Updated Prenatal Directory Joomag Prenatal Directory Update July 2017 - Page 13

Selkirk Medical Group Information for Parents -to-be ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Should I be taking vitamin supplements in pregnancy? Vitamin supplementation (taking prenatal vitamins) should not be considered a magic remedy and it is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Research has shown that the following micronutrient intake is important in pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins include such micronutrients, or they can be taken separately. Folic Acid Calcium Vitamin D Omega-3 fatty acids To prevent neural tube defects (ie. spina bifida). Rx 0.4 – 1mg of folic acid throughout the pregnancy Dietary intake is recommended to be 1000mg in pregnancy, most women fall far short. Calcium intake in pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of pre-eclampsia (rare autoimmune disorder against the placenta). Rx 1500-2000mg daily (taken at a different time than prenatal vitamin) Important for bone health, glucose regulation, immune function and uterine contractibility in labour. Due to our northern climate it is difficult to make adequate amounts through sunlight during most seasons of the year. Rx 1000 IU daily supplement Play a role in development of important hormones in pregnancy (eicosanoids) as well as brain cells in the baby and protects against asthma for babies Rx 2 servings of omega rich fish/wk (with low mercury level) or use omega-3 supplements Should I avoid certain foods in pregnancy? Few foods need to be avoided in pregnancy. It is important to cook meat, poultry and eggs to reduce the risk of bacteria. Listerosis, a bacteria mostly found in unpasteurized dairy can cause problems in pregnancy. All dairy products bought in supermarkets in Canada have been pasteurized, including soft cheeses. Other bacteria to avoid can be found in processed deli meats and raw sprouts. Fish high in mercury should also be avoided. There is no evidence that avoiding specific foods in pregnancy reduces the risk of the baby developing allergies later in life. Also, new research has not shown strong evidence between caffeine intake and miscarriage. If there is an effect, large amount of caffeine would need to be consumed (over 3 cups of drip coffee a day). 11