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Understanding Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important time for both you and your baby’s health. Here’s a simple explanation of how vitamins and minerals can affect your pregnancy:

Iron (Fe): Iron is essential for your baby’s growth. If you don’t have enough, it can affect your baby’s weight and development. If your doctor thinks you need it, they might suggest iron supplements. Just be careful not to take too much.

Calcium (Ca): Calcium helps your baby’s bones and teeth grow. Not getting enough can lead to problems like pre-eclampsia. Your doctor might recommend calcium supplements if you’re not getting enough from your diet.

Magnesium (Mg): Magnesium is important for your baby’s development, especially their blood. Taking magnesium supplements can reduce the risk of your baby being born too small if you’re lacking in it.

Zinc (Zn): Problems absorbing zinc can happen if you eat lots of cereal or have stomach issues. Your doctor may suggest zinc supplements if you’re low on it.

Selenium (Se): Selenium is like a bodyguard for your immune system. Low levels can lead to problems like pre-eclampsia, but there isn’t a clear answer on whether you should take supplements. It’s best to talk to your doctor.

Vitamins: Many pregnant women don’t get enough vitamins. Vitamin B6 and folate are crucial. Low B6 can cause various issues, and folate deficiency can harm your baby’s development. Take folate before getting pregnant if you can.

Vitamin B12: If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much animal food, you might need vitamin B12 supplements to support your baby’s growth.

Vitamin A: In some countries, not having enough vitamin A can make it harder for your body to fight infections and affect your baby’s growth. Taking vitamin A supplements can help, but don’t overdo it.

Vitamin C: Low vitamin C levels might increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy condition.

Vitamin D: If you don’t have enough vitamin D, your doctor might suggest supplements in the last part of your pregnancy.

Vitamin E: While vitamin E is usually good for you, it might not be a good idea during pregnancy because it can affect your body in ways that aren’t helpful.

Remember, your doctor is the best person to talk to if you’re worried about your health during pregnancy. They can give you personalised advice and suggest supplements if you need them. If you want expert guidance on your diet, consider reaching out to Julia Haimovich, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian. Your health and your baby’s health are what matter most.


Hovdenak N, Haram K. Influence of mineral and vitamin supplements on pregnancy outcome. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2012 Oct;164(2):127-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.06.020. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22771225.

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