Vitamins and supplements

Vitamins & Supplements

Certain vitamins and minerals are really important when you’re pregnant and later, when you’re breastfeeding to protect your own – and your baby’s health.

What are supplements?

These are tablets you take every day to boost your levels of certain vitamins and minerals. It’s especially important to get enough during pregnancy and when breastfeeding so you are supporting both your own health and the future health of your child.

Which product is right for you?

It depends where you are on your journey into motherhood. Lots of companies now offer specialised products for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

When you’re pregnant

Pregnant women are advised to take:

  • 400 micrograms of folic acid a day for the first 12 weeks
  • 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day

As your pregnancy progresses, you might be advised to take an iron supplement if your levels are low (this is quite common).

Avoid any supplements that contain retinol (vitamin A) as large doses can be dangerous to your unborn baby.

After the birth

Breastfeeding mums are advised by the Government to take a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (mcg) each day. That’s because your baby is dependent on you to build up their vitamin D stores.

New mums are sometimes iron-deficient. Talk to your GP before you take a supplement, though. Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, pale face, unusual food cravings, a sore tongue, itchiness and ringing in your ears. The best source of iron from your food is red meat, fish and chicken, followed by leafy green veg like broccoli and kale, beans/pulses, dried fruit and fortified breakfast cereals.

You should get enough vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet, but for extra peace of mind – and because it’s pretty hard to get a perfect diet when you’re looking after a demanding new baby – you could take a supplement.

If you’re pregnant, make sure it contains enough folic acid. A specialist pregnancy supplement will be perfect as it contains just the right balance of ingredients. These tablets tend to be rich in vitamin D, iron, calcium, omega 3 fish oil and folic acid – all important to pregnant women.

Or opt for one you can take all the way through pregnancy and also after the birth. These still have folic acid plus a blend of other essential vitamins and minerals.

How much do they cost?

Prices vary, but expect to pay between £4 and £10 for a month’s supply – 30 tablets.

You may qualify for free vitamins from the Healthy Start initiative.

To qualify you need to be:

  • At least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old 
  • Be on Income Support
  • Be on Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Be on Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Receive Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Receive Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month) 
  • Under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits.

Top tips

  • Supplements shouldn’t replace a healthy diet – you still need to eat well for optimum health.
  • When it comes to vitamins and minerals, more is not necessarily better – so don’t take mega-amounts, especially in pregnancy. Just reckon on taking the recommended daily amount, which will be stated on the side of the packet. Ask your GP or midwife if you’ve got any concerns.

Vitamins and Supplements Vitabiotics Pregnacare

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Original Tablets (30)

RRP: £6.35 for 30 - Buy now

The UK’s most popular supplement for pregnant women - with a perfect blend of vitamins and minerals, and can also be used before conception and while breastfeeding.

  • Contains 19 vitamins and minerals
  • Contains the exact amount of vitamin D and folic acid recommended by the Government
  • Contains a moderate but not excessive level of iron
  • Can use it before conception, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding

Size: available in packs of 30 or 90 tablets (£14.95)

Why our mums love the Vitabiotics Pregnacare Original Tablets ....

  • Mums love that this is a safe and trusted brand with a long history: Pregnacare is the most popular supplement for mums-to-be in the UK.
  • In the world of vitamins and supplements, more isn’t always better, which is why we love this product: it doesn’t go overboard on ingredients such as iron and vitamin D – it contains the perfect amount to safeguard your health and the health of your baby. It also doesn’t contain retinol (vitamin A) which can be harmful to unborn babies.
  • There are so many different supplements available to pregnant women and breastfeeding mums now, that this one is refreshingly simple: you can use it right through from pre-conception through to breastfeeding, while knowing you’re getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
  • You should take the tablet with or after a main meal, especially if you’re a bit prone to nausea.

Vitamins and Supplements Pregnapure

Healthspan PregnaPure Pregnancy & New Mum

RRP: £7.95 for 30 tablets and 30 capsules - Buy now

Carefully blended supplement for both pregnant women and new mums, which also has an Omega 3 capsule.

  • Contains 23 vitamins and minerals
  • Contains the exact amount of vitamin D and folic acid recommended by the Government
  • Contains a moderate but not excessive level of iron
  • Can use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • Unique dual formation - also comes with a double-distilled Omega 3 capsule to take every day

Size: available in packs of 30 tablets/30 capsules

Why our mums love the Healthspan PregnaPure Pregnancy & New Mum ....

  • This is a sensitively formulated supplement that gives you exactly the right amount of recommended vitamins an minerals – particularly vitamin D and folic acid – without overdoing it. There’s a moderate amount of iron plus a huge array of other vitamins designed to protect your health and the health of your baby.
  • This brand has the added bonus of omega 3 capsules you take every day alongside the main tablet: omega 3 has been proved to help your baby’s brain and eye development – as well as protect your own brain and heart! You can get omega 3 by eating oily fish such as mackerel, trout, salmon and fresh tuna (not tinned) twice a week. But so many of us aren’t keen on these foods that taking a tablet is a sure-fire way to protect yourself and your baby.
  • The Omega 3 fish oil in this capsule has been highly distilled to remove toxins and pollutants, so it’s safe for you and your baby.

Pregnacare Breastfeeding

RRP: £15.25 - Buy now

Pregnacare Breastfeeding is formulated specifically for the post-natal period to give breastfeeding mothers all the nutrients they need.

  • Includes essential fatty acids such as DHA.
  • The formula provides the specially designed follow-on product for mums after childbirth.
  • Formulated by experts, with essential vitamins, minerals and DHA, to help support all-round health and vitality including iron which contributes to normal energy release.
  • It can also be taken as a general postnatal supplement for 6-9 months following childbirth, to replace depleted nutrients and assist the body following pregnancy, even if you are not breastfeeding.
  • For mothers who avoid dairy products, the formula also contains calcium which is needed for the maintenance of normal bones.

Why we love Pregnacare Breastfeeding ....
  • We love that Pregnacare Breastfeeding has been specially formulated by experts for new mums’ peace of mind they are giving their new baby the nutrients they need through their breast milk.
  • The knowledge that the ingredients have been included on the basis of scientific research is reassuring, so it is one less thing for mum to worry about.
  • Knowing that they include 700mg calcium, vitamin K & D and magnesium which contribute to the maintenance of normal bones is an added bonus to a new baby’s well-being.

Nature’s Own – Pregnancy Support

RRP: £9.88 - Buy now

  • Formulated to support you in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • It is also ideal to take when you are trying to conceive.
  • The supplements contain Folic Acid and Vitamin D which are both recommended to aid pregnancy and preconception.
  • They are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
  • One bottle lasts for about 30 days, as 2 tablets per day are recommended.

Why we love Pregnancy Support....
  • We love the peace of mind they give you during pregnancy and breastfeeding that you are passing on the right vitamins to your baby.
  • The supplements are GMO free.
  • We love that the supplements contain the right combination of vitamins including Folic Acid, Vitamin D, magnesium and iron.

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