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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Which pregnancy vitamins are best?

    Hi, Im 16 weeks pregnant and taking Blackmores Pregnancy Gold. Are they good enough? Should i be taking extra Omega 3 and Calcium tablets?
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  • 5

    Thanks

    Mel Haynes

    Nutritionist

    Chef, Scientist and Nutritionist. I specialise culinary nutrition and disease prevention with plant based diets. www.culinetica.com.au View Profile

    blackmores are a good brand, realistically there is not enough conclusive evidence to suggest which ratios are exactly right for pregancy as long as you are taking at least:

    Thiamin (b1):1.4mg
    Riboflavin (b2): 1.4mg
    Niacin (b3): 18mg
    Pyridoxine (b6): 1.9mg
    folate: 600um
    b12: 2.6ug
    pantothenic acid 5mg
    biotin: 30um
    Vit C: 60mg
    Vit A: 800um
    Vit D: 5um
    Vit E: 7mg
    Vit K: 60um
    magnesium: 350-360mg
    Calcium: 1000mg
    Iron: 27mg

    zinc: 11mg
    iodine: 220um
    selenium: 65ug

    * from griffiths clinical dietetics handbook

    I have highlighted a few of the important ones.  - Remember you dont need all of these from a vitamin supplement if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.  I wouldnt reccomend Iron supplementation unless you are low in iron and your doctor recommends it.  A pregancy vitamin should have calcium in it and each serve of dairy you have accounts for about 300mg approx of calcium too.  Folate is VERY important so ensure you get enough from supplements as food sources are unreliable forms as they break down very quickly and have poor absoption.

    Fish oil is reccomended and has been shown to help a variety of health conditions but is very important in the last trimester during brain developement.  It is healthy and safe and would do no hard to start it now.

    Best of luck with your pregancy & happy cooking xx

  • 4

    Thanks

    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    To add to Mels suggestion, I would recommend the Elevit with iodine pregnancy multi-vitamin. They have been around for years and are a trusted company. Normally I would not recommend a supplement over a well balanced diet, but it is important to have help as from experience some women tend to avoid certain foods during pregnancy due to nausea.

    Click on this link to have a look at the ingredients: http://www.elevit.com.au/about-elevit/benefits/ingredients/

    Alternatively, if you are still worried about getting the right nutrients in whilst pregnant, seek the expert advice and guidance of an Accreditied Practising Dietitian (APD). You can find out at www.daa.asn.au

  • 5

    Thanks

    Felicia McQueen

    Bowen Therapist, Exercise Physiologist

    I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Bowen Therapist and Nutritionist working in private practice in Toowoomba, Qld.I have particular interest in prenatal, post-pregnancy & infant … View Profile

    Further to Mel & Chris's advice, there has been research showing the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids in preventing premature labour through delayed ripening of the cervix. I recommend discussing this with your doctor or midwife when you are in your 3rd trimester, as they may advise you to change supplements late 3rd trimester to one without omega 3 in it.

  • 13

    Thanks

    Nikki Warren

    Naturopath

    Nikki Warren is committed to preconception care, natural fertility, and pregnancy through to postnatal care. Nikki is a degree qualified Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Doula and … View Profile

    The best prenatal supplements are ones which contain vitamins in a bioavailable form.  Basically this means your body does not have to “work hard' to convert it into a form it can use.  Also, sometimes people are lacking the enzymes required to convert it into a bioavailable form, e.g. pyridoxine hydrochloride needs to be converted into pyridoxal-5-phosphate (the active form of B6) and if your body lacks the enzyme to convert it, then you will end up with expensive urine. 

    I don't like to use any prenatal supplements which contain B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin - this is cyanide attached to cobalamin which scientists say is safe in small doses but i'm personally not comfortable with any dose of cyanide during pregnancy.

    A woman should have blood tests before taking any supplements, especially if they contain iron as although iron is required in higher amounts during pregnancy, there is a risk of toxicity if her levels were high to begin with - I like to check ferritin (iron stores) at the end of each trimester to assess what dose of iron she should be taking.

    During the first trimester iron can contribute to nausea and in the second and third trimesters extra calcium and magnesium is usually required. 

    For all of the reasons above I prefer to use NaturoBest which has a separate formula for the first trimester of pregnancy to reduce morning sickness as well as providing high quality nutrients important at that stage of pregnancy.  

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