Supplementation During Pregnancy

Supplementation During Pregnancy

29 Nov 2022 | 2 min Read

rimjhim kumari

Author | 2 Articles

Vitamins are micronutrients that play an important role in our body. Especially during pregnancy, there’s an increased requirement for these vitamins to support the development of the fetus. A few of these vitamins and micronutrients that have an increased demand during pregnancy include folic acid, iodine, iron, calcium, etc.

Folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, should be started 3 months prior to pregnancy when planning for one. Folic acid when started on time and taken regularly helps prevent neural tube defects in the fetus. This supplement is normally given as a 5mg tablet which needs to be continued throughout pregnancy. Besides supplements folic acid is also found in green leafy vegetables. Along with folic acid, DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is also important for the brain development of the baby.

Another important supplement is iodine which supports the baby’s brain development. Women with hypothyroidism are advised to take iodine right from the start when planning a pregnancy as elevated levels of thyroid hormone in hypothyroidism may lead to difficulty in conceiving.

Iron is important for hemoglobin synthesis. Iron supplementation starts in the second trimester. Calcium is also given during pregnancy (daily 500mg per kg body weight) to support the growth of the baby as well as bone development. Women who have calcium deficiency are given 500mg per kg body weight twice daily.

Supplementation starts right from the time of planning the pregnancy, throughout the pregnancy, and continues till about the first 3 months of lactation (post-childbirth).