Health Watch - Supplements: Prenatal Vitamins
Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.
This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about when you may need to take nutritional supplements and how to take them safely. One time when supplements become important is during pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s nutritional needs change, with more of some nutrients required and others being harmful in large amounts.
A woman planning to become pregnant should start paying extra attention to nutrition two to three months before conception. Dr. Victor Beshay, a fertility specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says prenatal vitamins provide the right balance of nutrients for pregnant women, but they aren’t a substitute for a good diet. Prenatal vitamins include extra amounts of folate, iron and vitamin C, which are all essential for the developing fetus. Mothers should be careful with prenatal vitamins if they have other children in the home because they can be very toxic to small children.
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