Taking a prenatal multivitamin can help cover any nutritional gaps in your diet

Test your knowledge with our pre-pregnancy quiz

Pregnancy Diet


Planning a pregnancy? Ask your doctor about folic acid now. Dr. Lisa explains.

When should you start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid? Dr. Lisa explains.

A well-balanced diet during pregnancy can help ensure both your health and your baby’s. Your risk of developing chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, can be significantly reduced with the help of a proper diet prior to and during pregnancy.

It goes without saying that this period brings significant physiological changes. Paying special attention to your lifestyle habits, taking a prenatal supplement that is adapted to your personal needs, as well as your diet during pregnancy can help to meet your new energy and nutrient needs.

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General dietary requirements for a healthy pregnancy


There are special requirements when it comes to your diet during pregnancy; balance variety and moderation before, during and after pregnancy to achieve general good health.

 

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The USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov suggests that consuming a variety of items from the four major food groups will help you get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you and your baby need. A well-balanced diet during pregnancy will also contribute to your baby's healthy growth and development, along with helping you feel better, give you more energy and help you gain a healthy amount of weight. Get your Daily Food Plan by creating a profile using SuperTracker.

 

Pay special attention to the quality of the foods in your diet during pregnancy. Being careful and following a few basic food safety rules will help you avoid food poisoning and protect your baby.

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Don’t Forget Your Prenatal Multivitamins


A proper diet during pregnancy may not be enough and experts recommend that you take a daily multivitamin as well.

Wondering if a prenatal multivitamin is right for you? This is an important decision, so take the time to make an informed choice. You should know that you will have an increased need for vitamins and essential minerals, especially folic acid and iron.

Based on your overall health and any medications you may be taking, your healthcare professional can give you advice on the prenatal multivitamin that's best for you.

As you may know, a well-balanced diet during pregnancy plays a significant role in maintaining your health and that of your baby. Your diet during pregnancy should include foods chosen based on the principles of balance, variety and moderation. When continued after giving birth, these new habits can have lifelong benefits for mother, child and the entire family.

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Diet Throughout Breastfeeding


The majority of mothers are aware of the importance of proper nutrition while they are expecting a baby. The nutritional needs and diet throughout breastfeeding are similar to those of pregnant women in their last trimester, though for different reasons. It is important that you maintain a well-balanced diet throughout breastfeeding.

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Proper nutrition to meet YOUR needs


It’s easy to let your diet get off-track when you’re a new mom. After all, your body is healing from childbirth and you need energy to keep up with baby. Rest assured, breast milk can meet your baby's nutritional needs even when you aren’t eating perfectly. However, just because your baby won't be harmed by occasional lapses in your diet throughout breastfeeding doesn't mean that you won't suffer. When you don't get the nutrients you need from your diet, your body draws on its reserves, which can eventually become depleted.

A mother’s ideal diet throughout breastfeeding mirrors the healthy diet that is recommended for most adults — one that is well balanced and gives you the vitamins, nutrition and energy you need to survive sleepless nights and long crying spells. Many breastfeeding moms feel extra hungry, which makes sense. Your body is working around the clock to produce breast milk for your baby. Try to eat small meals with healthy snacks in between, as you may have done while you were pregnant. Variety and balance are key to a well-balanced diet throughout breastfeeding, consuming a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat keeps you feeling full longer.

 

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USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov offers the possibility to create a personalized Daily Food Plan for Moms, which shows the foods and amounts that are right for you at your stage of pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Get your Daily Food Plan by creating a profile using SuperTracker.
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Vegetarians and Vegans


Breastfeeding Vegetarians and Vegans don’t need to change their nutrition unless they don’t include any animal protein at all (vegan and macrobiotic diets). Since animal protein is the best source of B12, consider taking a vitamin supplement containing vitamin B12 if you don’t want to consume any animal products. If you don’t eat dairy products, you also need to make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D.

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Keep taking your prenatal vitamins


It's a good idea to continue taking your MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplement while you're breastfeeding. You can discuss this with your physician or healthcare professional at your first postpartum visit.

A supplement doesn't take the place of a well-balanced diet throughout breastfeeding, but it can provide some extra insurance on those days when taking care of your new baby keeps you from eating as well as you'd like.

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Calcium and iron


As was the case during pregnancy, proper diet throughout breastfeeding and after delivery may not be enough and you should consider MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplementation.

Pay particular attention to your calcium and iron intake to stay healthy.

Calcium in needed for your baby’s growth as well as to protect your bone health. Studies have shown that mothers tend to lose bone mass (and calcium) while they’re breastfeeding. And while most mothers regain that bone mass within six months of weaning, one who doesn’t get enough calcium in her diet may not fully regain it.

You need to pay special attention to your iron intake as by the time of your delivery, your iron reserves have dropped dramatically.

If you are anemic, don’t worry that your milk won’t have enough iron for your baby. Breastmilk contains less iron than formula, but the iron is absorbed and used more efficiently, so your baby is less likely to become anemic than a formula fed baby. You may need to take iron supplements to make you feel better, but they will not affect the level of iron in your breastmilk.

Even if you are not breastfeeding, replenishing nutrient stores lost during pregnancy and delivery are important. Your diet may not be adequate to replenish lost nutrients and to assist with your body's healing, so discuss continued MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplementation after delivery with your healthcare professional.

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Pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals


It is always suggested to try to minimize your exposure to contaminants in your environment and in your diet throughout breastfeeding. Pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals that you ingest can make their way into your breast milk.

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Fluids


When you're breastfeeding, your body needs a total of 16 cups of fluid a day. (This includes the fluid in the food you eat, like fruits and vegetables.) But there's no need to keep a record of how much water you drink. A good guideline to follow is drink to satisfy thirst – that is, drink whenever you feel the need. If your urine is clear or light yellow, it's a good sign that you're well hydrated.

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Medications and Drugs While Breastfeeding


The mothertobaby.org website has information on how the medications, drugs or herbal remedies you take may affect your baby or your breast milk supply. You can also consult the FDA web site about Medicine and Pregnancy.

In summary, don't fall into the trap of letting your health and diet throughout breastfeeding take a backseat to everything else going on.  Try to consume nutritious foods and take proper MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplementation while you are breastfeeding.

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Lifestyle Changes


Lifestyle changes have become synonymous with pregnancy as it is not unusual for expecting mothers to develop a renewed motivation to want to look after their bodies and baby.

The recommendations for most lifestyle changes are based on the fact that they are usually aspects of our lives that we have some control over, and can make conscious decisions to avoid.

Visit the next slides for recommendations on lifestyle changes...

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Eat well


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As a well-balanced diet during pregnancy can help ensure both your health and baby’s, some lifestyle changes might be essential when it comes to your diet.

  • Take time to consult our Pregnancy Diet and Diet Throughout Breastfeeding articles
  • If you are a vegetarian or have special nutritional needs, discuss your diet with your healthcare professional.
  • Eating well is important for your oral health. Have dental check-ups before, during and after your pregnancy.
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Change some lifestyle habits


Making positive lifestyle changes like giving up some much loved vices will assist your body to nurture your new baby, as well as minimize chances their chances of developing birth defects and/or being unwell after the birth.

Always discuss with your healthcare professional what is right for you.

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Caffeine:

Limit the amount of coffee, strong tea and soft drinks you consume. As an alternative, satisfy your thirst with plenty of fluids every day, including water, fruit juice and milk.

Resources: Caffeine during Pregnancy (Amercian Pregnancy Association)

 

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If you smoke, QUIT!:

If you are a smoker, the best time to quit is when you are planning your pregnancy, but it is never too late to make this lifestyle change. Consult your physician or healthcare professional about the ways to quit that are most appropriate while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Avoid second-hand smoke. Make your home and your car a smoke-free environment. Ask people to refrain from smoking in your presence.

Resources: The American Lung Cancer Association – a guide to quit

 

No Alchohol Icon

Alcohol:

If you have a drink every so often, some lifestyle changes are absolutely necessary. Studies have shown that consuming even one alcoholic drink per week during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on a developing baby, and heavier drinking can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, the only preventable cause of mental retardation.

Refrain from alcohol while planning and during your pregnancy. There is no alcohol level that is known to be safe to drink when you are pregnant. You should also refrain from alcohol while breastfeeding as it easily passes into the breastmilk.

Resources: The Use of Alcohol in Pregnancy (The CDC)

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Be active and take time to relax


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With your healthcare professional's guidance, make sure to remain active during your pregnancy. You'll feel better and have more energy. And physical activity can help maintain your muscle tone and strength for labor and birth.

There are many types of physical activity and exercise, ranging from mild stretching to aerobic exercise. If you are already involved in daily physical activities, there’s no need for radical lifestyle changes. If not, now is the perfect time to make some lifestyle changes that will keep you doing something on a regular basis. Daily activities like walking up stairs, cleaning the house, and gardening are also good ways to keep active.

 

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Remember to play it safe:

  • Talk to your physician or healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program or making adjustments.
  • Don't get overheated. High internal body temperature (over 100ºF) can cause birth defects in the first trimester. Hot tubs and saunas can be dangerous.
  • Avoid potentially risky activities such as horseback riding, rollerblading, skiing (snow or water), scuba diving, and exercising at high altitudes.
  • Don't push yourself too hard. Physical activity shouldn't hurt.
  • Allocate time to relax and rest when you need it. Accept help from family and friends.
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Share your thoughts and feelings


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You may need to consider to make some lifestyle changes if you aren’t used to communicating your needs and feelings. Pregnancy hormones affect your mood. Whenever you are worried, upset, sad or anxious, sharing your feelings can help. Your emotional health is very important.

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Seek healthcare professional advice


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  • Request medical advice from your physician or healthcare professional if you experience nausea and vomiting; heartburn; constipation; hemorrhoids; involuntary leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, and laughing, or during heavy exercises.
  • Consult your physician or healthcare professional for advice on the use of medications while planning a pregnancy, throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
  • You can also consult mothertobaby.org for information about the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
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Role of Vitamins and Minerals during Pregnancy


Vitamins and minerals are essential not only to the development of your unborn child, but also to your own health. Your baby will draw on your resources, which you need to replenish to stay healthy, move through the stages of your pregnancy and prepare for childbirth.

Whether you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it is important to pay particular attention to your intake of essential vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, calcium and iron, for your baby’s general development and your own continued good health during your pregnancy.

For this reason, expectant mothers are generally advised to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and to ask their healthcare professional for advice about the prenatal supplement best suited to their individual needs.

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Folic Acid


Medscape Folic Acid Graph

Folic acid is a type of vitamin B (B9) that is essential for the normal development of the spinal column, brain and skull of the fetus in the first 28 days of pregnancy.

Deficiencies in folic acid may result in neural tube defects (NTDs), the most common of which is spina bifida. This birth defect occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy, preventing proper closure of the neural tube. The spine is unable to develop normally, leading to improper formation or malfunctions of the spinal cord, brain or skull.

Because many women are unaware they are pregnant until the end of their first month of pregnancy, it is important to start taking an adequate daily dose of folic acid three months before you become pregnant. Sufficient folic acid uptake in the first 28 days of pregnancy may help reduce the risk of neural tube malformations.

If you are planning a pregnancy or have just learned that you are pregnant, see a healthcare professional for an assessment of your overall state of health and your medical and genetic history.

Taking the Right Dose of Folic Acid

Your healthcare professional may prescribe you a multivitamin containing a higher dose of folic acid during the first 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy if you are in one of the following situations:

  • Previous pregnancy affected by a NTD
  • Family history of NTD
  • Diabetes or malabsorption disorders
  • Taking medications used for seizure control or that are known to decrease folate levels
  • A medical need identified by your healthcare professional.
Folic Acid or Folate: Is There a Difference?

When you read articles about folic acid that also talk about folate, you may wonder what the difference is between the two. Folate is a type of B complex vitamin found primarily in food. Folic acid is a synthetic form used to enrich foods, and contained in vitamin supplements.

Folate is found in some green vegetables, meats and legumes. Most women of childbearing age do not get all the folate they need from food, especially if their diet does not include foods that contain either folate or folic acid, such as green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, peas, Brussels sprouts), corn, dried peas and beans, lentils, oranges, orange juice, liver and folic-acid-enriched foods.

By taking a supplement that contains folic acid, women of childbearing age can increase their chances of getting enough folic acid. The health professional who assesses you will suggest how much folic acid your prenatal multivitamin should contain in order to meet your needs.

Potential Protective Effects Against Other Congenital Malformations

For the past several years, researchers have been studying the potential effects of folic acid in protecting against other types of congenital malformations. Scientific data published to date appear to show that taking a supplement with folic acid before and during pregnancy may reduce the risk of congenital malformations of the cardiovascular system, limbs and urinary system, and of cleft lip and palate and other abnormalities, in addition to decreasing the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), a preventive effect that has been amply demonstrated.

By taking a folic acid supplement, women of childbearing age may reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Talk to a qualified health professional if you have any questions.

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Calcium


Everyone, especially women, needs calcium for bone formation and to help with the normal development and maintenance of teeth.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women require calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone integrity, make sure that the baby’s skeleton develops properly, and provide adequate calcium in breast milk. The calcium your baby needs comes from your own reserves i.e., from your nutrition and, if needed, your supplementation, which is why it is important to prevent calcium deficiency during pregnancy.

If you do not get enough calcium from food, your body will take what it needs from your bones. A prenatal supplement containing calcium may help ensure that you meet your body’s requirements.

 

Food sources of calcium

The best sources of calcium are milk, other dairy products, canned fish and dark green vegetables. Make sure to check food labels as some cereals, juices, soy and rice beverages, and breads are calcium-fortified.

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Vitamin D


Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D deficiency may lead to calcium deficiency which may result in a range of problems for the mother or baby.

 

Food sources of vitamin D

Fish liver oil, fatty fish, and fortified milk, egg, and cereal products all contain vitamin D. Be sure to check food labels as some eggs, cheeses, yogurts, and cereals are fortified. All milk is vitamin D fortified.

Your healthcare professional will assess your nutritional needs and recommend vitamin and mineral supplementation to help you avoid potential calcium and vitamin D deficiencies.

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Iron


Iron is an important mineral. It helps to prevent anemia caused by low iron levels in the blood. Mild anemia is common in pregnancy, but more severe iron-deficiency anemia can sometimes occur.

Your need for iron increases in pregnancy for a variety of reasons, including an increased volume of blood and fluid circulating in your blood vessels and the growth of the fetus and placenta, which stockpile iron.

 

Make Sure You Have Sufficient Iron Reserves Before Becoming Pregnant.

Your iron uptake before pregnancy may be insufficient. It is one of the reasons why a pre-pregnancy medical consultation is so useful. If your iron stores are low or if you are anemic before  pregnancy, your health professional can assess your need for a higher dose of iron.

You should know that if a mother's iron stores are depleted before pregnancy or during the first trimester, she may develop anemia in the second or third trimesters. This can result in:

  • Fatigue.
  • Lower productivity at work.
  • Decreased resistance to infection.
  • Lower tolerance of blood loss during surgery or in childbirth.
You and Your Baby Need Good Stores of Iron.

If you are breastfeeding and your iron levels are low, you may feel weak and fatigued at a time when you need high energy levels to look after your newborn. Even if you have chosen not to breastfeed, you will need to replenish your iron stores, which have become depleted by the blood loss that occurred in childbirth. 

An adequate uptake of iron before conception and your ability to stockpile iron during pregnancy will affect your baby's iron stores.

During your pregnancy follow-up examinations, your healthcare professional will look at your history of anemia and your serum hemoglobin levels and will suggest the best course of action.

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Vitamin B12


Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells, the synthesis of genetic materials and the proper functioning of the nervous system. For it to have its full effect, it must work together with folic acid.

 

Impact of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy will prevent folic acid from being activated. As a result, a vitamin B12 deficiency can increase the risk of neural tube defects occurring in the first 28 days of pregnancy, even if folic acid levels are adequate. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also contribute to premature birth.

A problem of malabsorption is the most frequent cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Insufficient vitamin B12 uptake can also create a deficiency that can be easily prevented with a healthy diet.

Sources of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal products like meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy products. It is also added to enriched foods and drinks, including certain cereals, soya-based products and rice-based drinks.

Pregnant women following a vegan or vegetarian diet are therefore at greater risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency before pregnancy. Taking a prenatal multivitamin before conception helps to ensure there is an adequate uptake of vitamin B12 during pregnancy.

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Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) fatty acids


Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) fatty acid intake during pregnancy is important for your baby’s healthy growth and development. In fact, low DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) levels have been shown to limit infant development, including language development and understanding as well as eyesight.

It is important to obtain omega-3 (EPA and DHA) fatty acids directly from your diet. They are found mainly in oily fish (salmon, trout, sardines, arctic char, herring and mackerel), fish oil and other marine sources such as algae.

 

Is There a Need for Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) Fatty Acid Supplements?

Pregnant women looking to take omega-3 (EPA and DHA) supplements should note that at the present time, there is a lack of reliable data to justify supplementation. It has also been demonstrated that only supplements with EPA/DHA or DHA increase the DHA level in the blood of the mother or fetus.

If you want to take an omega-3 (EPA and DHA) supplement during your pregnancy, discuss it with a health professional. These supplements may not be indicated for certain pregnant women who have a risk of bleeding. Cod liver oil, moreover, is to be avoided completely. Fish oil contains a high quantity of vitamin A, which could be toxic for the fetus.

Worried About Mercury Content in Fish?

Fish contain many essential nutrients for optimal health, including the omega-3 (EPA and DHA) fats. However, some fish should be avoided or limited during pregnancy and breastfeeding because they may contain high levels of mercury. Click here for more information on fish that are safe for consumption. Please note that fish rich in omega-3 (EPA and DHA), such as salmon, trout, sardines, arctic char, herring and mackerel, are generally considered to have lower mercury levels.

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Why you need Zinc during pregnancy


Getting enough zinc is particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy. Zinc is necessary for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA – the body's genetic blueprint and a basic building block of cells. This essential mineral also helps support your immune system, maintain your sense of taste and smell, and heal wounds.

Deficiencies in North America are rare, but studies have linked a zinc deficiency to miscarriage, toxemia, low birth weight, and other problems during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

 

Zinc is the building block of life

Zinc is present in many foods and plays an essential role in the construction of your baby’s cells and DNA during pregnancy.

A healthy intake of zinc as part of a well-balanced diet is crucial during pregnancy. It is needed for cell division and tissue growth and to support the baby’s normal development.

Zinc is also found in high concentrations in the brain, and it is important for normal brain function, which contributes to all future learning and development.

Protecting YOUR health during pregnancy

During pregnancy, your immune system is naturally suppressed, leaving you more vulnerable to infection. Zinc is one of the nutrients that provide some extra immune support, making it not only important for your baby’s health but your own as well.

Maintaining a healthy intake of zinc throughout your pregnancy has also been shown to lower the risk of premature birth.

How much zinc do you need during pregnancy?

Despite having such an important role in your baby’s development, it is recommended to take 7mg of zinc per day, the same as it would be if you weren’t pregnant. However, your need rises significantly while breastfeeding, increasing to 13mg per day until your baby is 4 months old, and falling to 9.5mg per day beyond that. Present in many foods, these amounts should be easy to get from a well-balanced diet.

Food sources of zinc

The richest sources of zinc are in meat, fish, oysters (must be well cooked during pregnancy), shellfish, shrimp, crab, turkey, chicken and ham. Zinc is also present in dairy foods (milk, yoghurt, cheeses-especially ricotta), beans (green, kidney, baked), peanut butter, nuts, tofu, lentils, eggs, breads, fortified cereals, pasta, rice, wheat germ, bran, onions, ginger and sunflower seeds.

Should you take a zinc supplement?

Your prenatal vitamin supplement should provide the zinc you need if you aren’t already getting enough from your diet. Most people who eat meat get plenty of zinc from a reasonably well-balanced diet. However, vegetarians and vegans may not get enough zinc from food alone as it is harder to absorb zinc from plants.

Make sure to get enough zinc during your pregnancy as the rapid growth of tissue and DNA that’s taking place in your baby’s body relies on a good supply of zinc during pregnancy. Zinc can be found in many foods and plays an essential role in the construction of your baby’s cells and DNA during pregnancy. Zinc is also important during this time to protect you from infections.

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Other Nutrients


In addition to folic acid, iron, calcium and zinc, many other vitamins and minerals are important for your health and for the development of your child. Many of these vitamins and minerals are found in a well-balanced diet but sometimes you might need to take additional essential vitamins and minerals according to your food habits or your medical history.

Your healthcare professional will assess your nutritional needs and recommend supplementation that will help you to avoid any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

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Choosing Your Prenatal Multivitamin


Choosing your prenatal multivitamin is not to be taken lightly: its ingredients can have an impact on your health and the health of your baby. Your body has extra needs when you’re pregnant, and vitamin supplements are the best way to get these essentials. Your diet and physical condition play a big role in determining what supplements are right for you.

Talk to you healthcare professional as soon as possible to determine what MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplementation is right for you. Ideally, starting supplementation prior to conception is generally recommended.

  

Choosing the right prenatal vitamin for you

What dose of folic acid is right for you?

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Prenatal Multivitamin or Folic Acid Alone?


Make sure you begin your pregnancy with an adequate uptake of iron, iodine, calcium, folic acid and vitamins B12 and D.

Your uptake of folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron should be greater at the beginning of your pregnancy and even before you become pregnant. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may have a negative effect on both the baby’s health and yours.

That is why the The U. S. Public Health Service and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends taking a prenatal multivitamin containing folic acid before and during pregnancy instead of folic acid alone. Prenatal multivitamins are designed to meet the mother’s health specific needs as well as the needs of your growing baby.

 

Folic Acid Consuming enough folic acid in the first 28 days of pregnancy may help reduce the risk of neural tube malformations.
Vitamin B12 In combination with folic acid, Vitamin B12 may help reduce the risk of neural tube defects in early pregnancy and of premature birth.
Iron Iron helps maintain a high energy level, resistance to infections and tolerance of blood loss in childbirth.

 

A well-balanced diet may be enough. It is important to talk to your health care professional about MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplementation adapted to your health, two or three months before your pregnancy and up to four to six weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, keep taking your prenatal multivitamin as long as you are doing so, to make sure you always have sufficient iron stores. After delivery, whether you are breastfeeding or not, discuss continued supplementation with your health care professional.

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Your Prenatal Multivitamin Checklist


Because your baby relies on your body’s resources to grow, you need to keep your amount of essential vitamins and minerals at the right levels. That’s why it’s important to start taking a prenatal vitamin before you even get pregnant.

It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about which prenatal vitamin may be right for you, here are a few things to ask about:

Adequate dose of elemental Iron
The right amount of Folic Acid
Vitamin B12
Calcium and Vitamin D
Zinc
The right amount of Vitamin A

Each vitamin and mineral contained in the supplement contributes to good health and plays a role in helping your body meet the increased nutritional needs your body and baby need. It’s also a good idea to keep taking your vitamin while you breastfeed.

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Pre-pregnancy Quiz!


Test your knowledge with our pre-pregnancy quiz.

Take this quick quiz to help you see if there are any nutritional gaps in your diet. Once completed, show your healthcare provider your answers and he or she can help you identify your nutritional needs and choose a prenatal supplement that best suits your overall health and lifestyle.

Five questions to answer when choosing your prenatal multivitamin

Answer the questions below to help start the discussion with your Healthcare Professional.

You must answer to this question!
Because many women are unaware that they are pregnant before the end of their first month of pregnancy, it's important to start taking an adequate dose of folic acid three months before the pregnancy. Sufficient folic acid uptake in the first 28 days of pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube malformation. Also make sure to start your pregnancy with an adequate uptake of iron, iodine, calcium, and vitamins B12 and D. Taking a prenatal multivitamin that gives you the necessary nutritional reserves may even prove useful when you're trying to become pregnant.
You must answer to this question!
If you answered yes to at least one of these statements, you may need a dose of folic acid higher than 1 mg during the first three months preceding conception, and for up to 10-12 weeks of pregnancy. Consult your physician.
You must answer to this question!
If you answered yes, remember that you have the same nutritional needs as a pregnant woman who is not on any particular diet. The absence of certain foods in your diet (e.g. meat, fish, dairy products and eggs) may limit the nutritional uptake you require for your health and for the development of the fetus. Adequate vitamin supplementation may prove useful when you're planning a pregnancy.
You must answer to this question!
Your vitamin A uptake must not exceed a maximum of 3000 µg of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) or 10,000 international units (IU). Higher intake may be harmful for your baby's development.
You must answer to this question!
You’ll find a list of useful websites in the Resources section.

Parenting


www.babble.com/pregnancy

Organization that is part of Disney and provides a variety of information for expectant mothers. Women can get facts about pregnancy, advice on life with their baby, how to throw fun showers and parties, and much more.

www.whattoexpect.com

Organization that provides a variety of information for pregnant mothers. Topics include pregnancy symptoms, labor and delivery, pregnancy fitness, and much more.

www.babycenter.com

Parenting and pregnancy digital resource.

www.parents.com

Parenting resource.

www.marchofdimes.org

Helping mothers have full-term pregnancies and researching the problems that threaten the health of babies.

Everyday Health

Organization that provides advice from medical experts, tips from parents, and health and wellness news. Sections are dedicated to every stage of birth so women can find information that is most relevant to them.*

iVillage

Organization that provides abundant information for expectant women. Website can be customized by which stage the mother is in so that relevant news, tips, and advice can be shared.*

Mayo Clinic

Nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education.*

MedlinePlus

National Institutes of Health's website offering reliable, up-to-date health information on a variety of topics.*

US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health: Pregnancy

Organization that is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services on Women's Health. Provides information on what women can do before, during, and after pregnancy to help babies get a healthy start on life.*

www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html

Health & Nutrition Information during Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-weight-gain-calculator

Pregnancy weight gain calculator

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Planning or pregnant


www.APGO.org

Association of professors of gynecology and obstetrics.

Well Mom app

APGO’s app for expecting mothers.

www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/womenshealthtopics/ucm117976.htm

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/index.html?from=AtoZ

Information on what women can do before, during, and after pregnancy to help babies get a healthy start on life.

www.americanpregnancy.org

Nonprofit health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, research, advocacy, and community awareness.

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Professional associations and organizations


www.nih.gov

An agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research.

www.mothertobaby.org

Information about medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/womenshealthtopics/ucm117976.htm

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Women’s Health Topics - Pregnancy

www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/index.html?from=AtoZ

Information on what women can do before, during, and after pregnancy to help babies get a healthy start on life.

www.cdc.gov/pregnancy

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Pregnancy

www.acog.org

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

www.americanpregnancy.org

Nonprofit health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, research, advocacy, and community awareness.

AWHONN (Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses)

Nonprofit membership organization that promotes the health of women and newborns.*

ACNM (American College of Nurse-Midwives)

Professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States.*

NPWH (National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health)

Represents nurse practitioners who provide care to women in the primary care setting as well as in women's health specialty practices.*

Woman Picture

Take your first
2 baby steps with Mteryti®

An effective two-step MultiVitamin/MultiMineral supplement regimen specially designed to help you and your growing baby stay healthy before, during and after your pregnancy.

Tailored Formula specially designed to help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby!

  • Two unique MultiVitamin/MultiMineral Supplement Tablets:
    • Mteryti® with 1.1 mg of Folic Acid
    • Mteryti® Folic 5 with 5 mg of Folic Acid for women who may be at higher risk of developing a neural tube defect (NTD) - affected pregnancy.
  • Recommended for use under the supervision of a physician or a healthcare professional.

Two-step regimen to help optimize key nutrients absorption

  • Morning Tablet (pink), Night tablet (blue (1.1 mg of folic acid) or dark blue (5 mg of folic acid))
  • Iron and Calcium are separated
  • Both tablets are imprinted with the pink image of a pregnant woman.

Gentle and easy to take

  • Smaller tablets are easier to swallow
  • Less constipation, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting compared to other prenatal multivitamins
  • Lactose, gluten and tartrazine free—and has received the Kosher, Kosher for Passover, and Halal certifications
    Mteryti Food Logos

Packaged for convenience and safety

  • Individually sealed (blister pack) to eliminate unpleasant odors
  • Blister pack helps you keep track of daily tablet-taking
  • Designed to help keep children away from medication and to decrease the probability of a child ingesting all tablets in the box

About Duchesnay USA

Duchesnay USA is a specialty pharmaceutical company with a long-standing commitment to women’s health. Until recently, we focused on filling the void in terms of scientific research and education and on developing pharmacological solutions that are safe and effective for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Today, Duchesnay has broadened its portfolio of products to offer safe and effective therapeutic options that meet the health and quality of life needs of women and their family members at different stages of their lives.

For more information about Duchesnay USA, please visit www.DuchesnayUSA.com.