Pregnancy essentials: preconception vitamins and minerals you need

The term preconception generally refers to the several months leading up to pregnancy and is an important time to focus on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to maintain a good environment for conception, reduce the risk of problems arising during pregnancy and increase your chances of growing a healthy baby. It is especially important to ensure you are receiving adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals during the preconception period, which can be achieved through a healthy balanced diet and a specialised prenatal supplement.

  • Vitamin D – Mothers should ensure they have a satisfactory level of vitamin D both before and during pregnancy as vitamin D supports maternal and infant health and well-being and requirements increase substantially during this time. Unfortunately many women may be vitamin D deficient before falling pregnant such as those who avoid the sun, are veiled or cover up, or those with darker skin tones. Ostelin Pregnancy Essentials combines folic acid, iodine and vitamin D along with omega 3 DHA to support optimum health before, during and after pregnancy.
  • Folic acid – Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, is needed for the synthesis of DNA and thus plays a role in normal cell division. It is an important vitamin in the preconception period as it helps to reduce the risk of having a child born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida. It is recommended to take at least 400mcg of folic acid daily when planning to conceive and during pregnancy for healthy foetal development.
  • Iodine – Our bodies need iodine for the development of essential thyroid hormones that regulate many metabolic processes including growth and energy use. Adequate iodine is especially important during pregnancy and lactation to support the normal growth, hearing and mental development of the baby. If iodine intake is inadequate prior to pregnancy, the mother’s stores may run low and be unable to support the development of the unborn baby during the later stages of pregnancy.1 It is generally recommended that any woman considering pregnancy, already pregnant or lactating should take an iodine supplement of 150mcg to make sure their needs are met.1