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Q&A: What Vitamins Should I Be Taking During Pregnancy?

by Anne Sommers, Licensed Midwife |
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Q I had a spontanious abortion in October (99)and I conceived again in January 2000. I am waiting far the new health card.I dont know what tablets to be taken during pregnancy. I get tired soon. Please advice me.

A It is customary for maternity practitioners, midwives and doctors to prescribe prenatal vitamins for pregnant women to take throughout pregnancy, helping to assure that the mother and baby get the minimum vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are to supplement, not replace, the vitamins and minerals that you ingest by eating a healthy diet. During your pregnancy your nutritional needs are greater. You need extra water, salt, calcium, magnesium and protein to produce the amniotic fluid that is continually being exchanged, and to build up your blood volume, which will increase up to 65%. This extra blood is needed in order to transport food and oxygen to the baby and carry away the waste. In order to build healthy hemoglobin and not become anemic, B vitamins (taken with vitamin C for absorption) along with exercise are very necessary to your diet.

It is also very important for you to get folic acid and other B vitamins in your diet during the first two months of pregnancy, when the embryo is forming. This is because there is a correlation between folic acid deficiency and neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid also helps to build the platelets in your blood. Platelets are an important part of the blood clotting mechanism that will come into play following your delivery, when the placenta separates from the uterus and the maternal blood must clot. A low platelet count can usually be remedied by doubling the customary dosage of folic acid, from 400 mcg to 800.

Folic acid can be obtained from a variety of foods such as green leafy vegetables. Some foods with the highest sources (greater than 75 mcg per serving) are: orange juice, asparagas, beans, lentils, spinach and nutritional yeast. Good sources of folic acid are avocados, corn, cabbage, lettuce, liver, peanuts, peas, sesame seeds and tomato juice.

Anne Sommers, LM

Click here to Ask Anne your pregnancy questions

Anne Sommers, LM is a Licensed Midwife in Southern California and founder of Agape Perinatal Consultation & Birthing Services. Anne has attended and personally delivered hundreds of beautiful bouncing babies in some very wonderful and natural settings -- like in the water! She has appeared on various Southern California radio and cable television shows, talked to birth organizations, was editor for several child birth publications and was the owner, editor and publisher of "Mom" Magazine, a quarterly publication in circulation for over seven years. She completed Seattle Midwifery School's Challenge Process and the NARM exam (supervised by the California Medical Board) qualifying her for midwifery licensure. Anne actually made history as noted in the Orange County Register for being one of Southern California's first Licensed Midwives. She is also the mother of two children, born at home, with the attendance of midwives.


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