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Dietary Supplements

Are vitamin supplements necessary

Due to morning sickness and food aversions, it is not possible to maintain a completely nutritious diet. Therefore, although vitamins can not take the place of a good antenatal diet, they are more like insurance.  Research has shown that women who take vitamins before pregnancy and during the first month greatly reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida in their babies. So do ask your doctor for a prescription.
 

Which dietary supplements do I need to take

Studies have shown that lack of folic acid in the first trimester can increase the risk of spinal tube defects and lip and palate deformities in the baby.  Vitamins, iron and calcium are essential in your diet.  Most doctors also recommend daily supplements of folic acid and vitamin B12 starting from the first month, and iron and calcium after the first trimester.  Specially iron-fortified multivitamin supplements especially formulated for pregnancy and lactation are also available.  Although most supplements are over-the counter medicines, please make sure that you clear them with your doctor first.


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