Top 5 Multivitamins During Pregnancy

Top 5 Multivitamins During Pregnancy

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 11 Apr 2016 - 20:37



Multivitamins are the most crucial medications prescribed during pregnancy. Considering it's popularity, pregnant women ensure they don't miss taking multivitamins during their antenatal period. Although following a healthy and varied diet throughout pregnancy will get you most of the minerals and vitamins your body needs, there are still some multivitamins your body requires and it is important you take those supplements.

When do I start taking Multivitamins?

Robert Greene, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist says, "The egg starts maturing about three months before it's released, and it's critical that the proper nutrients are present during the earliest stages," Once you see those two lines in that home pregnancy kit, start taking folic acid supplements (600 micrograms) immediately and don't wait till your first appointment. If not, you might have missed giving some important nutrients while your baby is going through a crucial developmental period. An associate director of the NICU at Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California, Dr. Sudeep Kukreja, M.D. points out, "Neural-tube defects [such as spina bifida] happen in the first four to six weeks of pregnancy"

Top 5 Essential Multivitamins during Pregnancy

There are 5 most important nutrients/multivitamins you must take during pregnancy –

1.      Folic Acid


  • You need to take 400 micrograms daily, start from before pregnancy until 12 weeks pregnancy
  • Prevents neural-tube defects and other birth defects
  • Required for healthy growth and development
  • According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "The frequency of NTDs among spontaneously aborted foetuses is 10-fold higher than is the rate of NTDs at birth."

    Associated Risks of Folic Acid-deficiency

  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue, Growth problems
  • Always Grouchy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Forgetfulness

5 Folate- rich Foods:

Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, lettuce, sweet corn)

  • Nuts; Fatty Margarine spreads
  • Eggs
  • Juices (Orange and Apple)
  • Legumes (Soya beans, lima beans, lentils, red kidney beans, chickpeas)

2.      Iron


  • CDC suggests a pregnant woman requires a minimum of 27 milligrams (mg) of iron daily
  • Vital for foetal brain development and new born cognitive abilities
  • Helps in delivering oxygen to the growing baby
  • Prevents anaemia in mom

According to Hindawi Journal of Pregnancy, "60 mg ferrous iron or even more should be recommended, according to the present iron status situation in the specific populations of women of fertile age and pregnant women."

Associated Risks of Iron-deficiency during Pregnancy:

  • Low iron levels during early pregnancy are linked to low birth weight and premature birth
  • Leads to anaemia, resulting in haemorrhage or excessive loss of blood post delivery
  • Poor foetal outcomes

3 Iron-rich Foods:

  • Animal and plant foods(red meat, chicken)
  • Fish          
  • Legumes (kidney beans, baked beans)
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Iron-fortified cereals

3.      Calcium


  • USRDA (U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance) suggests a minimum intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium daily
  • Prevents bone loss in mom
  • Creates strong teeth and bones
  •  Prevents blood clots
  • Aids in better functioning of nerves and muscles

Associated Risks of Calcium-deficiency during Pregnancy:

  • Increased risk of Osteoporosis
  • Eye damage, brittle bones
  • Abnormal heartbeat

    Calcium-rich Foods:

  • Dairy Products (Tofu, Cheddar cheese, milk, yoghurt)
  • Fish (preferably with edible bones like sardines)
  • Cereals & Breads
  •  Dark green leafy vegetables (Broccoli)
  • Dry fruits (apricots, figs)

4.      Vitamin D


  • Pregnant and nursing women must take at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily
  • Optimizes calcium absorption from foods
  • Helps build strong bones and teeth
  • Enhances immunity
  • According to medical literature, "A daily vitamin D dose of 4,000 IU was associated with improved vitamin D status throughout pregnancy, one month prior, and at delivery in both mother and neonate," 

Associated Risks of Vitamin D deficiency during Pregnancy:

  • Preeclampsia (usually occurs after 20 weeks of gestation)
  • High blood pressure, albuminuria (extra protein escapes into urine)
  • Swelling of ankles, hands and face
  • Vision problems, severe headaches

5 Vitamin D-rich Foods:

  • Eggs (egg yolk)
  • Fatty Fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines)
  • Milk
  • Although it is found in liver, pregnant women must refrain from eating liver as it contains too much of vitamin A.
  • Sunlight has lots and lots of vitamin D.

5.      Iodine


  • Pregnant women require to take at least 220 mcg of iodine everyday
  • Our body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones, which control the metabolism of the entire body
  • Plays a prominent role in healthy development of baby's bones and brain
  • Kate Jolly, a co-author and professor of public health at the University of Birmingham, says, "Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with children with lower IQs."

Associated Risks of Iodine-deficiency during Pregnancy:

  • Mental impairment
  • Cretinism (extreme disability)
  • Low IQ levels

5 Iodine rich-foods:

  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt
  • Dried Seaweed
  • Baked potato
  • Eggs

A few other nutrients you need to know –

  •  Vitamin A
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B6

Majority of pregnant women benefit maximum if they start their multivitamin dose much before conception. You can consider this an insurance policy, by ensuring that your body is doing all it can to give the best to its developing baby. Research studies say, upon taking their regular supply of multivitamins during pregnancy, mothers can avoid still births, preterm births and low-weight births as much as possible. 



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