Pregnancy often feels like a minefield…

Pregnancy has never been safer. Ironically, as major risks have receded into the past, minor risks have taken centre stage. Pregnancy often feels like a minefield: Watch what you eat, watch how you exercise, watch what you do. But many of these worries are based on myths.

Here are five of the most stubborn:

Myth 1: Prenatal vitamins are necessary for healthy pregnancies

What to Expect, the website affiliated with the famous pregnancy advice book, explains prenatal vitamins as “an insurance policy, offering you the security of knowing that your body is stocking up on the most essential baby-making vitamins it needs to conceive and nourish your baby-to-be through a healthy pregnancy. BabyCenter, a popular parenting website, answers the question, “Are prenatal vitamins really necessary?” with a solid “Yes.”

Where did we get the idea that big, expensive multivitamins are necessary for a healthy pregnancy? As with so many aspects of nutrition in pregnancy, researchers studied women from developing countries, often women who were severely nutritionally deprived. Not surprisingly, for women who are chronically malnourished and lacking essential vitamins and nutrients, prenatal supplements can make a difference. Yet that does not mean they’re necessary for women who already eat all the vitamins and minerals they need.

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For women who aren’t malnourished, nearly every vitamin and mineral contained in those bulky pills (with the exception of folate and iron) appears to have no impact on pregnancy outcomes. Since folate and iron are each available on their own, there’s no need to take a huge, often nauseating prenatal vitamin, which does little more than give women very expensive urine.

Author: ANA Newswire