Are multivitamins essential during a pregnancy? And what does a pregnant woman really need?
In the first trimester, it is very important to take at least 500 micrograms of folic acid (folate) each day. It is actually vital to start taking folic acid for about two to three months prior to conception as it has been proven to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. After 13 weeks [of pregnancy], this is no longer required.
A lot of women are also mildly deficient in iodine and it is hard to measure the deficiency, so take an iodine supplement, which should be continued throughout the pregnancy.
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Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.