Healthy Start Vitamins

Birmingham Healthy Start Vitamins

The Healthy Start Vitamins are FREE in Birmingham*. They are available from midwives, Health Visiting teams, some Health Centres, Children’s Centres and some pharmacies. The Vitamins are for:

  • Children under 4 years old
  • Pregnant women from the start of their pregnancy up until their child is 12 months old

*  They are FREE for all registered with a Birmingham GP

Why should I take Healthy Start Vitamins?

The Healthy Start Vitamins are FREE for Birmingham families and provide important nutrients for growth and development. The vitamins for children contain vitamins A, C and D. The vitamins for pregnant and breastfeeding women contain folic acid and vitamins C and D.

Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones and teeth. As infants grow at a rapid rate it is important that both mum and baby get the required amount.

What happens if we don’t get enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D provides protection against rickets. This is a condition that causes bone pain, poor growth and soft, weak bones that can lead to bone deformities such as ‘bow legs’. Growing children can develop rickets which can slow their walking and development. If pregnant women don’t have enough in their bodies their babies are born with low levels of this important vitamin and this can, in severe cases, cause fits/seizures.

Can’t I get enough vitamin D through diet?

Very few foods contain vitamin D. Most vitamin D is formed in the body by sunlight acting on exposed skin. We don’t get much sunshine in the UK and tend to cover up because of the cold. The best way to be sure we are getting enough Vitamin D is to take Healthy Start vitamins.

Avoid rickets by:

  • Taking Healthy Start vitamins during pregnancy and until your child is 1 year old
  • Giving children Healthy Start  vitamin drops until they reach 4 years old
  • Getting some sunlight exposure on skin whilst taking care not to get sunburnt
  • Eating foods with vitamin D in them such as oily fish, eggs (choose lion stamped eggs or ensure they are well-cooked if not), margarine and fortified breakfast cereals.