Supplement use by women during pregnancy: data from the Massachusetts General Hospital National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Jun;19(3):437-41. doi: 10.1007/s00737-015-0586-0. Epub 2015 Oct 16.


Women of reproductive age commonly use integrative treatments. However, the reproductive safety for most complementary products lacks systematic study. We aimed to study the use of supplements by women in a prospective pregnancy registry. The Massachusetts General Hospital National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics was established to evaluate the reproductive safety of atypical antipsychotics. Exposed and control participants were systematically queried about the use of vitamins and supplements. Slightly greater than half (53.2 %) of the participants eligible for analysis (N = 534) were using at least one vitamin or supplement at the time of enrollment, not including prenatal vitamins or folic acid. The most common supplements used were omega-3 fatty acids (38.0 %), vitamin D (11.0 %), calcium (8.2 %), and iron (4.7 %). Probiotics and melatonin were used by 2.6 and 0.9 %, respectively. In this prospective pregnancy registry, we found that over half of the participants were taking supplements or vitamins other than prenatal vitamins and folic acid. These findings underscore the need for active query on the part of health care providers about the use of supplements during pregnancy, and the need to obtain rigorous reproductive safety and efficacy data for supplements used by pregnant women and reproductive aged women.

Keywords: Antipsychotics; Integrative; Pregnancy; Supplements; Vitamin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Folic Acid