pregnancy supplements

Essential Guide to Pregnancy Supplements: Boosting Maternal Health and Fostering Optimal Foetal Development

Embarking on the journey of pregnancy can be one of the most life-affirming experiences, yet it also brings with it the responsibility of nourishing and nurturing new life. Adequate nutritional support is essential to ensure not only the health of the expecting parent, but also that of the developing baby. 

Pregnancy demands unique nutritional needs, and the right mix of pregnancy supplements can help close the gaps in one’s diet, nurturing healthy gestation and optimising foetal development. As a trusted family-run pharmacy, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive and accurate guidance to support you in every step of your pregnancy. 

Ensuring that your body receives the right mix of nutrients during pregnancy is a key facet of promoting optimal health for both mother and child. Delve into our detailed guide on pregnancy supplements and discover how they contribute to a nourishing and fulfilling pregnancy experience, empowering you to make confident choices for the benefit of your growing baby.

1. Folic Acid: A Crucial Vitamin for Early Pregnancy

Folic acid, a B vitamin, plays a critical role in early pregnancy, particularly in the development of the baby's neural tube. The neural tube eventually forms the brain and spine, and a deficiency in folic acid may lead to neural tube defects, such as spina bifida or anencephaly. It's essential to begin taking folic acid before conception and during early pregnancy to reduce these potential risks.

  • Recommended dosage: Experts advise a daily intake of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid for those trying to conceive and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Different forms: Folic acid is available in various forms, including standalone supplements, prenatal multivitamins, and fortified foods like breads, cereals, and pasta.

2. Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin for Bone Health

Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium and is necessary for proper bone development in both the mother and the foetus. It also assists in maintaining healthy immune function. While our bodies can naturally produce vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure, supplements are often recommended during pregnancy due to the higher demands and potential risks associated with sun exposure.

  • Recommended dosage: The suggested daily intake of vitamin D during pregnancy is ten micrograms (mcg).
  • Different forms: Vitamin D supplements come in two primary forms, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is generally considered to be the more effective and absorbable form.

3. Iron: Essential for Oxygen Transport and Foetal Growth

Iron is a vital mineral that supports the production of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. A pregnant person's blood volume increases significantly, necessitating increased iron intake to facilitate oxygen delivery to both the mother and the foetus. Proper iron levels also contribute to a healthy immune system.

  • Recommended dosage: The daily advised iron intake during pregnancy typically ranges from 27 milligrams (mg) to 30 milligrams (mg), although this may vary depending on individual needs and prior iron levels.
  • Different forms: Iron supplements can be found as ferrous sulphate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous gluconate. Some people may find certain forms more tolerable or absorbable, so it's essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable iron supplement for your needs.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Boosting Brain and Eye Development

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential for proper brain and eye development in the foetus, as well as overall cognitive function. These fats are also involved in reducing inflammation and supporting cardiovascular health, making them a key addition to maternal wellness during pregnancy.

  • Recommended dosage: While the suggested daily intake varies, many experts recommend a total of around 200-300 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA combined during pregnancy.
  • Different forms: Omega-3 supplements can be sourced from fish oil or algae. For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or are concerned about potential contaminants in fish oil, algal oil supplements offer an alternative source of DHA and EPA.

The A-Z Guide to Pregnancy Supplements: Ensuring a Healthy Journey for Mom and Baby

The journey of pregnancy requires ample nutritional support to foster the best possible environment for both the expecting parent and the developing baby. Well-chosen pregnancy supplements fill any gaps in one's diet, ensuring optimal health and growth throughout this transformative period.

Embarking on your pregnancy journey with a solid understanding of essential pregnancy supplements, their benefits, recommended dosages, and the different forms available, empowers you to make informed decisions that directly contribute to the well-being of both you and your baby.

Begin your nourishing pregnancy journey with our expertly curated assortment of pregnancy supplements. Visit Leyton Pharmacy, your trusted family-run online pharmacy in the UK, for personalised guidance and recommendations, ensuring that you confidently provide the highest level of nourishment for you and your baby during this remarkable life experience.

Back to blog