Do you need to take folic acid and vitamin supplements daily throughout pregnancy?
They are not compulsory, although they are good for expectant mothers, said Dr Ting Hua Sieng of The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre, a Singapore Medical Group clinic.
Folic acid is a vitamin that can help prevent neural tube defects, which involve the incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord, among other benefits.
“If the pregnant mother is already eating a healthy balanced diet, she should have all the folic acid and vitamins she needs from her diet,” said the specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology.
However, expectant mothers often have poor appetites due to morning sickness and other problems.
That’s when supplements become important, said Dr Ting.
The recommended dose of folic acid for pregnant women is 1mg daily, said Dr Ting. However, taking more is not an issue as it is water-soluble and gets excreted in the urine, she said.
Unlike folic acid and vitamin C, vitamins A, D, E and K are not water-soluble.
One should not consume too much of these as the excess cannot be easily excreted through urine, said Dr Ting.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.