Vitamin supplementation in pregnancy

Authors

  • Susan Duckworth MB BS,

    Clinical Research Fellow
    1. Division of Women's Health, King's College London School of Medicine, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
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  • Hiten D Mistry PhD,

    Postdoctoral Research Associate
    1. Division of Women's Health, King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK
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  • Lucy C Chappell PhD MRCOG

    Clinical Senior Lecturer in Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Corresponding author
    • Division of Women's Health, King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK
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Correspondence: Lucy Chappell. Email: lucy.chappell@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Key content

  • Pregnant women should take 400 micrograms/day of folic acid periconceptionally.
  • High-dose vitamins C and E are not recommended.
  • All pregnant women are now advised to take vitamin D supplements.
  • Less than 50% of pregnant women in the UK take the vitamins recommended for pregnancy.
  • Further collaborative research is required to understand the role of other vitamins in improving maternal and perinatal wellbeing in high and low-resourced countries.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the role of vitamins in pregnancy.
  • To gain an overview of recommendations on vitamin supplementation in pregnancy.
  • To be aware of the benefits and harm of vitamin supplementation in pregnancy.

Ethical Issues

  • Is it appropriate to identify women at risk of vitamin deficiency based on parameters such as ethnicity and body mass index?
  • How should potential benefits and harms be balanced for mother and fetus when considering vitamin supplementation in pregnancy?
  • Is it ethical to consider food fortification with vitamins for the benefit of one group (pregnant women) when there may be harm for other groups (older persons)?

Ancillary