x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Brides to get prenatal vitamins

Corniche Hospital will offer three months' worth of prenatal vitamins to women visiting the Bride Show in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Female doctors will encourage would-be brides to consider their prenatal health along with centrepiece arrangements and where to find the right veil at today's opening of the four-day Bride Show in the capital.

Dieticians and health experts from the Corniche Hospital, the emirate's largest maternity centre, will be on hand with the doctors to talk to young women about their health before conceiving.

The hospital's participation in the event is part of its preconception care programme, launched this year to encourage women to take prenatal vitamins - specifically folic acid - at least three months before an anticipated pregnancy.

Folic acid helps reduce cases of spina bifida, a birth defect that involves incomplete development of the spinal cord.

The hospital's stand at the bride show will distribute three months' worth of prenatal vitamins, which will include the required amounts of folic acid, vitamins A, C, D and E, B6 and B12, calcium, iron and zinc.

Amira Walli, the director of public health at the hospital, said women will be encouraged to start their vitamins three months before they plan to get pregnant, and continue throughout the pregnancy, and even during their breast-feeding months.

"We will also launch a monthly education seminar at the Women's Health Centre in Karamah [in Abu Dhabi] which will be free for anyone to sign up for and which will give women advice on how to adjust their lifestyle and prepare their bodies for pregnancy," she said.

Prenatal vitamins will also be distributed at the monthly sessions, which will be conducted in Arabic and English.

The Bride Show Abu Dhabi begins today and continues until Saturday, from 2.30pm to 10.30pm at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

hkhalaf@thenational.ae