Prenatal vitamins are often marketed as a solution to reducing complications during pregnancy.
Complications and miscarriage in pregnancy are not uncommon. There is a strong established link between the mothers diet before conception and during pregnancy relating to the child’s health and development. We looked at the evidence fromover 40 trials (involving 276,820 women and 278,413 pregnancies) to see if vitamin supplementation had any impact on rates of miscarriage and stillbirth.
A recent review of prenatal vitamins using randomised controlled trials of the Cochrane database found good evidence that using multivitamins, iron and folic acid during pregnancy reduced the risk of stillbirths. The evidence showed that taking a prenatal multivitamin every day during pregnancy may reduce losing the baby up to 55% compared with not talking a multivitamin.
Are there any other factors to consider?
It is not just prenatal vitamin supplements that make a difference, child development is known to be affected by the mother's prepregnancy diet and lifestyle.
The evidence for prenatal vitamin supplementation shows that vitamins are stronger at reducing stillbirth risk than miscarriage risk. This may be because many miscarriages are due to poor chromosomes and DNA mutations for which there is no cure or fix.
Poor dietary intake of vitamins has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, thereforesupplementing women with vitamins either prior to or in early pregnancy may help prevent miscarriage and reduce risk of stillbirths.
What are the best prenatal vitamins?
Unfortunately a lot of high street pregnancy vitamin brands use low quality nutrients for their supplements. This really is a case where the higher the price the more you get foryour money. Brands such as Solgar, BioCare, Nutri Advanced, Bionutri are significantly superior to Pregnacare or Zita West formulations.
Taking a multivitamin prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy is not a health fad and can dramatically increase your success for a healthy pregnancy without complications. However, it is not just about taking a Prenatal vitamin that is important, you also need to look at the quality of that supplement and ensure that it is not filled with binders, fillers, excipients and inorganic materials such as pork gelatine.