The Pregnancy Care Guidelines from the Department of Health recommend pregnant women should aim to reach their recommended daily serves of foods from the five core food groups along with supplementation of two essential nutrients for pregnancy – Folic Acid and Iodine. The guidelines state:
Inform women that dietary supplementation with Folic Acid, from 12 weeks before conception and throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, reduces the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect and recommend a dose of 500μg per day.
Advise women who are pregnant to take an Iodine supplement of 150μg each day. Women with pre-existing thyroid conditions should seek advice from their medical practitioner before taking a supplement.
Despite their best intentions, many women find it hard to meet the additional nutritional needs of pregnancy from diet alone, particularly if suffering from nausea and vomitingor specific food cravings and dislikes. Therefore, specially formulated nutrition supplements can play an important role in helping women meet the increased nutritional requirements of pregnancy at a time when they may not be able to eat enough or get enough variety from diet alone.
Supplementationis recommended for two essential nutrients before and during pregnancy – Folic Acid and Iodine – as it is not possible to meet the increased requirements from diet alone.
Department of Health. Pregnancy Care Guidelines.