Know your nutrients - Pregnancy and nutrition

April 2014, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

If you’re a woman, the most important time to make sure you’re taking in enough nutrients is during pregnancy, when you’re responsible not only for your own health, but also for the health of your baby. While you should stop taking most of your supplements – or continue them with your doctors blessing – the following supplements may help support a healthy pregnancy and birth...however, it is always recommended that you confirm this and all other food, supplements and beverages with your doctor, health professional or GP.

If you’re a woman, the most important time to make sure you’re taking in enough nutrients is during pregnancy, when you’re responsible not only for your own health, but also for the health of your baby.

While you should stop taking most of your supplements – or continue them with your doctors blessing – the following supplements may help support a healthy pregnancy and birth...however, it is always recommended that you confirm this and all other food, supplements and beverages with your doctor, health professional or GP.

Omega-3 fish oil

It’s important to emphasize the importance of DHA for both the brain development of the child and also to help reduce the risk of post natal depression. During pregnancy, the baby ‘robs’ the mother’s supply of DHA (an important essential fatty acid found in fish oil).  As DHA is a major factor in maintaining a good sense of well being, it is believed DHA deficiency is a significant factor in post-natal depression. Because the body cannot make DHA, it must come from the diet.  Eating fish and fish oil supplements are the most effective ways to get this.

Research has shown that the DHA in fish oil helps support healthy birth weights and gestational periods for newborns, as well as intelligence and attention span in early years (ref 1).

Our Omega-3/DHA fish oil is a good option, including during pregnancy, however our other two versions – Omega 3/DHA Premium and Omega 3/QH Ultra – while containing safe and effective ingredients in addition to the fish oil for normal everyday use, are not recommended during your pregnancy without you seeking your doctor’s advice.

Kiwi-Klenz

Making sure your body can absorb nutrients effectively is one of the first steps toward getting enough nutrients to feed you and your baby.

Because it is made exclusively from the whole fruit of the kiwi, there is nothing in Kiwi-Klenz to put you or your baby at risk during pregnancy. It is essentially the equivalent of eating several whole kiwifruits (ref 2). In fact, because it helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently, it could ensure that the foods you eat help nourish you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.

Folate

According to experts, folate, also known as the B vitamin folic acid, is one of the most important nutrients pregnant woman can take to reduce the risk of serious birth defects (ref 3).

Found in leafy greens including kale and spinach, zucchini, orange juice and enriched grains, low levels of folate have been linked to neural tube defects, including spinal bifida (the incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column), anencephaly (the underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele (a condition in which the brain protrudes from an opening of the skull).

Because most of these conditions occur in the earliest stages of pregnancy, it’s important to seek advice from your doctor and ensure that your folate intake is adequate at the earliest opportunity.

Magnesium

Magnesium and calcium work hand in hand, magnesium relaxing muscles while calcium stimulates them so they contract.

During pregnancy, proper levels of magnesium may help limit the risk of premature birth by preventing early uterine contractions. It can also help prevent poor fetal growth, preeclampsia and miscarriage, experts say.

Magnesium is an important building block for healthy bones and teeth. It also is important for tissue repair as well as regulating insulin and blood sugar and supporting the function of certain enzymes.

It is found at its highest levels in seeds including pumpkin and sunflower, millet, salmon, bran, wheat germ, quinoa, nuts, brown rice and spinach.

Vitamin D

It’s important that pregnant women get good sensible sun exposure during their pregnancy. In fact, a new study shows that moms who get adequate levels of vitamin D during pregnancy give birth to babies with stronger muscles, not only at birth, but also in early childhood. (ref 4)

Because poor muscle strength in young adulthood is linked to some serious health conditions and other unfavorable outcomes later in life, the lack of nourishment during pregnancy could follow a child throughout his or her entire lifespan.

Research from the Medical Research Council at the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism earlier this year.

The body manufactures vitamin D after time spent in the sun, but it is also found in fish, eggs, fortified cereals and milk.

Things to avoid

To help prevent putting your baby at risk, during pregnancy, it’s crucial to follow common sense and strictly avoid alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. However there are additional things to avoid during pregnancy, including:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • MSG (often found in take-outs)
  • Diet sodas
  • Vegetables oil
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial food dyes or colors

Instead, focus on healthy living. Take the supplements your doctor or GP recommends and make sure to eat a diet rich in high quality protein, vegetables, healthy fats (from avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts, especially) and a mixture of whole fruits and berries.

Reference:

  1. Psychology Today – Fish Oil Makes Smarter Babies http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complementary-medicine/200907/fish-oil-makes-smarter-babies
  2. Xtend-Life Kiwi-Klenz http://www.xtend-life.com/product/Kiwi-Klenz_Digestive_Supplement/FAQ.aspx
  3. Wellness Mama - Supplements for Pregnancy and Nursing http://wellnessmama.com/4403/supplements-for-pregnancy-and-nursing/
  4. Medical News Today - Vitamin D levels during pregnancy linked to offspring muscle strength http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270823.php

Leave a Comment

Topics you might be interested in