Would-be mums are being upsold expensive pregnancy multivitamins by pharmacies, according to Consumer NZ.
A mystery shopper sting has found that pharmacies are promoting pregnancy multivitamins with overblown claims - by trying to sell a more expensive multivitamin than the plain folic acid requested.
The Ministry of Health advises women planning a pregnancy to take a folic acid supplement, and pregnant women an iodine supplement as well - no other vitamins or minerals are routinely recommended.
Consumer NZ says the products that were recommended at pharmacies were at least seven times more expensive than plain folic acid.
There is little evidence spending extra money on a pregnancy multivitamin compared with plain folic acid and iodine improves a woman's health or that of her baby, says chief executive Sue Chetwin.
"Would-be mums would be better off using that money to buy healthy foods," she said.