To conclude my series on pregnancy, I thought it was worth doing a little extra blog more specifically on the vitamins and nutrients that will best see you through your term and after.
Of course it’s always best to ensure that you eat a well balanced food diet whilst pregnant – but it’s also true that this may not always be that easy, depending on your situation and also morning (+ afternoon + evening) sickness! Plus the fact that you may think you’re eating healthily, but don’t forget, our produce is often over farmed in nutrient deficient soil, meaning the nutrients simply are not there. In addition to this, stress, heavy metals and many other toxins in our environment all contribute to nutrient losses, then of course we have pesticides, herbicides, all compounding the problem.
Pregnancy places a greater demand nutritionally on your body – you will need more protein, nutrients & energy! Though I would also recommend these if you are planning to become pregnant as well.
The Top Four would be
- Folates – (folic acid, a B vitamin) found in beans & leafy greens, has been shown to reduce risk of neural tube defects (including Spina Bifida)
- Iron – you produce a lot more blood when pregnant so need more iron, for healthy red blood cell formation
- Iodine – found in seafood, fruit & vegetables this may in short supply as it is not in large enough quantities in these foods, this may affect the babies nervous system & cognitive development , so definitely worth supplementing.
- Zinc – good for maternal immune system & baby’s skeletal muscles and bones.
Also worth mentioning are Coenzyme Q10 and B vitamins – great for increasing your energy plus Vitamin D3 for healthy cell development, immunity & foetal bone development.
To help avoid ‘morning’ sickness, try snacking (healthily) every 2-3 hours or so and try eating cereal on rising – drink liquid between meals (not during) and try to include ginger in either your drink or food.
Of course Alcohol AND caffeine are a no-no – it is not known exactly how much alcohol would increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and even a lower IQ, but I would say just avoid it all together. Also stay away from any fish which may have a high level of mercury, and you must always make sure food is cooked properly to avoid any disease or infection here.
Finally, I should note that you can also give your child a ‘baby-biotic‘ – this is a dairy free probiotic formula shown to help maintain a healthy digestive function in new borns & older – it may also assist in the management of allergies, and provide relief from the symptoms of eczema (which I suffered from until my late teens – definitely not pleasant!) – and at the same time strengthening their gastrointestinal immunity. This can be applied simply by making a ‘paste’ out of it and placing it on the nipple or teat just before feeding, or simply insert it into the baby’s cheek – easy!
When making the decision to supplement your diet, I would recommend practitioner-only brands only to provide optimal nutritional support – to give you and your baby the best chance at having a happy and healthy pregnancy…and beyond.