The benefits of a pregnancy supplement before conceiving
Preconception care is an important part of planning a baby. Making sure you and your partner are in good physical health can help to ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy. It allows you to deal with any relevant health issues ahead of time, including achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and reducing or cutting out alcohol consumption. Women should ideally seek health advice from their doctor at least three months before trying to conceive a child.1
A pregnancy supplement provides several benefits before and during pregnancy. For example, before conception, it’s important that a new foetus receives enough folic acid. This nutrient is part of the B group of vitamins that’s especially important for the baby’s neural tube. The neural tube eventually forms the baby’s brain and spinal cord and develops during early stages of pregnancy, in the first four to six weeks. If folic acid is taken daily for one month before conception and during pregnancy, it may reduce the risk of having a child with spina bifida/neural tube defects.2 A good prenatal supplement should also contain iodine, which is important for normal foetal development during pregnancy. The best dietary sources of iodine include seafood, bread, dairy products, eggs and seaweed but a pregnant woman will not be able to consume all the iodine she needs through food alone. It’s recommended that all women who are planning or may become pregnant take an additional 150mcg of iodine every day before conception.3
A pregnancy multivitamin taken before you become pregnant assists in giving your baby the best possible start.