Are Pregnancy Vitamins A Waste Of Money?

13 July 2016
Are Pregnancy Vitamins A Waste Of Money?

When you're expecting you do as much as you can to ensure the health and well-being of your baby, and for most of us that includes taking extra pregnancy vitamin supplements. But there's a new report just been released claiming that pregnancy multivitamins are an "unnecessary expense" and don't improve the health of either mother or baby.

That isn't to say that pregnant women shouldn't take any supplements, but the experts concluded that pregnant women should focus on taking the single vitamins recommended by the NHS.

The new research was done by a large panel of experts who investigates the evidence on folic acid, vitamin D, iron, vitamins C, E, A and multivitamins in pregnancy.

They published their findings in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, and they found good evidence for the use of folic acid to reduce the risk of spina bifida, evidence for the use of vitamin D - which is important for the ability to absorb calcium, and for bone and tooth formation. But they found "no evidence" that women should take pregnancy multivitamins, which often contain 20 or more vitamins and minerals.

The report said that pregnant women are subject to "heavy marketing" of multivitamins, but much of the evidence comes from studies carried out "in low-income countries, where women are more likely to be undernourished or malnourished than within the UK population".

For most women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant, complex multivitamin and mineral preparations promoted for use during pregnancy are unlikely to be needed and are an unnecessary expense.
Pregnant women may be vulnerable to messages about giving their baby the best start in life, regardless of cost, and be unaware that the only supplements recommended for all women during pregnancy are folic acid and vitamin D, which are available at relatively low cost.

– DRUG AND THERAPEUTICS BULLETIN

Free vitamins are available to pregnant women on low incomes through the Healthy Start scheme, and those are limited to the Folic Acid and Vitamin D that are recommended by NHS health professionals.

Does this new report affect your opinions on pregnancy multivitamins, or would you still continue to buy and take them?

If you want any advice on nutrition and healthy eating during pregnancy you can find information on the NHS website here, or consult your midwife or health visitor.

17 comments

  • Stacy R.

    It's not new information though is it?

    They've always said that if you eat a well balanced diet Multi-vitamins are a waste of time and money whether you're pregnant or not.

  • BecciandTejay S.

    hope you get the free nhs ones xx

  • Tracie H.

    I only took folic acid that I was prescribed

  • Victoria T.

    The NHS funds multivitamins throughout pregnancy in most areas now.

  • Toni C.

    If you have a good balanced diet them yes you will pee most of it out, but in reality most people don't have a great diet so yes they have a role to play

  • Danielle C.

    Multi vitamins are good if your like me and suffer severe sickness so struggle to eat and keep anything down. (does people forget some of us have awful sickness the whole pregnancy?) so they are good in that way as your still getting your vitamins, however they are huge and I found it hard to keep them down too. It's hard to get all your vitamins weather it be through food or tablets when your so sick in pregnancy.

    • Vicky S.

      So I'm not to only one to find them to big and hard to swallow! Some days they made me gag so much I couldn't take them.

    • Danielle C.

      I was the same, why have they got yo make them so huge?! Xx

    • Sally W.

      I never understood why they didn't make them half the size and say to take 2 a day! I gave up trying them and got the ones from sure start centres

  • Natasha G.

    I took a multi vitamin from about we weeks due to very bad sickness & I felt much better & not as tired!!

  • Vicky S.

    Now you tell me when I not got long left and already brought them x :neutral_face:

  • Kim S.

    I did say they are a sate of money lol x

  • Amanda M.

    I took folic acid for the first 10 weeks (ish) then switched to a multivitamin and found this made me very sick it took me a few weeks to figure it out but as soon as I stopped taking it is stop being sick. I just made sure I still eat well because the multivitamins for after pregnancy are full of calcium and as I suffer and currently have 2 stones (1 in each kidney) I don't need to add to that!

  • Andrea L.

    I only took folic acid and ate well but for some who suffer from terrible sickness and can't eat much definitely benefit from a multi vitamin

  • Stacey T.

    Ah look , it doesn't really matter that I never remember to take mine :blush: xx

  • Jonathan H.

    Yeah I heard that on the news yesterday, forgot to say. Xxxxxx

  • Dal

    I took Pregnacare Max when I was pregnant, which at 20 quid a box was pretty steep (although it was often on 3 for 2). Due to non pregnancy related issues I delivered early at 30 weeks and my baby was 3lbs 14oz, which although it doesn't sound it, is massive for such a premature baby - I had struggled to eat for the first 5 months of my pregnancy and I believe that he was so big because of the vitamins! I could be wrong but I would pay double the price for the vitamins for any future pregnancies - even if just for my own peace of mind! 

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