New research suggests that multivitamin and mineral supplements pregnant women take during pregnancy don’t improve their or their baby’s health.
An article in the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin says multivitamin supplements are a waste of money.
Advice for pregnant women is to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day during their pregnancy, and ideally before you fall pregnant, to protect against abnormalities – neural tube defects – in your developing baby.
Vitamin D is also recommended for healthy bones in mum and baby – aim for 10 micrograms per day.
Researchers for the article said strong marketing tactics by vitamin companies can cause mums-to-be to feel the need for supplements in order to give baby the best start in life.
Guidelines from the NHS place importance on eating a varied, healthy diet and supplementing with especially important vitamins and minerals – vitamin D and folic acid.
Pregnant women should not take vitamin A, or any supplements containing vitamin A, as too much could harm your baby.
If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, you should take in all the vitamins and minerals you need, together with vitamin D and folic acid supplements.
Try to include foods in your diet during pregnancy that contain folate, as well as taking folic acid supplements, such as leafy green veg and brown rice. Some breakfast cereals contain added folic acid.