Supplements During Pregnancy
Julian Whitaker, MD
I just found out I’m pregnant. Should I take any nutritional supplements besides prenatal vitamins? — B.K., Baltimore, MD
Recent research suggests that adequate vitamin D also improves pregnancy outcomes. Deficiencies in this vitamin increase risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia in expectant moms—as well as premature birth, low birth weight, and type 1 diabetes in their babies. Many pregnant women are deficient in this vitamin. Most prenatal vitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D, which is usually not enough to bring levels into the optimal range. Ask your doctor about having your 25(OH)D vitamin D blood level tested and taking enough supplemental vitamin D to bring it above 50 ng/mL.
Finally, if you’re not getting much dietary calcium, considering taking calcium supplements. Your total daily intake should be 1,000–1,500 mg calcium, balanced with 400–500 mg magnesium.
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