Multivitamins for expectant mothers create health benefits for children

Multivitamins for expectant mothers create health benefits for children

Folic acid supplements for mothers-to-be? That’s a given. But while they’re taking their daily folic acid pill, why not include a multivitamin?

About three years ago, The Lancet published a study that examined birth weight of babies born to 1,200 mothers who had been divided into two groups to receive folic acid and iron supplements during their pregnancy or multivitamin and mineral supplements.

Results showed that average birth weight of babies born to the multivitamin moms was slightly higher than the average birth weight in the iron/folic acid group. Even a small improvement in birth weight is considered significant because low birth weight is associated with infant mortality, cognitive development, and increased risk of disease.

The UK team that conducted the 2005 study has just reported follow up findings after following more than 900 of the children born in their original study. Three years later, the children in the multi group are generally still heavier than the kids in the folic acid/iron group. The multi kids also have larger chest and head circumference, and their average blood pressure is lower.

You can find more information about multivitamin benefits for mothers and their children in the e-Alert “Throwing a Wide Net” (5/22/07), at this link:

“Maternal Micronutrient Supplements Boost Baby Weights” Stephen Daniells, NutraIngredients-USA, 2/8/08,