Pregnant women should always check with a healthcare professional before taking any medicine, says ASMI
The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has reminded consumers that pregnant women should always check with a healthcare professional before taking any medicine.
“Pregnant women should determine whether or not they need to take a nutritional supplement in consultation with a healthcare professional,” says ASMI Regulatory and Legal Director, Steve Scarff.
“Essential nutrients should come from a healthy diet but repeated research studies have revealed that Australians are not meeting the recommended daily nutrient requirements1.
“Vitamins, minerals and supplements are no substitute for a balanced diet, however, they do have a legitimate place in preventing a nutritional deficiency when dietary intake is inadequate.
“This could be particularly important for pregnant women who require higher levels of specific nutrients such as folic acid and iron.
“Folic acid is an essential nutrient for women during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“Folic acid supplementation is recommended by a range of organisations such as the World Health Organisation, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to prevent neural tube defects2, 3, 4, 5.
“The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends a daily dose of folic acid of at least 400 micrograms to aid the prevention of neural tube defects4.
“The NHMRC recommends pregnant women consume 27mg of iron daily whereas the recommended daily intake for women under 50 years of age is 18mg4.
“It is advisable that pregnant women consult with a healthcare professional about the recommended levels of supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding,” he added.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Health Survey, October 2012.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. Australia’s Health 2010. Australia’s health series no. 12. Cat. no. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW.
- World Health Organisation. Guideline: Daily iron and folic acid supplementation in pregnant women. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/77770/1/9789241501996_eng.pdf
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/folate
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Pregnancy. https://www.ranzcog.edu.au