Pregnancy demands a lot from your body physically. During 9 months you will be the source of nutrients and oxygen for the little one who will grow by leaps and bounds inside you. The baby’s size will increase as his weight goes up. His organs will be formed and developed during this time. There is no doubt that the physical demands on a pregnant woman’s body are very high. It begs the question, is there a way to prepare the body to be in its optimal state during pregnancy? Yes, there is.
Continue reading to find out the current recommendations of health organizations worldwide. Any doubt as to whether preconception pills are really necessary or not will be clarified. Plus, you’ll see a comparison between the most frequent brands of pre pregnancy vitamins in the UK. On top of that, you’ll have access to a free document with foods richer in folic acid.
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What are the current recommendations?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends: all women, from the moment they begin trying to become pregnant until 12 weeks of gestation, should take a folic acid supplement. The recommended daily dose is 400 μg folic acid per day (equivalent to 0.4 mg daily).
Women with a history of pregnancies affected by a neural tube defect should take supplements in higher doses (5 mg folic acid daily). If this is your case, please speak to your doctor to receive information about the risk of recurrence, to be offered the recommended dose for you and have your questions answered by a professional. If you take antiepileptic medicines or have diabetes, speak to your doctor as he may recommend a higher dose of folic acid.
The advice of the National Health Service (NHS) in case you did not take folic acid before you conceived, is to start taking it as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
Why is folic acid so important?
Folic acid is a vitamin B the body uses to create new cells. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, folic acid helps the baby’s neural tube form. The recommended amount of folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in the baby, such as spina bifida.
Which are the best pre pregnancy vitamins in the UK?
In the UK, supplements for preconception are available over-the-counter in supermarkets and pharmacies. A GP may be able to prescribe them for you too. You may be able to get them for free if you qualify for the Healthy Start scheme. Check it here. The best-known supplements with folic acid can also be purchased online. Below you’ll find a comparison between the best pre pregnancy vitamins with folic acid available on Amazon UK.
- With the recommended 400 μg of Folic Acid. It also includes vitamin D, vitamin B6 (helps regulate hormonal activity) and zinc (supports normal fertility and reproduction). Plus vitamin B12, biotin, iron and selenium.
- 4 weeks supply. 28 one-a-day mini pills
- Seven Seas is a supplier of vitamins, minerals and supplements in the UK since 1935. The specific supplements you might be interested are: Pre-Conception, All Stages During Pregnancy and During Pregnancy & Breast-feeding.
- With folic acid (400 μg), inositol, vitamins D and B12, L-arginine. With zinc which is scientifically proven to contribute to normal fertility and reproduction. It also has lots of other vitamins and minerals, check the nutritional information for a full report.
- 30 tablets per pack
- Made in a site that may handle nuts. Suitable for vegetarians. Free from preservatives, artificial colours, yeast and gelatin. Not tested on animals.
- Pregnacare® Vitabiotics is the UK’s No.1 pregnancy supplement brand. You’ll also find Pregnacare During Pregnancy original and Pregnacare Breast-feeding.
Expecting mothers should always consult their physicians before taking any dietary supplements.
Should I eat foods with folic acid?
In addition to folic acid supplements, the NHS recommends a diet with foods rich in folic acid. It is virtually impossible to get the recommended amount of folic acid (0.4 mg per day) from diet alone, which is why folic acid supplements are essential.
The foods richest in folic acid in one image. Download it for free here.