • Supplementation is currently only proven to be beneficial for a few vitamins and minerals eg. folic acid.
  • Measured levels of some vitamins are useful, such as vitamin D and iron.
  • Excessive doses of other vitamins can cause problems (Eg. Vitamin C, A and E).
  • Calcium from dairy or nuts or tinned small fish is very important from 20 weeks onwards.
  • The more popular pregnancy vitamin supplements such as Blackmores, Swisse and Elevit have been well formulated and are sound choices.

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