Multivitamin and folic acid supplementation. wttw 4d baby scan
Pregnant women should be encouraged to take folic acid supplements (400mcg/day) before conception and up to 12 weeks of gestation. Folic acid has a strong protective effect against neural tube defects. Maternal folic acid supplements have also been associated with decreased risk of other congenital anomalies, including cardiovascular defects, limb defects and some paediatric cancers such as leukaemia, paediatric brain tumours and neuroblastoma.
vitamin A supplementation is not recommended. Pregnant women should also avoid eating liver and liver products, as these may contain high levels of vitamin A.
Studies have found that vitamin B6 reduces the severity of nausea but not vomiting in the first trimester. Vitamin B6 was also associated with a decrease in the risk of dental decay in pregnant women.
Vitamin C and E
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin found widely in fruits and vegetables. It plays an important role in, wound healing, prevention of anaemia and as an antioxidant. Vitamin C is particularly important for pregnant women who are at increased risk of iron deficiency anaemia.
Severe vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has been associated with neonatal rickets. Women at risk of vitamin D deficiency include women who have limited exposure to sunlight, women who eat a diet particularly low in vitamin D and women with pre-pregnancy obesity. Women at risk of vitamin D deficiency should take 10 mcg of vitamin D per day.
Pregnant women should be encouraged to take a multivitamin such as the Healthy Start Vitamin tablet (recommended for pregnancy by the Department of Health/ NHS), which includes 70mg of vitamin C, 400mcg of folic acid and 10 mcg of vitamin D.