Nutrition · Pregnancy

Should I take a vitamin/mineral supplement during pregnancy?

pregnant individual looking at a variety of supplements at a pharmacy

Although we try to improve our eating habits during pregnancy, pregnancy itself can bring on changes that can affect our appetite. So I often get asked, “Do I have to take any supplements during pregnancy?”  The short answer is yes.

Health Canada recommends that all pregnant individuals take a multivitamin daily that contains 0.4mg of folic acid, 16-20mg of iron and vitamin B12.

The multivitamin helps to ensure that, along with your daily intake, you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy.

What about gummy multivitamins?

They are not ideal to take during pregnancy.  Getting enough iron through food alone is quite difficult in pregnancy and gummy multivitamins usually lack iron, and have lesser amounts of key nutrients of pregnancy like calcium and vitamin C.

Do I need to take any other vitamin/mineral supplements?

Whether you need any extra supplements depends on many things:

  • Your eating habits and food choices
  • Your medical and prenatal history
  • How your pregnancy has been progressing.

It’s important to discuss the use of supplements with a health care professional, such as your doctor/midwife, registered dietitian and pharmacist.

Taking too many or high doses of supplements can be harmful to your health and pregnancy.

Safety Check!

If you are taking any supplements, make sure it either has a Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN) which shows it has been approved for its safety and effectiveness when used according to directions, and can be sold in Canada.

 Remember, supplements are not meant to replace the importance of eating well. Strive to eat as best as you can during pregnancy!

You can eChat or call (416) 338-7600 to speak with one of our health professionals for more information.

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