A new campaign is pressuring the Federal government to make vitamin supplements available to all pregnant women.
“Twenty-five per cent of doctors have reported patients who are not filling the scripts they need to because of affordability,” McKell Institute’s Sam Crosby told 7 news.
Women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often can’t fulfill dietary requirements, let alone buy the vitamins they need.
“When you’re trying to buy a cot, a pram, a crib, a car seat, everything else is a real impost,” Mr Crosby said.
The McKell Institute has launched a campaign arguing that vitamins should be free for pregnant women who hold concession cards.
Some vitamins, such as folic acid, can make a huge difference.
“It definitely reduces your risk of spina bifida,” obstetrician Rod Allen said.
“Vitamin D will make the woman’s bones stronger, we know that.”
The UK government already gives free vitamins to expecting women.
Babies born to mothers who are battling financially as 60 per cent more likely to be low or underweight at birth, which can also mean later in life they’ll have health problems.
“It would definitely be a bonus if you could have free supplements for all pregnant women,” Dr Allen said.
A confronting image showing the medication one Australian mum used to help ‘survive’ severe morning sickness during her twin pregnancy has prompted an online petition, calling for medications to be listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Read more HERE.
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