Q: How important are Elevit or other pregnancy multivitamins before or during pregnancy?
In the first trimester, it is very important to take at least 500 micrograms of folic acid (folate) each day. It is actually vital to start taking folic acid for about two to three months prior to conception as it has been proven to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. After 13 weeks [of pregnancy], this is no longer required.
A lot of women are also mildly deficient in iodine and it is hard to measure the deficiency, so take an iodine supplement, which should be continued throughout the pregnancy.
—Peter Wood, Obstetrician-Gynaecologist, Sydney Adventist Hospital
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