January 27, 2010 • Washington
Prenatal vitamins, which contribute to the health of expectant mothers and their babies, are being offered for free at TOP Food & Drug stores.
TOP Food stores provide free prenatal vitamins and fluoride supplements to anyone who has prescriptions for them. No insurance plan is required. The prenatal vitamins usually cost $8-$19 per month. The fluoride supplements, recommended for children living in households without a fluoridated water supply, retail for approximately $6 per month.
“TOP Food stores offer programs, products and information that help families lead healthy lives,” said Andrew Charter, Vice President of Pharmacy for parent company Haggen, Inc. “To further assist expectant mothers and families with young children, we’re pleased to be the first major grocer in this region to offer free prenatal vitamins and fluoride supplements.”
Most pregnant women are advised to take prenatal vitamins, which are specially formulated to compensate for any nutritional deficiencies in an expectant mother’s diet. The free prenatal vitamins, which are meant to supplement rather than replace healthy diets, at TOP Food stores include folic acid, iron and calcium.
Folic acid can reduce the risk of a baby suffering from a serious birth defect such as spina bifida. Calcium taken during a pregnancy can prevent an expectant mother from losing her own bone density while the fetus uses the mineral for bone growth. Iron improves the ability of the mother’s and baby’s blood to carry oxygen.
The prenatal vitamins also include vitamins A, C, D and others.
Free fluoride supplements are available at TOP Food stores in drops and chewable tablets for families with prescriptions. The American Dental Association recommends them for children from 6 months to 16 years old who live in nonfluoridated areas.
Haggen, Inc. operates 33 stores in Washington and Oregon under the TOP Food & Drug and Haggen Food & Pharmacy names. Headquartered in Bellingham, Haggen, Inc. is the eighth-largest private company based in the state of Washington. For more information, visit www.Top-Foods.com.
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