Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts so that it can work properly.
You get many vitamins from having a healthy balanced diet but while you are pregnant or breastfeeding the NHS recommends that you take healthy start vitamins to support the health of you and your child.
Healthy start women’s vitamin tablets contain:
- Folic acid: to reduce the chance of your child having spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine doesn’t form properly
- Vitamin C: to help maintain healthy tissue in the body, a strong immune system and absorb iron from food
- Vitamin D: to help your body to absorb calcium to keep your bones strong and help your child’s bones to develop properly
- One daily tablet of healthy start vitamins for women gives you all the extra folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin D that you need
Please ask your community midwife how to get your FREE vitamins and when your baby is born please ask your Health visitor about FREE vitamins for them too.
Healthy Start Scheme
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.
You can use your card to buy:
plain liquid cow’s milk
fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables
fresh, dried and tinned pulses
infant formula milk based on cow’s milk
You can also use your card to collect:
Health Start vitamins – these support you during your pregnancy and breastfeeding
vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years’ old