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Midwife's comments on pregnacare

(63 Posts)
LongJohnGlitter Fri 19-Jun-20 19:51:13

Hi there

This post / question is not meant to upset anyone - I am just looking for some advice or reassurance myself.

I'll keep it short: my midwife told me that pregnacare are a waste of money and that multivitamins in general are ineffective. Speaking as someone who was very unwell (couldn't stomach any meat, dairy, even my beloved porridge) - during most of this pregnancy and barely ate, I was relying on the pregnacare for peace of mind. If she's right, I haven't been getting nearly enough of anything - vit d, zinc, b12, iodine etc . I'm 30 weeks, have been feeling better for the past 6 weeks, baby is measuring fine, my bloods are ok, and I'm clinging on to that.

OP’s posts: |
june2007 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:03:04

Well let's say multi vits as pregnacare is just one brand, no necessarily better or worse but generally more expensive than others. I think there is questions about how much is actually absorbed into the body.

pastabest Fri 19-Jun-20 20:03:27

Pregnacare are a waste of money.

You can pick up vitamin D and folic acid separately for pennies in comparison which is all you need extra for pregnancy unless you have it in deficiency.

The rest you will still have picked up from your first even if it has been poor.

Napqueen1234 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:03:39

I wouldn’t agree with that in terms of folic acid etc is proven to be beneficial in pregnancy. If you have a good varied diet I wouldn’t be as worried but a multivitamin would benefit a restricted or poor diet. However she is 100% right that pregnacare as a brand is pointless- get Asda/Superdrug/boots etc own brand pregnancy multivitamin as it’s the exact same contents but much cheaper.

june2007 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:06:39

Isn,t the case that vit D helps the absorption of folic acid?

SunbathingDragon Fri 19-Jun-20 20:07:04

You just need folic acid and vitamin d. Otherwise Pregnacare is overpriced but I disagree it is ineffective as it contains both of them, as well as low level iron which can also be helpful.

june2007 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:07:30

And Folic acid helps to prevent conditions such as spina bifida.

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Fri 19-Jun-20 20:09:35

Yeah, my midwife told me not to bother with a multivitamin and just take folic acid. All of these things are just money-spinners designed to prey on nervous pregnant women.

LongJohnGlitter Fri 19-Jun-20 20:10:18

Sorry - should have been clearer: her comments were about the absorbability of any multivitamin, including pregnacare, and she said I would have been better taking the vitamins seperately. Feel gutted. Much wanted baby and I feel I didn't do my research, and I've hurt her by not getting enough of what she needs.

OP’s posts: |
Randomnessembraced Fri 19-Jun-20 20:16:05

I am not a medic but have had 4 kids. Babies tend to take from your body what they need! So it is your body that looses out. It might be overpriced but be careful with normal multivitamins that are not pregnancy specific due to vitamin a content. Also OP please don’t give yourself a hard time. All we can do as parents right from the outset is our own very best in the circumstances. There is no point making yourself feel guilty etc trying to get things perfect - most important thing is to enjoy every possible good moment with our children, that includes pregnancy where possible because sometimes it is just horrible and really hard so focus on the happy moments of baby kicks etc - you will kids it one day.

SamSeabornforPresident Fri 19-Jun-20 20:18:09

My midwife gave me free vitamins in my last pregnancy. I'm not entitled to any freebies so I'm assuming they go to everyone, so they must reckon there's some benefit.

IHateCoronavirus Fri 19-Jun-20 20:19:16

From what I understand you absorb a certain amount of any given vitamin and the rest you pee out. If you were being sick I dare say some of it would have been absorbed.

CupcakesK Fri 19-Jun-20 20:21:01

Yes there are cheaper ways to take the vitamins you need, but it’s completely your choice which ones you take. You absolutely need vit D, folic acid and probably iron. By the sound of your diet a general multivitamin would also be needed (although this wouldn’t be the case if you were able to eat normally). And many multivitamins aren’t suitable for pregnant women due to having vitamin A in. Considering all of that, you probably wouldn’t spend much less buying them all separately. I took pregnacare for these reasons, although would not normally take a multivit.

I agree, if you have decent diet, there is no point as you will just wee out the vitamins. But anyone with a restricted diet, for whatever reason, will be deficient in some of these vitamins and why would you risk it during pregnancy?

catsarebetterthandogs9 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:21:40

I know there is some ongoing research into how effective multivitamins are, but as far as I'm aware no definitive answer yet.

Pregnacare is a waste of money, any shop bought pregnancy multivitamin is just as good.
You do really only need vitamin D and folic acid (until 12 weeks unless otherwise advised) but a multivitamin can be good if you feel you're generally lacking in some vitamins.

Do not worry about your baby. Your baby will take everything it needs from your body, your body will have more than enough for your baby. If you have a low level of something, it is you that will feel the affects of that, not your baby.

The advise we are told and trained to give is a pregnant multivitamin or vit D and folic acid.
I don't know why she's told you what she has, and I'm sorry it's made you feel so worried but please be assured you have not done anything negative to impact on your baby.

(I am a midwife)

OlivejuiceU2 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:23:53

You need folic acid for first trimester and vitamin D throughout.
My midwife has scared the life out of me by saying there is a link between women taking pregnacare throughout the pregnancy and tongue tie, so basically stop taking it after first trimester. I had been taking up until 30 weeks. Trying not to worry about it.

IntheNameof Fri 19-Jun-20 20:26:08

I lived off tiny amounts of Jacobs crackers and flat Coca Cola during my pregnancy blush
Everything else made me sick. Pregnacare stopped me from getting too worried. Somehow babies ended up 9lbs and my iron levels remained really good.

LongJohnGlitter Fri 19-Jun-20 20:26:49

@catsarebetterthandogs9 thank you, it's nice to hear another midwife's point of view.

Her comments were about how rock hard they are (I had said they are hard to swallow unless I mix it in a bit of soup or smoothie), and how they are probably not broken down in the stomach. I feel like shit, but part of me knows that they could not be sold if they had no bioavailability.

In my case I felt I needed a multivitamin as my diet was atrocious. All I ate crackers and frozen berries because I was ill. That went on until...maybe middle of April.

Thanks everyone for your input. Thank you @Randomnessembraced, yes I thought I was doing my best and best for our baby

OP’s posts: |
CupcakesK Fri 19-Jun-20 20:28:21

Sorry, cross posting. You have absolutely done the right thing. Obviously it would be ideal to get all of the vitamins you need from your diet, but pregnancy does weird things to our eating ability and taking vitamins is the next best thing. Midwives can be great, but they can also be a bit preachy about what they think is best and she has definitely misunderstood the evidence here (btw I’m a pharmacist)
Unfortunately, as you’ll probably find while you’re pregnant, and then a parent there will always be someone/advice that makes you feel rubbish. You’re doing great x

Twickerhun Fri 19-Jun-20 20:30:05

I don’t think you should take normal multi vitamin in pregnancy? Either Take special pregnancy multi vitamin or vit d and folic acid without the rest. Something about too much Vit A in normal multi vitamins which can damage the babies eyesore in utero?

Pinkblueberry Fri 19-Jun-20 20:30:25

You can’t take all those vitamins separately, there’s about 20 in a pregnacare tablet. There are vitamins in food as well. Those combined with pregnacare should be more than enough. Your midwife is talking bollocks. I’m not saying pregnacare is better than other vitamins available, but it certainly isn’t worse or damaging to take them - they definitely won’t cause vitamin deficiencies hmm

LongJohnGlitter Fri 19-Jun-20 20:31:39

Thanks @CupcakesK, you hit the nail on the head. My diet was so poor, and I made sure I ate with the pregnacare, thinking it would be absorbed and all go to bub.

I just have my doubts about what she said: my thryoid is fine, b12 is fine, and iron is fine (stores are a little low but GP wasn't worried, just told me to work on my diet til my next blood test). I ate so badly for almost 5 months, I can't explain the good results other than thinking the pregnacare is working. All I can do now is just continue to do my best with diet and keep taking the vitamins

OP’s posts: |
Pinkblueberry Fri 19-Jun-20 20:31:52

And as above, you need to take regular multivitamins with caution as they may contain vitamin A or not enough folic acid and vit D.

catsarebetterthandogs9 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:34:24

@LongJohnGlitter they will have been extensively tested, they will be able to break down. Think how many millions of women use solely them every year for their pregnancies. We'd know by now if they were totally useless.

@OlivejuiceU2 yes there is some interesting research into whether Folic Acid causes tongue ties, there's been an increase in tongue ties since the advise for giving folic acid changed. I'm not sure if it was ever concluded and I suppose the benefits outweigh the risks on that one anyway!

KayBM Fri 19-Jun-20 20:35:21

@LongJohnGlitter

You sound like you've just been trying to do your best for baby by taking vitamins. I think that's great. Some people struggle to take any vitamins, a friend of mine said they all seemed to disagree with her

You can only do your best on what you know at the time. Pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding...it can all be so hard.

I know, I hoped to breastfeed for at least a year- but for various reasons had to give up really quickly. Still feel guilty!

userabcname Fri 19-Jun-20 20:36:22

I've heard this before but it's all very confusing because the NHS also advises pregnant women and children up to the age of 6 take vitamins...why would they say that if there's no benefit? Anyway, don't worry OP, I had HG in my first pregnancy and basically lived on coca cola and dry toast for 9 months. I had a chunky baby who has been very healthy and happy so far - he is 3 now! And I couldn't even keep down the vitamin I took everyday with him. I'm sure your baby is fine.

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