Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary?

            A healthy diet is preferable to supplemental vitamins and minerals during pregnancy.  Despite the numerous vitamins and minerals found a “prenatal vitamin” purchased at the store, only one has been shown to improve the outcome of your pregnancy – Folic Acid. ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends adding 400 micrograms of folic acid to your daily intake both before you get pregnant and after you have become pregnant.  In addition, 27mg. of supplemental Iron is recommended during pregnancy to help in red blood cell formation.

            DHA is a fatty acid important for brain development. Although adding DHA supplements has not been proven to improve the brain development of your baby, there is no harm in adding DHA during pregnancy.  Ideally this can be obtained by eating 2 servings (4 ounces each) of fish per week or taking a supplement equal to 200 micrograms per day.

            Prenatal vitamins contain less than the recommended daily intake of Calcium. ACOG recommends adding 1000 mg per day. If you have trouble with dairy products, a supplement of Calcium should be added.

            You can get too much of a good thing.  Exceeding recommended daily allowances of certain vitamins have the potential of causing harm.

Bioidentical Hormones

In August of 2012, ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) issued its Committee Opinion on the use of compounded bioidentical hormones.

*  The is no evidence showing the superiority of bioidentical hormones over conventional hormone replacement therapy.

*  There are additional risks to bioidentical hormones. They vary in purity and potency, and do not have effectiveness or safety data.

*  Underdosing and overdosing are possible.

*  Salivary, serum, and urinary testing to individualize treatment is not supported by the evidence.

* For women seeking benefits of hormone therapy, conventional therapy is preferred over compounded bioidentical hormone therapy.


  With an effective date of April 15, 2012, the physicians of Affiliates for Women's Health are participating providers for the Scott and White Health Plan (SWHP).  Patients with SWHP insurance may use our physicians and receive "in-network" benefits. We are excited about the new relationship and look forward to providing continuity of care, uninterrupted by changes in insurance coverage.  "Welcome" to all new patients, and "Welcome Back" to prior patients who had to change providers due to their insurance change.

Physical Activity in Pregnancy

In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines on physical activity for pregnant women.  During pregnancy, healthy women should begin or continue moderate intensity exercise for 150 minutes per week. Moderate intensity exercise is equivalent to brisk walking. Pregnant women, who routinely exercise vigorously, may continue their exercise program as long as they remain healthy. Vigorous exercise includes running or jogging.  In 1964, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) ended is recommendation that exercise be limited to a maximum heart rate of 140.

Using The Internet for Health Information

  The Internet is a valuable resource in promoting health and fitness. With so much information available, it is often difficult to separate reliable information from information that is false, misleading, or predatory.  The following “warning signs” should alert the reader to use precautions when making health related decisions.

            - Products are for sale on the site, and personal information is requested

            - Patient testimonials are used that can not be verified

            - Credentials and identifying information about the site “experts” are missing

            - Resources showing where the information was obtained are not listed

            - Dates are not given for the information provided

            - Only the benefits are listed without mention of potential risks

            - Sensational or “impact” words with non-scientific, vague meanings are used                (toxins, heavy metals, detoxification)

  Do your research carefully; there is plenty of reliable information available. Unfortunately, fraud, myth, fallacies, and fads are cleverly disguised