patient preparing two pills in the palm of her hand

By Dr Tan Shu Qi, Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Unsure about which prenatal supplements and vitamins to take? Relax! Here's a handy list of the benefits these recommended supplements have for your pregnancy and your baby:

1. Helps your baby's brain and eye development

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): Take 300mg of this omega-3 fat daily

2. Lowers risk of neural tube birth defects

Folic acid: Folic acid prevents abnormalities in your baby's brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida. Take 5mg or at least 400 to 800mcg a day

3. Increases your iron intake to form red blood cells and prevent anaemia

Iron: Anaemia is a common issue in pregnancy. To manage this, the recommended dosage is 27mg of iron supplementation

4. Increases absorption of iron

Vitamin C: Vitamin C aids iron absorption, so have a glass of orange juice or eat a bowl of cereal more often. Alternatively, you can take some vitamin C supplements. The daily recommended dosage is 100 to 200mg

5. Builds your baby's bones and teeth

Calcium: Calcium helps with the baby's bone development while maintaining the mother's bone density in pregnancy. The daily recommended dosage is 1000mg

vitamin c fruits 

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Consult your doctor or gynaecologist about the supplements which are suitable for you to take and their dosages. Your doctor or gynaecologist may lower or raise the dosages accordingly to your individual constitution and needs.

Read more:

Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore