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Prenatal multivitamins help pregnant moms to fill gaps in their diet and meet their own—and their baby’s—special nutritional needs. Now researchers have found a link between taking multivitamins around the time of conception and prevention of early births and births of babies born smaller than normal for their gestational age.
Nearly 36,000 women participating in the Danish National Birth Cohort, a large ongoing study of pregnant women and their children, were included in the study. All of them reported using multivitamins, just folic acid supplements, or no supplements in the 12 weeks around conception: 4 weeks before the last menstrual period until 8 weeks after.
The women were followed until after delivery and were monitored for preterm births (delivery before week 37 of pregnancy) and births of babies that were small for gestational age (weight, length, or head circumference below the tenth percentile for the number of weeks of pregnancy). These are important measures of newborn health because infants born preterm or small for gestational age are at greater risk for a wide variety of health and developmental problems.
When the researchers looked at birth outcomes and vitamin use, they found the following:
“It may be that multivitamin use around the time of conception could be a safe and simple strategy to improve pregnancy outcomes,” the study’s authors said in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, while pointing out that more research is needed to show this definitively.
In addition to a multivitamin, there are a few other key supplements that you can consider taking during pregnancy:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:906–12)
| Supplement Facts |
Serving Size: 2 capsules
Servings Per Container: 60
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Folic Acid||800 mcg||100.000%|
|Niacin (from Niacinamide)||40 mg||200.000%|
|Iodine (from Potassium Iodide)||300 mcg||200.000%|
|Manganese (from Manganese Gluconate)||2 mg||100.000%|
|Pantothenic Acid (from D-Calcium Pantothenate)||20 mg||200.000%|
|Vitamin C (from Ascorbic Acid)||120 mg||200.000%|
|Vitamin B6 (from Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)||4 mg||160.000%|
|Vitamin B12 (from Cyanocobalamin)||12 mcg||150.000%|
|Zinc (from Zinc Citrate)||15 mg||100.000%|
|Vitamin D (from Cholecalciferol)||400 IU||100.000%|
|Thiamin (from Thiamin Mononitrate)||3 mg||177.000%|
|Calcium (from Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate)||400 mg||31.000%|
|Magnesium (from Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Aspartate)||200 mcg||44.000%|
|Copper (from Copper Gluconate)||2 mg||100.000%|
|Vitamin E (from D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acid Succinate)||60 IU||200.000%|
|Iron (from Ferrochel Iron Bisglycinate)||20 mg||111.000%|
|Vitamin A (4800 IU from Retinyl Palmitate and 3200 IU from Beta-Carotene)||8000 IU||100.000%|
|Choline (from Choline Bitartrate)||10 mg||**|
**Daily Value (DV) not established.
Ingredients: Gelatin, Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, MCT, Purified Water, Soy Lecithin, Polysorbate 80, Calcium Stearate, Potassium Chloride, Silica, Potassium Citrate.
Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a health care professional or poison control center immediately.