Which prenatal vitamins can help prepare me for pregnancy?

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Hi, I’m not yet pregnant and starting to think about taking prenatal vitamins to get my body ready. I’ve read up a little on what I need but I’m having trouble finding the right thing at the pharmacies in Thailand. Can you recommend where to buy them and the product name/brand that fits the requirements? Thanks

Prenatal vitamins are vitamin supplements that you take the month before and all through your pregnancy. Generally, an adequate intake of folic acid is essential a month prior to pregnancy which you can choose any brand that’s labelled vitamin for “prenatal” and that has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and you can find this vitamin from any pharmacy shop.

While prenatal vitamins are a complement to a healthy diet, there are so many factors that can help you to have healthy pregnancy. We would recommend to follow some guidelines which include lifestyle, health, immunization as well as the medicine in order to prepare your health for conceiving.

For Lifestyle and health, you can change according to these guidelines.

If you have immunization records, please make sure that you have them all. Otherwise you need to take a blood test in order to check the immunizations. Your doctor will recommend which vaccine is required for pregnant preparation.

Here is the check-list to run through for healthy preparation. This can be achieved for both partners (husband and wife).

Pre-existing medical problems (hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid disorder, cardiac problems and drug history)

  • Stabilize medical conditions and ensure that medical control is optimal
  • Check that drugs needed are safe for use in pregnancy and do not affect sperm function
  • Where appropriate, refer woman to an obstetric physician for advice on implications of the condition in pregnancy

Weight

  • Check BMI
  • Modify diet and do more exercise to lose weight and aim for BMI < 30. Women with BMI < 20 should be advised to gain weight and reduce exercise if they are exercising excessively. Being considerably underweight is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and intrauterine growth retardation. Proper diet and exercise are important for optimal reproductive function.

Smoking & caffeine intake

  • Both partners are advised to stop smoking
  • Caffeine intake should be less than 2 cups of coffee daily

Recreational drugs

  • Both partners are advised to stop using recreational drugs

Check-up the immune system of both partners

  • For the safety of the child. Some diseases may be genetically transmitted to the child and these include anemia, thalassemia, and hemophilia. In some families, the diseases have been transmitted through several generations. A health check-up before pregnancy will help to identify the potential risks that may affect the unborn child. It will also help in planning your pregnancy and to ensure that your pregnancy is safe. Blood test will be done for ABO Group for Hematology, Rh Group, Complete blood count, Hemoglobin Typing, VDRL, Anti-HIV, HBs Ag, Anti-HBs, Rubella Igs (women only), etc. Please read details
  • If you don’t have particular antibodies in your immune system such as for Hepatitis B or Rubella, then you need vaccines to boost your immune system at least 3 months before pregnancy

Boonsaeng Wutthiphan ,M.D.
OB/GYN and Infertility Specialist
Samitivej Hospital

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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